The special events industry stands poised to address surging capacity needs of the U.S. health care infrastructure.
Ten of the major U.S. tent and structure manufacturers have joined together in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The principal strategy of the group is to align needs for disaster resources including field hospitals, emergency temporary shelters, remote testing sites, drive-through testing sites, walkway covers, drive-through grocery pick-up, and key medical overflow infrastructure with companies in the special event community. The companies include Anchor Industries Inc., Aztec Tents, Charnecke Tents, Economy Tent International, Eureka! Party Tents, Fred’s Tents & Canopies, Losberger De Boer US, Olympic Tent, Rainier Tent, and Top Tec Event Tents.
“There is no industry that better understands the ability to create space than the members of the special event and tent rental community,” says Biff Gentsch, national sales manager of Evansville, Ind.-based Anchor Industries. “The special event and tent rental industries specialize in providing tents and temporary structures, and most are equipped to provide for other needs that come with making temporary sites function efficiently. This includes installing temporary units with isolated rooms with floor to ceiling partitions, interior and exterior doors, flooring, the ability to heat and cool units as necessary, all power needs, lighting, barricades, cafeteria services—not only supplies, but the food service and distribution.”
The special events and event rental industries have been devastated by the COVID-19 crisis, starting with the cancellation of several significant outdoor music and sporting events in early March. As additional sporting events, graduations and festivals announced cancellations and postponements, state and local leaders announced “stay at home orders,” causing event goers to make their connections virtually.
“We know event rental companies have an incredible amount of available inventory across all 50 states, which is ready to be deployed to fight this pandemic,” says Alex Kouzmanoff, president of Torrance, Calif.-based Aztec Tents. “We simply need to help our country, state and regional leaders utilize this relatively untapped industry.”
To date, the group has been in communication with the Republican and Democratic governors associations, the Office of the U.S. Vice President, the Office of Partnership and Engagement-U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the CEO of The American Hospital Association, and several other regional health groups, associations and hospitals.
“As manufacturers, we continue to communicate with these and other groups to let them know that we can connect local governments and health administrators with our event rental customers,” says Jim Reyen, business director for Eureka! Tents, Binghamton, N.Y. “Local event companies are able to ensure that emergency temporary tents and structures are installed properly and safely, and they can collaborate with leaders for further problem-solving.”
The group continues outreach to federal, state and local leaders and meets weekly to discuss potential opportunities for the industry.