Amid coronavirus, churches are (literally) reimagining their worship spaces. Portable equipment — platforms, risers, barricades and more — can make your space work, if you know how to maximize them.
As you work with church leaders right now, what are their biggest questions about post-COVID operations?
Cindy Albrecht: Church leaders come to us seeking solutions for better social distancing, as well as enhanced media platforms to expand audience viewing and streaming opportunities.
As churches look to reconfigure their spaces to allow for more spacing between equipment and patrons — and perhaps change the layout for smaller services — ease of setup and tear-down is important.
We offer a wide variety of portable, modular solutions that can allow for increased spacing: seating risers that can be spaced apart; additional camera platforms; and portable staging that can allow for various levels / tiers to accommodate both the church team and worshippers. All products can be installed with a seamless setting to look and feel permanent, while actually being modular and temporary if needed.
Many also want options for worshipping outside. Within the coming months, we’re launching a weather-resistant platform which will allow churches to have outdoor events and services for the foreseeable future.
Maintaining social distancing in fellowship spaces and lobbies can be tough. What do you suggest?
Albrecht: We offer steel and aluminum crowd control barricades to ensure separation where needed. Additionally, elevated platforms can be configured to ensure additional spacing between guests and staff and prevent shoulder-to-shoulder crowding.
In the sanctuary, how can churches maintain social spacing requirements — not only among attendees, but also onstage?
Albrecht: Our seating risers are portable and can be set apart at any distance desired. We can also customize them to create “pods,” or group areas, so families can sit together but remain 6’ apart from other groups.
Our durable, modular platforms can be built up to any height to ensure social distancing not only among those on stage, but also in the congregation.
We also offer ADA-compliant ramps and portable stair units permitting convenient access for patrons.
Many churches are considering hosting alternative worship services — even parking lot ‘drive-ins.’ Can you help them get these up and running?
Albrecht: To accommodate varying layouts and different spaces, our portable platforms and leg supports can be easily set up on any surface, at any height, in any size space — they’re ideal indoor and outdoor solutions. Elevating the stage improves sightlines for the congregation. Plus, platforms can be designed and constructed to act as both a stage or ADA accessible ramp, and provide a smooth, reliable surface for foot traffic and wheelchairs.
All our equipment can be quickly and easily set up and torn down between events. We also offer mobile carts for convenient transport and storage.
As mentioned before, the outdoor, weather-resistant platform we’re working on can be set up and remain outdoors for extended periods of time. Designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions (cold or hot), churches will find it appealing for hosting worship services, weddings, confirmations, funerals, and more.
In what innovative ways have you seen churches adapt to keep members and guests safe on their campuses during COVID?
Albrecht: As congregation sizes are required to be smaller for the time being, churches are enhancing the experience through screens and media; it helps people feel closer to the service. Our camera platforms and additional staging equipment offer a lot of options for enhancing the virtual churchgoing experience, while keeping the congregation safely at home.
Crowd control barricades are helpful for directing people in and out of the venue. They also help create a dedicated flow of traffic before and after services.
A lot of churches are hosting services outside when possible, so they need outdoor staging, camera platforming, and sometimes even flooring.
Good stewardship is always a priority for church leaders. When the pandemic is over, what are potential future uses for portable platforms, risers, barricades and so on?
Our platforms and equipment can be used and reused indoor or outdoor, for church services or weddings, or for crowds of all sizes. Their versatility and ease of setup and tear down gives churches many options for reconfiguring their space for all kinds of different events.
Even though our products are designed to look and feel permanent, they can be installed in a temporary setting, permitting them to be used repeatedly in various configurations. They provide the appeal of a heavy investment without the heavy cost.
— Reporting by RaeAnn Slaybaugh