What are Event Planning Groups Doing in Response to the Pandemic?
The pandemic has canceled many events, and Northland event planners say that it's been difficult to adjust especially when COVID-19 has prevented tourists from coming into the region.
DULUTH, Minn. – The pandemic has canceled many events, and Northland event planners say that it’s been difficult to adjust especially when COVID-19 has prevented tourists from coming into the region.
Handfuls of events have been canceled and postponed due to the pandemic, and event planners are working to accommodate the difficulties they have to face.
“Realistically, the event planning industry is come to a screeching halt,” said Tracy Lundeen, the president of Lundeen Group LLC.
Lundeen Group hosts multiple events in the region including Taste of Duluth Festival at Bayfront Park, which has already been postponed until September. He says that with all that is going on right now, it’s tough to plan anything ahead.
“We’re dealing with more than just the governor’s guidelines,” said Lundeen. “We’re also dealing with perception in the community in the health industry with people. So we’ve got to take a lot of things into consideration.”
Kern and Company is another group that organizes many events in the region, but they’ve had to cancel events like the recent Oktoberfestival along with the Air Show because of COVID-19.
“Well it is really difficult,” said Ryan Kern, the president of Kern and Company. “Because a lot of the events that we do here at Kern and Company are tourism-driven and we’re in the business of getting people to Duluth generating tourism revenues for our community.”
With the number of attendees, Oktoberfest wouldn’t be financially sustainable without being able to host 5000-plus people.
“We’re really trying to kick the can down the road a little bit in hoping that the COVID-19 issue hopefully gets resolved or at least that there’s some sort of a treatment option and or vaccine by the time we get into next summer’s busy tourism season,” said Kern.
Kern and Company is currently preparing for Runway 4K, which is a run that is happening at Sky Harbor Airport on August 22nd, while Lundeen still plans to host Taste of Duluth on September 12th.