Covid, Competition, and Community
By: Brad Poarch, CEO Cory’s Audio Visual
Like many, the live events & entertainment industries have experienced a catastrophic 2020, as a result of COVID-19. From sporting events, concerts, and theatre productions, to weddings, fundraising galas, and meetings, the events world completely shut down. The cancellation of events has generated widespread fear, frustration, and an unknown future for audio visual companies, decorators, caterers, event planners, florists, and custodial staff, to name a few.
However, on September 1, 2020, I saw a community of professionals come together to work towards a brighter future. It was called the Red Alert, RESTART campaign. The goal of this campaign was to light iconic event venues red to show support for our brothers and sisters in the events industry and their current struggles. In Oklahoma City, some of the venues lit red were the new OK Contemporary Arts Center, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Civic Center Music Hall, and many more. The RESTART program is a federal aid package that is currently in the US legislature working through committees to help those working in the events & entertainment industries.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
What I saw on September 1st, were teams of fierce business competitors putting aside their company colors to work together as one community. I saw the Rotary Four Way Test put to use in a big way.
- Is it the truth? Yes. The people in these professions are struggling, not just the companies.
- Is it fair to all concerned? I witnessed rivals working together, not worrying about whose company name came first or how they could campaign for more business. This was about helping the industry as a whole.
- Will it bring goodwill and better friendships? This answer shined above the rest. Not only did their efforts generate attention and goodwill for the cause, but new friendships were forged. The industry became a force united. Red Alert, RESTART led to learning and sharing of insight to lift up the industry as a whole.
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Only time will tell if the RESTART Act is passed, but there is no doubt that our community benefited from the work done that night.
What can we learn from this outreach event? Perhaps how it took a global pandemic for neighbors in our city to realize they aren’t that different. Maybe how working together, across the aisles, can benefit not only ourselves, but our community as a whole? Or maybe, we can see that the Rotary Four Way Test is more than something we see in our weekly meeting? However you look at it, our motto of “Service Above Self” is alive and well!
Great article! I had not heard about Red Alert and RESTART. I have been very concerned about our businesses in the entertainment and event business. Best of luck.