Back in early March, eight event industry leaders came together to figure out how they were going to handle the effects of Covid-19 on not just weddings, but conferences, trade shows, festivals, and more. Jeannette Tavares of Evoke Design & Creative, Rebecca Linder of Linder Global Events, Ajay Patil of Showcall Inc., André Wells of Events by Andrew Wells, Lyn Stout of Bond Events, Nancy Shaffer of Bravo Events, Phillip Dufour of The Dufour Collaborative, and Roger Whyte of RJ Whyte Event Production started to see some of DC’s biggest springtime events, such as the National Cherry Blossom Festival, get postponed and knew it was going to be just the beginning. Thus began the DC Events Coalition.
DC Events Coalition’s Purpose
The group of seasoned event professionals first hopped on a call to provide support to one another during this uncertain time. “The first week we kept it internal,” says Jeannette Tavares of Evoke Design & Creative, but as more CDC regulations and guidelines became the new norm, the founding members decided to open their coalition to the community. “We wanted to create a place [for the community] to check in weekly and learn about what loans or grants are out there, or what’s the new health protocol for gatherings,” she says. They saw how the pandemic was not just causing havoc on events professionals, but on restaurant workers, consultants, and other small businesses. “Now everyone can be a part of it and become educated on [how we should move forward] by signing onto the website,” says Tavares. Since they’ve opened to the public, the coalition has over 300 individuals who have joined the effort, and they’re continuing to roll out to new resources to serve the public.
DC Events Coalition’s Educational Resources
Along with their community-focused efforts, DC Coalition is also offering weekly educational webinars. These webinars range in topic, from how to advertise during the pandemic, to navigating public relations, and keeping up with new health codes. “[The] webinars allow members of the greater community to learn about some of the things we have been working on to help the DC events industry,” says DC Coalition’s team.
Tavares says that she and fellow wedding professional, André Wells are also having weekly calls with planners and other vendors to touch base with one another and provide resources for those who need help rescheduling their upcoming events. “In this industry, relationships and connections are at the core of everything we do,” Tavares says, adding that the DC Events Coalition wants to be part of the solution and help find a way to move forward during and after the pandemic.
To learn more about DC Coalition and how you can help and find help, go here.