A Slack channel has been created specifically for use by owners, operators and other key players in the family entertainment center (FEC) industry so they have a place to come together and share knowledge, best practices and ideas with each other during, and then after, the COVID-19 crisis. Those in the FEC community who would like to participate in the channel and contribute value can request to join at http://fecinternational.org.
Created by a small group within the FEC Community, the Slack channel has grown to include nearly 200 participants around the world within just a few weeks since it was created at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The seed for the idea actually came from several stakeholders in the FEC community, and we moved quickly and collaboratively to bring it to life because we knew we couldn’t waste any time helping each other navigate the craziness,” says founding member Christine Buhr, Former Owner and President of Shakers Fun Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “There’s a clear need for this new way for all of us to stay in touch with each other, share a variety of ideas and, candidly, sometimes commiserate a bit about many of the issues we’re all struggling with now and working hard to address.”
The FEC International Community on Slack features a variety of channels that participants can use to talk about specific topics amongst all participants or just a few, depending on the nature of the conversation and need. There’s a channel featuring industry news and events, a channel for FEC professionals to become introduced to each other for the first time, a channel for specific needs and requests and, of course, a robust channel specific to COVID-19 given its relevance and immediacy.
While many of the conversations in the COVID-19 are centered on how industry peers are navigating the rough waters around operational and financial matters, there’s also discussion around planning for the recovery period after the pandemic and preparing now for a successful rebound.
“While the channel was created in light of the struggles FEC owners and operators are dealing with currently, the intent is for the FEC International Community to stay active well beyond this tough period for everyone,” says Buhr. “The friendships, relationships and trust we’re forging now with each other will be strong as a result, and we want to leverage that in the future when things return to normal again.”
In order to join, an interested participant only needs to provide their name, their business name, a little background about their business, and a brief statement about the help they’re seeking.