Hamilton wins EDPA EDDIE Award for Best Pivot

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Hamilton scores top EDPA award recognizing extraordinary pivot to provide 200,000-plus COVID-19 vaccines in Indiana

Leveraging its deep experiential expertise, Hamilton pivoted its traditional service offerings and organized numerous outdoor COVID-19 mass vaccination efforts for FEMA, IDOH and DOD across Indiana in 2020-21. “Hamilton has stepped up several times this year in critical ways to help the Indiana Department of Health,” said Kristina Box, MD, Indiana State Commissioner of Health.

Drawing numerous accolades from federal and state officials for “doing whatever it takes,” Hamilton’s extensive 2021 pivot earned top recognition from the Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) with an EDDIE Award, according to Jason Weddle, Hamilton CEO. The award was formally presented at the annual ACCESS Conference on December 1st.

The 2021 EDPA EDDIE award for Best Industry Pivot recognized Hamilton for its internal innovation during a time when traditional external events were largely shut down. Hamilton drew on its corporate culture of stepping in and adapting the skills of its proven professional event staff to create multiple complex mass COVID-19 vaccination events. The 2021 effort created a complex and efficient platform capable of delivering more than 200,000 vaccines.

“Being named for this award was most unusual and humbling as Hamilton was privileged to be selected to support a high-intensity statewide effort that helped save thousands of lives and helped keep people out of emergency rooms and hospitals,” explained Weddle. “Given the wide array of weather, logistical and supply issues that we faced, we received several positive comments from federal and state officials for doing whatever it takes to deliver these life-saving vaccines.”

Hamilton was responsible to plan and support multiple Indiana mass vaccination and mobile vaccine sites at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the University of Notre Dame, Gary (a FEMA site), the IVY Tech campus in Sellersburg, and several mobile sites across Indiana.

“Hamilton has stepped up several times this year in critical ways to help the Indiana Department of Health,” said Kristina Box, MD, Indiana State Commissioner of Health. “Their valuable expertise works seamlessly with our staff in planning and executing these important operations.”

The call for service first came in February 2021 from the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH). Pulling Hamilton’s planning and execution resources together in an “all-hands-on-deck” effort, Hamilton organized, set up and operated a massive outdoor vaccine operation on the IVY Tech campus in Sellersburg, Indiana (near Louisville, Kentucky off I-65). Despite rainy and cold inclement weather, the massive operation went off without a hitch, with multiple thousands of people driving through for a COVID-19 vaccine over a three-day campaign. Hamilton was given the bare minimum of set -up time, and pre-positioning assets nearby to meet very tight deadlines.

Multiple additional site assignments followed, each with its own unique set of challenges. Hamilton leveraged its extensive staff expertise and long-time networks of vendors to plan and assemble each of the sites. Special tents, command centers, electrical and heat facilities (including back-up) and more were all erected at each site.

Over a period of months, Hamilton battled high winds, storms, snow, crumbling buildings and numerous supply chain issues to plan, build and execute the various operations.

“For each of these sites, our deep experience paid off through extensive rollout of the vaccination events—which, apart from the urgency and its life-saving focus—in many ways resembled traditional high-end event management, including installation of tents, rentals, transportation, traffic cones, and the labor necessary to direct and control traffic,” explained Weddle. “Working with IDOH, we were also tasked with ensuring that strict protocols related to vaccine storage and handling were maintained by ensuring consistent electrical connections for refrigeration along with backup power contingencies in the event of any failure.”

Hamilton documented the major Notre Dame and Ivy Tech events in two different video productions, see below: 

“It was a challenging time, but our staff was up to the task,” said Weddle. Known nationally for its award-winning capacity to create immersive brand experiences for clients ranging from international Fortune 50 to mid-sized companies, Hamilton faced a near-complete shutdown of its scheduled industry bookings in 2020.

Accordingly, in the first quarter of 2020, Hamilton first pivoted its traditional service offerings to begin designing and building innovative solutions to help schools and businesses safely stay open. Numerous new CDC-approved structures and support quickly appeared. This proactive “can-do” focus allowed Hamilton to further pivot its deep experience when the opportunities for supporting mass vaccination operations appeared.

Hamilton today is refocused on its traditional service offering of immersive brand experiences as the event industry reignites. But given its successful experience in supporting governmental vaccine operations, the company does continue to market a new line of services in the specialty Government and NGO marketplace. Learn more about Support and Safety solutions



About EDPA

Founded in 1954, the Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) is recognized internationally and serves thousands of professional members representing more than 300 corporations across 18 countries. The EDDIE Awards recognize outstanding creative achievements for self-promotion within the experiential/event industry across six categories, including Pivot (repositioning in the marketplace). For more information, please visit https://www.edpa.com/