Due to the pandemic, the Mayor of D.C., Muriel Bowser, wanted to honor graduating students and faculty. DC Public Schools (DCPS) contacted us about two month out from the first day of graduations to help them pull together five days worth of back to back ceremonies at Audi Field. We’ve worked with DCPS many times so we know how they work and what they like, but it was also important to take care of the thousands of students, faculty and guests we’d be working with after the tumultuous past year. And, with COVID protocols in place.
An aggressive timeline. With roughly one month to plan, we had to onboard 17 schools, coordinate Team meetings with their internal staff, attend site visits, map out alphabetic seating in the stadium, familiarize ourselves with the run of show for each school and apply it to Audi Field and then relay it all in a cohesive manner which our vendor teams could understand.
Eighteen clients. In addition to our main client, we had seventeen end clients which were individual high schools. Within each high school, was a team of graduation regulars who knew the nuances of their schools ceremony that we had to translate to Audi Field. We managed to set-up individual calls with each team at least twice via an app and then shared our screen in Teams to show them diagrams of the field, guidelines, etc.
Extreme heat and humidity. We worked onsite at Audi Field for four days in June and one day in August. August is typically hot and humid, but the week in June was really intense. We kept students and faculty in lower concourses until it was absolutely necessary for them to be out in the elements. Four bottles of water was available for each student and guest and we had EMT services onsite to assist with anyone who overheated.
The graduations were seamless from one to the next and students and faculty were elated with the facilities and ease with how these all came together to honor their students. We’ll be back next year to help DCPS do this again!
AV – The Media Works
EMT – GW Medical Faculty Associates
Plants – Plants Alive!
Photography – Stephen Bobb
Staging – RCI Systems
Translators – ContextGlobal, Transperfect
Venue – Audi Field
Water – U.S. Office Solutions