Earlier this year, COVID-19 started to sweep across the U.S. and impact big cities like New York. When this happened, we started to communicate with all of our event partners – especially the Jacob Javits Center -- about how to move forward with events that were cancelled and how we could provide support for the industry together.
We normally run hundreds of trade shows, conferences, and corporate events across the country each year. But then everything was canceled or postponed. At the time, most of the administrative staff at Javits had been working remotely, and the team had also rescheduled at least 20 events.
We knew that our business needed to pivot and find a new path to support the events industry because business as usual wasn’t an option during the early days of COVID-19. The “new normal” path for some industries was easier to envision, like restaurants shifting from dine-in to takeout and delivery, or retail stores ramping up their e-commerce sites. For the events industry it took on many different challenges.
Because of our familiarity with the Javits Center, when FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the City of New York needed to turn the huge space into a makeshift hospital with 500 beds in just three days, we jumped in to help! We had the materials in our warehouse to build beds and signs, and so it was easy to pivot our business and support our partner, the City and our fellow humans.
During this time, the Javits Center was transformed into a medical station with more than 4,000 beds in order to reduce the burden on the local hospital system due to the pandemic outbreak. We worked with the Javits’ labor workforce, administrative staff, and many others to construct what some officials called the largest makeshift hospital in the country.
In addition to the work we did with the Javits, we coordinated efforts with over 1,000 military members and medical professionals representing more than 15 government agencies working on site to operate the medical stations. Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the work “transformative.”
“In just one week, the Javits Center looks entirely different, changing its ability to save lives,” Cuomo added.
As New York has seen Coronavirus number decrease, there was no longer a need for additional beds, and the makeshift hospital was disassembled. And, as the country begins to open again, the Javits said they will continue to sanitize every corner of the convention center as part of the preparation for future events. We will be there with them every step of the way.
We are excited to have receive a great deal of media coverage for the work we have done with Javits, and the ability we had to pivot our business to help in a time of need.
“We could have sat by and did nothing, but we looked around at where we could help and what skills we had to contribute. We had the courage to pivot our business. COVID had given our business a free pass to fail, but we didn’t and for that I am forever proud,” said Tim Heffernan, chief development officer, T3 Expo.
Below is a list of media coverage from the New York Post, International Business Times, North Star Meetings Group and TSNN. We are excited to also have additional media interested in our story.