WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As some companies start getting back to business, others know it will still be a while before they can begin to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.
Those in the party planning and entertainment industry are taking a huge hit with no large-scale events and celebrations like weddings, graduations, proms, or bar mitzvahs.
Some are finding creative ways to reinvent themselves to keep business going.
DJ Jason Bank with Jammin' Express Entertainment has started DJing car parades for birthdays, graduations, and more.
Starting his company in 1993, Bank never imagined he would someday be DJing drive-by celebrations. But when the COVID-19 pandemic started and the world came to a halt, so did his business.
"I was like, oh my gosh, I’m in the party business. I provide these memories for people. How am I going to survive?" Bank said.
Then Bank attended a birthday car parade. His wife encouraged him to go back home and get his DJ gear to make the celebration extra special and take it to the next level.
Bank went live on Facebook as he played music and announced the cars driving by.
"I got home and there were about six inquiries for their special occasion," Bank said.
It was a response he was not expecting, and made him realize he could to this to help support his family during this uncertain time.
"When there was so much interest there I thought, you know, what as much as I would like to do it with no cost, this is a great little money maker," said Bank. "This is a little something to get me through these times. So I was not thinking about it as a business at all until I got home that night and knew there were a lot of people who wanted to celebrate."
Bank added it's a joy to be able to still make people smile.
"These kids are so excited. Anybody is so excited to be celebrated, and to add that energy and music and motivation keeps me happy, and most importantly, keeps them happy," Bank said.
Bank credits his positive attitude for being able to reinvent his business and adapt to the current times we are living in.
"These are hard times, and how do you take your business and adapt with these times?" Bank asked. "You gotta do something to change to make it special for people. If you can adapt to today’s society and put a band aid on things and make people smile, that’s important."
Bank charges an average of $300 for a Jammin' Party Parade, depending on location. His 13-year-old son is also getting in on the business, making videos of the car parades for the recipients.
Event planning company Party Perfect in Boca Raton is also reinventing itself during the coronavirus pandemic.
Event planner Brittney Olsomer, who runs the full service event planning company with her mom, said when the COVID-19 pandemic set it, it was a bit of a shock.
"It was so devastating," said Olsomer. "After 30 years, we’ve worked so hard to create the company that we have, were so proud of what we have built. We were actually on schedule to do a record May. So the highest May we’ve ever had at Party Perfect. We were so excited and ready to end with a bang, and unfortunately, so quickly overnight it was all gone basically."
Olsomer said this time of year they specialize in high school graduation parties and high school proms.
"Unfortunately, that was a lot of income that was taken away overnight, all because of the pandemic," said Olsomer. "So it was very scary, to be honest with you."
Olsomer said they spent weeks brainstorming to figure out what to do next and how to get through this time.
"Basically, mom and I decided, we’re gonna hold on tight and we’re gonna ride the wave," said Olsomer. "We came up with some fun balloon designs that can all be customized. Whatever colors you want, whatever event you’re doing, and we set it up with safe, no contact delivery."
Party Perfect also designed car decorating kits that people could purchase for those popular parades, which is a bit of a nod to the way they started.
Olsomer said her mom started the business doing balloon arrangements 30 years ago. Now they hope it will be enough to see them through to the other side, when large scale events resume.
"It’s giving us the hope that we’ll be able to get through this, and as soon as we’re able to party again on the scale we’re used to, we can’t wait," Olsomer said.
To learn more about Party Perfect and the services they offer, visit them on Facebook by clicking here.