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Oct 29, 2020

SW Event Technology Shifts Gears in Light of COVID-19 & Looks to the Future

COVID-19 has shifted the way we do business in almost every sense. It has forced businesses to close, pivot, or look at operations from a new perspective. Last week we spoke with Cal McCarthy, President of SW Event Technology here in Kelowna about how their business has shifted during COVID-19, new protocols, as well as opportunities that are on the horizon looking forward.
In recent weeks, we partnered with SW Event Technology for our provincial election all candidates forums, and we can't thank Cal and his team enough for their service, dedication, and attention to detail during this time.


How has business shifted at SW?

SW Event Technology was on track  for its biggest year ever with upwards of 800 event projects locally and across the country.  Major events including the World Figure Skating Championships, the Memorial Cup and others were cancelled  forcing significant layoffs and a pivot to on-line and hybrid events. SW's business is built on public gathering,  our work is based on delivering our technology and services to event centers, arenas, conference centers and other public spaces. COVID 19 and the  governments need to stop public gatherings  has crushed our business.  We expect to lose 80-90% of our projected revenue in 2020.  

Though our confidence is high that we will see a return to public events by mid 2021, we shifted early to offer online and hybrid broadcast events.  We have done this by engaging our customers with solutions to take meetings and presentations online.  We have a significant video and broadcast department that had previously been deployed to cover live events in the field.  We took this equipment and constructed a full service television studios in each of locations to host in studio events.  We are able to offer our customers a high quality webcast solution that is miles ahead of the ubiquitous zoom calls.

Additionally we partnered with and developed a comprehensive event hosting platform that is becoming very popular. Our platform is getting some surprising pick up in both Canada and the US. I am hopeful that this online service will open new markets and opportunities for SW Event Technology.

What protocols do you now have in place?

We have a comprehensive safety plan for our workers and customers  that include all the usual aspects of social distancing, masks and hand washing but additionally we have set up  equipment quarantine and cleaning measures  that puts additional costs into our supply chain.  It is a necessary step to ensure the safety and confidence of our workers and customers.

Have any new opportunities presented themselves over the past 6-9 months?

We are delighted to be producing a comprehensive  in venue experience for this December's World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton.  Because this year's tournament will be in the bubble; all our design and installation will be targeted at the TV audience.  We typically target our work in venue audiences so shifting to television is a new and exciting prospect for our team.



Background- SW Event Technology and Showtime Events are locally owned and operated brands founded in 1990 in Kelowna where its head office remains.  The company has seen consistent growth over this period including opening branch locations in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Regina and Toronto.  SW Event Technology is a nationally recognized and award winning  leader in event production.

Pre-covid SW was delivering services across Canada with a team of 200 event full time personnel.