Library Dissertation Showcase

Covid-19 impact, crisis management, and recovery: UK event professionals’ perspectives

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

The ongoing crisis of Covid-19 has disrupted social and economic activities globally with the industries of tourism, leisure, and hospitality being severely harmed, and many businesses struggling to survive. The events industry, as an integral part of tourism, leisure, hospitality, arts and culture, but also the corporate world, has been decimated as strict pandemic mitigation measures contrast the essential conditions of operation of the sector, which has lost its core product: the live experience. For this reason, the aim of this dissertation is to explore how the events industry is affected across its value chain, how professionals have managed the crisis and business continuity during Covid-19, as well as how they are preparing for the recovery of the sector and reimagining the new normal post-Covid-19. The dissertation focuses on the case study area of the United Kingdom, where event professionals from different segments of the events industry’s value chain were interviewed for the collection of primary data. The qualitative methodology followed allowed to capture the experientiality of the participants during the crisis and gain input related to the crisis impact on events, CM strategies, and considerations for the new reality when live events return. The study proves that the crisis has disrupted the industry as a whole, where digital and economic inequalities are exposed, and for some companies, the crisis has turned into a complete disaster. The return of live events is ambiguous related to time and shape, but important emphasis should be given on content, health and safety, and the changing consumer behaviour of attendees, while events will shrink, and the virtual element constitutes a new trend. Moreover, the industry notes fragmentation in the crisis management effort which challenges its recovery, and companies lack strategizing and business continuity plans alongside governmental support. In this way, the crisis has exposed problematic elements of the industry, which are identified in this study, and the industry of the future is reimagined as more united, professional, recognised by authorities, and more resilient.

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