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Pivoting Event Strategy in the Face of Covid

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Ugh, Covid

Planning for events in the middle of a global pandemic has proved challenging to say the least.  

Buzz words like virtual and hybrid have become commonplace, and organizations have been scrambling to re-structure traditional event planning to online platforms. Many of these virtual events are highly successful and were welcomed by participants in the early days as ways of tuning in and staying connected when in-person events were out of the question.

But then people got tired. 


Outside the Box:

One of our long-term clients, Himalayan Life, had a series of powerful, never before seen films that they wanted to release in the spring of 2021 as part of a film festival- but, well, COVID was throwing a wrench in planning. How could they release these stunning films without being able to invite donors and supporters to a local theatre as they had normally done in the past?

During the initial brainstorming and planning meeting, suggestions were made for making it a virtual film festival to create an online event to roll out these new films. Doable for sure, but would that create the impact they were hoping for?

That’s when a Kaci team member piped up with a frustration-based comment, “No one wants to do another VIRTUAL event right now!” she cried out, “People are tired. We need connection; we need a destination, we need a reason to go out….there has to be another way.”

While the team was mulling over the possibility of doing it another way, she quickly googled some ideas and piped up again. “What about a Drive-in Film Festival?”

And that’s when Himalaya- A Drive-in Film Festival was born. 


Two Sold out Shows!

With renewed energy and excitement for planning something different and new, the team got to work picking dates, sourcing outdoor venues, and signing contracts with the company providing the giant inflatable movie screens. 

We created sponsorship proposals, secured sponsors, designed and published marketing materials, sent out press releases, posted tickets for sale, collected prizes, and soon, both showings were sold out.

The events were a smashing success, mainly because Himalayan Life was willing to pivot, adapt and change in the face of adversity. They were willing to try a bold new method of creating awareness for their mission and believed strongly in Kaci’s ability to execute on the creative new strategy. 

We were able to powerfully project Himalayan Life’s messages around protecting, nurturing, and educating children in the Himalayas from a towering drive-in movie screen to a new audience- all of whom were thrilled to be attending a unique and in-person event… the middle of a pandemic.  


The Virtual Piece:

But Himalaya didn’t stop there. The team planned to have the evening filmed and then organized a virtual rollout in the online space to reach other audiences.  


You can view Himalaya here:

Organizations like charities and nonprofits rely on events to generate awareness of their programs and mission and fundraise so they can keep their services going. Being adaptable and willing to change and pivot, and sometimes taking bold steps in new directions, will help keep you fresh and current and often lead to new audiences, donors, and supporters.  


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