The mission of the Washington Pavilion, which calls Sioux Falls, SD home, is to inspire, educate, entertain and enrich their region by creating opportunities for all to explore and experience the arts and science. This is a mission they take very seriously and one that their staff lives and breathes on a daily basis.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant business disruption, it was more important than ever for them to stay true to their mission.
Rather than retreating when their doors were forced closed, the team quickly rallied to launch a program called Experience Your Washington Pavilion @ Home. This collection of activities was specifically created to help their community find new ways to learn, connect and interact from a distance with their loved ones at home.
The team produced 24 short videos that included virtual guided tours in their Visual Arts Center, theater tactics, art lessons and science demonstrations. They also developed an impressive list of make-at-home projects (Elephant Toothpaste is a must-make if you have young kids), coloring pages, educational worksheets and links to other programs that support general wellness.
While their Experience Your Washington Pavilion @ Home program served as an immediate way to keep their customers engaged, they were also hyper-focused on creating ways to keep the cash flowing.
The team continued to sell season subscriptions, promoting their monthly payment plan options to remove the potential barrier of a large upfront spend. According to their CEO Darrin Smith, they are currently tracking ahead of schedule for next season subscription sales.
They’ve also made an appeal for micro-donations, communicating the importance of these contributions during this time. The fundraising page on their website provides their donors with a great deal of flexibility – donation amount, frequency of giving and the ability to direct their gift to a specific fund or program.
And thanks to a suggestion from a member of the Washington Pavilion catering team, they sold family meals for Easter dinner out of their on-site restaurant, Leonardo’s Café. In less than a week, a cross-functional team worked together to set up online ordering in AudienceView Unlimited and sold more than eighty meals to members of the community. They also leveraged the donation pop-up functionality to collect tips for the catering staff.
Following the success of their Easter dinner program, they offered a “take and bake brunch” to help families celebrate Mother’s Day. Leonardo’s Café also offers curbside pick-up for lunch six days a week.
As Washington Pavilion begins to re-open, they have made the health and safety of their team members, guests, visitors and vendors their top priority.
The organization has implemented and communicated the following COVID-19 safety protocols to help prevent the spread of the virus as they begin reopening to the public:
- Employee Safety Protections. Their employees, contractors and vendors will follow CDC guidelines for monitoring their health. All employees will wear protective face masks and frequently wash or otherwise sanitize their hands throughout their shift. They will also physically distance from fellow co-workers, customers, vendors and visitors whenever possible.
- Enhanced Sanitizing and Disinfecting. Their facility has increased the frequency of their already robust cleaning practices. They follow stringent safety and cleaning guidelines throughout their entire building daily, including cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.
- Encourage Social Distancing. Several steps will be taken to encourage social and physical distancing in their properties:
- Occupancy limitations and monitoring
- Proactive encouragement of social distancing guidelines
- Furniture redeployment to support social distancing
- Coordinated traffic flow
- Deployment of traffic flow signage and social distancing markers
They also continue to lean into their mission by offering their community ways to explore and experience the arts and science – in the safest way possible.