The Qingdao International Beer Festival’s Pandemic Predicament
(8 pages of text)
In mid-2020, the organizer of the Qingdao International Beer Festival (QIBF) faced a predicament. The QIBF was an annual festival held every August in Qingdao, China; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizer had initially abandoned the idea of holding the QIBF in 2020. By the end of March 2020, the spread of the pandemic in China had been basically contained. The organizer then decided to restart the event preparations. However, on June 12, 2020, a second COVID-19 outbreak occurred in Beijing. Could the QIBF be held as expected in August 2020? What should be done to control the pandemic’s spread and coordinate the planning and design work of the festival? Based on this predicament, could the organizer meet the festival's goals while safeguarding the health of all participants?
This case can be used in an advanced undergraduate- or graduate-level course on event management to introduce the topic of holding a festival and to focus on identifying economic benefits, current challenges, and potential risks. It can also be used in a risk management course to identify and evaluate the risk factors in holding a festival and the possible risk management solutions during a pandemic; or in a strategic management course in a section on stakeholder analysis. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Discuss the organizer’s motives for holding an event during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Analyze the key stakeholders in this event and their possible considerations and viewpoints.
- Estimate attendees' health risks and identify possible countermeasures the organizer could take in response.
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the various options for holding this event during a pandemic.
China, Large, 2020
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