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Interview

The Show Must Go On: How the Dew Tour Tackled COVID-19 Constraints

by Erin Chesterton
on August 27, 2021
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The Show Must Go On: How the Dew Tour Tackled COVID-19 Constraints

Whether a sports event, music festival or conference—your #1 asset remains the same—your people. The safety standards for your event's staff and patrons are higher than ever before, and the roadmap to success is still being determined. With more events happening in collapsed timelines with less staff, taking the proper measures and developing systems to protect staff and patrons is a must.
 
The good news is the data is showing positive outcomes when greater precautions and measures are put into place to mitigate exposure. Take a page out of Lollapalooza's book. The festival required attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test—and nearly 90% of all attendees were fully vaccinated.
 
The outcome? Lollapalooza wrapped August 1st with some of the strictest policies at the time—of the 385,000 attendees only 203 COVID-19 cases were linked to the event
 
Beyond boosting the safety of your staff and patrons and improving consumer confidence, a streamlined and efficient system to manage testing tracking can save you valuable time to invest back into what matters most—the attendee experience. 
 

Finding a New Way Forward

As the Delta variant continues to cause even more uncertainty across the industry, it's important for festivals to to learn from others in the space like Lollapalooza who are leading the charge. That's why we met with Erin Shorts, former COVID Testing Program Manager at The Dew Tour, an innovative contest series that brings together the world's best skateboarders, snowboarders, skiers, artists, brands, and fans in a celebration of creativity and style.
 
With their event looming, Erin came on board after the team had adopted Lennd and was tasked to manage the Health Pass feature. At a high level the tool helped Erin develop one centralized system to support: 
  • Tracking testing for onsite staff and patrons
  • Creating testing cadences & build schedules
  • Managing health questionnaires & track statuses
After her first year navigating the new protocol, we wanted to learn more about her hands-on experience with the tool, the future of COVID compliance and her outlook on health and safety standards to be set for years to come. Let's dive in! 

Going Behind the Scenes with Erin Shorts
 
What was the impact of the Health pass?
"It saved me a lot of time - that’s the #1 value for anyone in our industry. Typically in the admin role, I would have to be super heads-down and focused on the task at hand, but Lennd enabled me to actually look up and observe the overall flow of the Testing program and also be more present for my staff."
 
How were you using the Health Pass?
"The testing area would use Lennd on an iPad at check-in. I created views by day so they could easily search for appointments, without being bogged down with the rest of the data/days. In this view, they could also see if the person had signed the HIPPA form that was integrated into Lennd as well as the status of their daily health questionnaire. We used the health questionnaire to manage our daily health screenings. I also used the tool to send out daily email reminders to folks who had a test the following day."
 
What do you think the future of festivals will look like when it comes to health screening? Do you see it sticking long term?
"I do see it sticking around - I came into the role with the Dew Tour in the Sports space where testing and health screening was a high priority, but festivals weren't yet happening. We thought we were through it but then the Delta variant showed its face and now I see more live events following suit, especially after Lollapalooza set the standard."
 
What do you think are going to be the biggest opportunities for event operations teams over the next 6-12 months?
"Our time is a hot commodity, so I'd say utilizing tools and resources to save time and maximize efficiently and productivity. Having time away gave me the chance to reevaluate a lot of things, and my biggest takeaway is how important it is to have work-life balance. I know quite a few folks who have changed positions, a lot of people have shifted around the space to hone in on what they truly excel at in the industry - and I believe people are genuinely happier because of that. It's like we finally had time to step back and re-evaluate where we should be putting in more effort, where we have been wasting it. Think smarter, not harder!"
 

Bring Certainty to the Uncertain

As we approach fall events season, change will be the only constant. It's important to re-evaluate your current processes and protocol to ensure they can scale and support an influx on testing requirements and regulations. Operating in ad hoc and disjointed systems will create bottlenecks that detract from the attendee experience, staff management and operations as a whole.
 
When it comes to mitigating health risks and limiting exposure, the first thing to go should be paper. Here's what the Dew Tour's Director of Event Operations, Mary Rich had to say about her experience using Lennd's Health Pass.
 
"We were looking for a program that had everything in one place, and Lennd was the answer to that. With so many moving parts, all the administrators, and constant changes to COVID protocols, Lennd’s features made it easy for us to stay on top of things. We would have been in over our heads with spreadsheets and physical paper copies."
 

Get Started with Lennd's Health Pass

From festivals to sporting events and conferences, chat with our team to discover how Lennd's Health Pass can help you stay ahead of the curve, and develop systems and standards to keep your people safe and scale your event amid these uncertain times.

Track testing among staff, volunteers, sponsors & more

Manage the testing statuses of everyone across your event—set expirations for your passes to encourage daily testing updates and maintain the safety protocol you have in place for your event.

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Create testing cadences & build schedules

Make your testing easily accessible for everyone involved across your event. Schedule automated email reminders to fill out daily health questionnaires. Set expiration times for each Health Pass and automated reminders to notify individuals of failed test results. 

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Build & track health questionnaires

Manage all health questionnaires in one system and track the status of responses to help mitigate any health or exposure risks among your staff and stakeholders. 

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