In spite of the challenges of recent months, shopping centers across Ireland are making it clear that Christmas will still be the highlight of 2020. Festive lighting and decoration, holiday treats, and annual events that families look forward to year-on-year are still going ahead through the country, but with a strong emphasis on keeping shoppers and employees safe.
“We’re equally committed to the safety of our customers and our teams,” said John Riordan, Managing Director of MK Illumination. “That’s why we’ve been working closely with shopping centers across the country to understand their specific health and safety procedures so that we can adjust our delivery and implementation plans accordingly. We’re making sure that we’re following national regulations and guidelines, too.”
Christmas lighting and decorative concepts typically take months to plan and produce. Large, multi-disciplinary teams create detailed installation plans and often work throughout the night to magically transform shopping centers into spaces filled with festive cheer where Christmas memories can be made. So how has the pandemic affected the creation of Christmas experiences this year?
“For starters, people are placing orders later, which has meant that we had to anticipate needs and produce lighting and decoration in advance to cater for last-minute requests,” says Riordan. “In terms of installation planning, we’re turning large installation teams into ‘pods’ of no more than 4 people to ensure their safety, with multiple ‘pods’ working together—but at a distance—to make the magic happen.”
These are just two examples but Riordan has many more. His message for shopping centers who are uncertain about planning their festive lighting?
“Communities need Christmas, and what it stands for, more than ever before this year. With some forethought, it’s possible to create experiences that are safe and spectacular,” he says. “Christmas in Ireland definitely isn’t cancelled.”