In Seattle, the U.S. city earliest affected by COVID-19, local event production company Pacific Northwest Theatre Associates is pushing the #SeattleLives movement.
Down to four employees, PNTA made the decision early on to focus on its technical expertise. Specifically, the company has partnered with CANVAS Event Space to ensure local groups in need of streaming services can get their message out with high-production value at a minimal cost.
“There is this genetic requirement to gather and be entertained and informed, and hopefully, this is providing people with an outlet for that,” says Ryan Grulich, PNTA’s business development manager. As proof of its importance, PNTA was labeled as an essential business to stay open even during restrictions.
Nonprofits and local events/artistic companies have been among the first to work with PNTA, which produced a tourism-based panel for Visit Seattle. It has also worked with the Woodland Park Zoo and circus, among others. At first, PNTA created two to three streaming events per week, and that number is expected to jump in May.
In order to provide this level of assistance required a major pivot, says Grulich. First, he and his team needed to streamline operations to create top-flight value with minimal staff. It then ensured CANVAS, a boutique event space, was set up for its needs while also keeping everyone in the building at least six feet apart. There’s soft seating for up to five panelists and a broadcast studio has been set up for remote interviews and discussions. All equipment is extensively cleaned as PNTA adheres to CDC guidelines.
Grulich also established turnkey operations and instructions so that livestream participants don’t accidentally sabotage their own efforts at home.
“Make sure your children aren’t playing X-box and taking up the bandwidth” is among the notes PNTA passes along.
“From a technical and logistics standpoint, it has been really fun,” says Grulich. “There’s been a big learning curve, but I think it is one everyone is going to have to go through.”