Learning to Pivot in Times of Crisis to Drive Business Success
Hand drawn colorful painting ab

An arts organization pivots to stage a virtual digital festival…on a wing and a prayer.

As we realized what was happening with the pandemic in early 2020, my business, FWD Action, was suddenly changed. Businesses of all types that were typically in-person had to find a new way to service their customers. How to pivot our business to digital was the big looming question. 

My organization helped five businesses in those early days. One of these was a very interesting pivot which I like to use as a case study of what can be done with imagination and hard work. 

My clients at the Copperbridge Foundation, an international art non-profit had a particularly difficult pivot–for their 10th anniversary, they had planned to have 10 in-person events with artists, architects, and dancers from all over Latin America. Realizing that this would not be a possibility, and not knowing when it could happen, if ever, we sat down and brainstormed some ideas before finally arriving at the incredible catalog of work that the Foundation had amassed during its 10 years, a catalog that included paintings, sculpture, documentary films, short films, etc. This is how an online, virtual international arts festival came into existence. 

There were many hurdles to overcome, like trying to figure out the best way to show the art, architecture, film, and dance we were featuring, coordinating subject matter experts from around the globe, getting the word out, and all this, did I mention, on an extremely limited budget! We decided to host our events on Zoom, which immediately brought up a huge problem: any of our panelists and subject matter experts were located in Cuba and, just at the last minute, Zoom became blocked in Cuba! But where there’s a will there’s a way! Thankfully, the Swiss embassy in Havana graciously stepped in offering their help, and in collaboration with them hosting our experts, we were able to pull off (almost) perfect Zoom sessions. We also worked with the AIA (American Institute of Architects) Miami, MCAD (Miami Center for Architecture and Design), ICADS (International Coalition of Art Deco Societies), Arch Daily, and other prominent organizations–the list is huge and it doesn’t hurt that the founder is very well connected! What I have witnessed is that during this awful time, people and organizations have started collaborating a lot more and not necessarily in the silos, we are accustomed to seeing.

From September 2020 to April 2021, we produced international live events such as Chilean Architectural Design, which included the world premiere of Travel Into Chile, a documentary highlighting some of Chile’s most outstanding architecture, architects, and designers. Others included very high-impact events such as Cuban Architecture: The New Movement, a panel and discussion with young architects working in Cuba and abroad, and what they have been doing repurposing existing structures. And a discussion of the works of Francisco Salamone, an Argentine architect who built more than 60 municipal buildings with elements of Art Deco style in 25 rural communities on the Argentine Pampas within the Buenos Aires Province. This particular event fostered and furthered the discussion of receiving a designation from the UNESCO World Heritage organization.

With panelists from as far away as Japan, Sweden, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, and the United States and  with over 3,000 attendants throughout all events,. the results actually were much better and far-reaching than we ever thought possible. By leveraging social media extensively, using FB Live, and Zoom to broadcast our live events, we were able to reach people in all corners of the world.  A  pretty remarkable feat  and one that would never have happened without being forced to reimagine the entire idea of an arts festival.

Related content:

Responsibility and the Business of Change

What’s Next?

A Winding Path

RELATED POSTS

Meet Latina Entrepreneur Legendary Baker Cristie Besu

Meet Latina Entrepreneur Legendary Baker Cristie Besu

Cristie believes that you should not have to choose between delicious and better for you foods. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Cristie Besu has had quite the journey herself. She’s the Founder and CEO of Eat Me Guilt Free, a health-focused line of bread, brownies,...

Women’s Golf Day Is Empowering for Hispanic Businesses

Women’s Golf Day Is Empowering for Hispanic Businesses

Latinas in all business can benefit by learning skills to last a lifetime. Women’s Golf Day (WGD) is a global movement that engages, empowers, and supports women and girls through golf and teaches them skills that last a lifetime. The one-day, four-hour event has...

An Entrepreneur’s Launch of a Luxury Accessory Brand

An Entrepreneur’s Launch of a Luxury Accessory Brand

What does it take to launch a luxury accessory brand? Creativity, a passion for what you do, the talent to produce a high quality product, business sense, creating outlets to sell your product, and marketing your product are just a few things that go into creating and...

Polls

Sign Up for the Latin Biz Today Newsletter

Video Gallery

PR Newswire

Featured Authors

avatar for Holly PerlowitzHolly Perlowitz

Holly Perlowitz, CPA, serves as Busi...

Thinking About a Small Business Loan?

Money

Cash Flow Management for Small Business Owners

Cash Flow Management for Small Business Owners

A requirement for every successful small business and enterprise.   Cash flow management is the process by which an organization maintains control over the inflow and outflow of funds. The fundamental goal of cash flow management is to ensure that the incoming...

Talent/HR

Legal

Marketing

Strategy

Entrepreneurship – Do It Your Way

Entrepreneurship – Do It Your Way

One of my favorite lines that I often quote is the hook from Frank Sinatra’s My Way— “I did it, I did it my way.” As entrepreneurs, we are generally the types who create our own rules and do things our own way. Sometimes it's good to reflect on why this individuality...

Entrepreneurship – Do It Your Way

Entrepreneurship – Do It Your Way

One of my favorite lines that I often quote is the hook from Frank Sinatra’s My Way— “I did it, I did it my way.” As entrepreneurs, we are generally the types who create our own rules and do things our own way. Sometimes it's good to reflect on why this individuality...

Fashion

Food

Music

Sports

14 Takeaways From the World of Sports Business

14 Takeaways From the World of Sports Business

Check out these quick snapshots across the sports industry in May 2022 Welcome! Well, I am apparently over my anger about the baseball lockout. Yes, I am following the game to a degree, especially because the Mets are off to a good start. The New York Yankees are also...

Innovation

Work, Life & Culture

Culture

Health & Fitness

Travel & Destinations

Hindsight Is Literally 2020!

Hindsight Is Literally 2020!

So as I was approaching my 57th birthday this past October, I came to realize that travel has been on my bucket list 40 years and that since my divorce 6 years ago, I have somehow always felt like I needed someone to give me permission to do so. Really, permission, at...

Personal Blogs

Latin Business Today

Pin It on Pinterest