Event Companies During Pandemic: Checking in With NYFF Events
When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, everything from our personal lives to events came to an abrupt halt. During this unprecedented and challenging time, we wanted to do something to bring the event community together so we launched the Allseated “Connecting Our Community” webinar series to serve as the place to share stories and hold informal discussions as a way to stay focused and remain hopeful.
The sessions were inspiring and motivational, even as the situation continues to evolve with uncertainty. We are grateful for the event professionals throughout our wonderful industry for joining us to share their experiences, feelings, and ideas as a community.
As we continue to move forward together as an event community during COVID-19, it’s important for us as an industry to stay connected and aware of business across all markets. Although we will continue to run the Allseated Connecting Our Community webinars, we are also following up with event professionals for Q & A interview articles in order to further educate ourselves and the industry on how event companies are doing during this unprecedented time.
We recently spoke with Josh Glatt of NYFF Events in New York and had the pleasure of asking him a few questions. Josh was a panelist during the Connecting Our Community event rental expert panel session back in May so it was nice to check in to see how the event rental business has been for him in the New York area.
About NYFF Events:
In 1996 we started as a small team of event planning professionals with an idea of how we could combine our knowledge and skills to introduce innovative and creative approaches to the events industry. Today we are a company employing 30 full time event professionals with a 40,000 sq. ft. production facility and offices on Park Avenue South in NYC. We are proud to feature some of the best and brightest professionals in the event industry, each with expertise, knowledge and a commitment to excellence that comes from years of experience.
NYFF is a full-service event production company capable of planning and producing small, medium, and large scale events. From tenting and staging to lighting, A/V, and music & entertainment, NYFF does it all in-house controlling every aspect of production and guaranteeing its seamless and flawless execution. Our philosophy of “doing it all ourselves” assures the best pricing and highest level of quality to our clients.
How have events been for you in New York since we last spoke during our Connecting Our Community Webinar in May?
There’s definitely been an uptick in the demand for tents, and being an asset-based production company, owning the inventory has helped with just about all the events we do these days. In fact, as I was typing this, on a Tuesday afternoon, I just received a call from a planner for a wedding for THIS coming Sunday. It’s part of the “new normal.” The real concern right now is November and beyond into the winter. Tenting and outdoor events aren’t really ideal in New York during the winter months. I wish I could say I feel positive about it, but I’m also a realist.
What are some rental items that are popular right now that weren’t popular before the pandemic?
I wouldn’t necessarily say this wasn’t popular pre-pandemic, but now the hottest items coming off our shelves are our tents, tables, chairs, generators, lights, and fans! Lots of fans!
Let’s talk about pivoting. Did you decide to pivot any aspects of your business to meet the needs of clients right now/to bring in business during this challenging time?
I sound like a broken record, but we pivoted heavily into tents, with a bunch of long term rentals. And minimums, at least at the beginning, went out the door. We did pivot our business to doing more retail selling too. We have gone into virtual events as well. We have a couple of different platforms we use and we have worked with a few clients on some cool creative. But, live events, it is certainly not.
What does the fall look like for events in New York?
I think the fall looks okay, but when I say okay, I mean for the times we live in. We have a decent line up of social events already booked and new leads are coming in each day. Some small events and some are larger. 50 is the new 250!
We are being smart about our logistics though. For example, we won’t deliver every day, in order to be smart about labor, gas, expenses, etc. It’s more important than ever before to be extra smart about all logistics.
Can you touch upon floorplans and layouts?
We have put up a lot of tents and some long term rentals. When the venues see our floorplans, they LOVE what we have created using Allseated and they can’t thank me enough for providing the detailed layouts. Having organized, detailed, and accurate floorplans designed to-scale makes the venues feel confident in giving over a copy of the plan to their staff, knowing that set up will be done 100% properly because the floorplan is so clean and easy to understand!
Safety measures: What have you implemented safety-wise for your staff and guests?
All of our staff wear masks on-site, with no exceptions.
We clean everything that comes in and goes out. EVERYTHING!
We keep a stocked supply of PPE.
As for our guests, we let them know up front that we follow the rules for real. We can ill afford to be shut down, these are many people’s livelihoods we are talking about. We want to do as much as we can now, in a safe and inviting way.
Of Interest: Check out the recording from our Connecting Our Community Rental Expert Panel webinar session.