How We Can Enable the Entertainment Industry Get Back on Its Feet

How We Can Enable the Entertainment Industry Get 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 Tento 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.

As the Media and Entertainment Industry gets back on its feet, here are a few precautions we at Tento Applied Sciences recommend individuals to take, alongside the recommendations provided by the CDC.

busy theatre audience

Frequently washing and sanitising your hands and any parts of your body that come in contact with public facilities goes a long way, but also remember to sanitise things you come in contact with before use, such as mobile phones, computers, ATMs, door handles, etc.

Enforce your own social distancing

Don’t be shy to ask someone to kindly step back if you feel like you could be at risk of transmission in public places. If the room is too crowded, step outside until you’re required back inside and make sure to wear a mask and a face shield in confined spaces. It’s also important to avoid sharing food, tools, or any items with anyone who is not a member of your household.

Think and move in advance

If possible, conduct purchases of food and essential and non-essential goods without leaving your home, or order ahead and arrange to pick up your purchase from the establishment to reduce the risk of exposure to the disease. Remember also that when ordering food delivered to your home, transfer the food to a plate, safely discard the packaging, and wash your hands before eating.

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.

And don’t forget to download your Tento Wallet!

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