How To Get The Entertainment Industry Back On Its Feet

How To Get The Entertainment Industry Back On Its Feet

The Entertainment Industry has been one of the most affected by the pandemic [PDF], with events and films taking the deepest dive in revenue due to reduced foot traffic, especially for productions from smaller players in the ballgame. Television and radio have also been affected by drops in advertising budgets and the thinning out of audiences now that working from home is the norm.

Today, however, the silver lining to this biological storm cloud is in clear view for most of the world’s population. Technological innovation has been sprouting worldwide at an incredible pace, enabling safer interactions and helping establish what most experts are now referring to as “The New Normal.”

Impact on entertainment segments

Image courtesy of KPMG.

The “Media and Entertainment Industry” encompasses several different segments and business models and even crosses into Management, in Marketing and Advertising in particular. But in simpler terms, it is the creation, curation, and distribution of content, whether digital or physical, to an audience.

Digital solutions for COVID-19 diagnostics, test result verification, and gatekeeping are now making safe in-person gatherings possible. These measures are assisted by various hardware such as interactive LCD touchscreen interfaces that serve as points of sale in fast-food restaurants, QR barcode scanners that verify a valid nCov negative test result, and digital “passports” like Q-Wallet that individuals have access to directly from their mobile phones to present at various checkpoints.

Online Activities

For online activities, however, communication is vital for whatever endeavour is being undertaken. For example, remote collaborations have been possible since the invention of the telegram. With the current technology available on mobile phones and computers, it is now expected to play an even more permanent role in commerce and personal lives.

As out-of-home recreation activities and gatherings still face several challenges in the short term, innovations in the delivery of live events allow organisers to reach their audiences directly without a physical venue. However, as mentioned above, solutions have been made available to make physical gatherings possible in “The New Normal.”

A good example is an event that the Virgin Money Unity Arena organised, which was called the UK’s first socially distanced concert by CNN. Some 2,500 music fans attended the event to watch English musician and singer/songwriter Sam Fender on the 11th of August last year.

people enjoying themselves at a music festival

Leipzig’s Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg carried out another notable experiment at the Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Germany, where professors and scientists organised three different concert simulations to study the method and rate at which COVID-19 spreads in larger-scale events. The experiment was carried out by approximately 1,500 volunteers to be the audience who were required to test negative for nCoV-19 at most 48 hours prior to the event and wear masks throughout the duration of the experiment.

Among the variables tested in the experiment, the crowd’s movement within the venue was recorded with electronic contact tracing devices given to each volunteer during the experiment. Hand sanitisers with photo fluorescent additives were used to track surfaces and areas with the most traffic. And apart from the physical experiment being held, computer simulations based on fluid dynamics allowed the scientists to study different ventilation systems in the arena.

To serve as a control, the first scenario simulated events pre-pandemic, without any social distancing measures in place. The second scenario added multiple points of entry to reduce bottlenecks and increase space between participants, and the third scenario had a smaller audience with a strictly enforced 5ft social distancing measure.

And as expected, the last scenario proved to be the safest of the three in mitigating the virus’s spread. With these findings, events are now possible, albeit with strict guidelines enforcing lowered venue capacities, proper ventilation, and the use of face masks and face shields for staff and attendees, to name a few. Among the considerations for hosting public gatherings, Stefan Moritz, professor at the university, recommends holding seated events to help with social distancing in the audience.

busy theatre audience
A Lifeline for the Entertainment Industry

While there are already several accepted scientific studies and research that have helped the reopening of public spaces and gatherings, experts all agree that the risk of spreading the virus may be mitigated by practising social distancing, wearing masks and face shields, and most effectively by staying at home as much as possible.

However, with countries now opening back up, the challenge for businesses in the entertainment industry is to ensure the safety of their patrons and staff. In using the Q-Link platform alongside the Q-Authenticator app, we can all be confident in a festive summer ahead of us.

To learn more about how this process works, read our Process Guide for Using Q-Wallet.

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