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What Should an Event Organiser Do in View of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

March 20, 2020 | Author: Anwar | Posted in Event

What Should an Event Organiser do in view of Coronavirus

The corona virus disease (COVID-19) has shaken the world when the outbreak of the contagious virus started in about late December of 2019. Since then, tens of thousands of people have been infected with the disease within and outside of China, including the rest of the world. This has affected billions of people across the globe, in their daily commute as well as events that have been scheduled to occur in 2020. With the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments urging people to cut down on unnecessary travel and clamping down on large scale events and activities, as well as putting a ban on large gatherings and some going as far to even activate lock downs on cities and countries to prevent the spread of the disease. In light of this, how can event companies accommodate the changes that are happening and at the same time prevent major losses during such a crucial time?

This article seeks to look into the events that have been affected and what actions event management services are taking towards combating the spread of the disease and prevent the cancellations of such event company.

WHO has advised the public to prevent the spread of the disease by maintaining social distancing, and seek medical care and rest at home if they experience any described symptoms of the disease. As it has been confirmed that the disease can be spread through surfaces, the. Additionally, many governments have put in place restrictions for events that exceed a certain number of people. The cancellation of mass gatherings has been highly encouraged, although should event companies decide to go on with the event, they would have to implement stricter reinforcements during entry to ensure the safety of participants.

Coachella The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, also known as Coachella, is an annual music festival that is held in Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California. Started in 1999, It has grown from a small indie music festival to a large festival with major music artists headlining the event. In recent years, they have expanded to featuring art installations and has also become a major fashion hotspot for bohemian-inspired styles. They were slated to host their 21st edition of the festival in two instalments from April 10 – 12 as well as April 17 – 19, which has unfortunately been announced to postpone not until 6 months later in October.

The event organizer, Golden voice, decided to make the decision to postpone to prevent the cancellation of the event due to the effect of the corona virus outbreak. Riverside County, California, where Coachella is held, had its public health officer order cancellations or postponement of large gatherings after 2 deaths were reported in California. The festival is known for its huge crowds including both enthusiastic festival-goers as well as many celebrities. Each year, they reportedly host 100,000 visitors on each day of the festival. With the festival postponed to the fall, the organizers now scramble to arrange with talent agents to retain as much of the line up as possible.

Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo

The Olympics has been long known to be one of the leading international sporting events that feature summer and winter competitions. Held once every 4 years, there are thousands of athletes from over 200 countries that participate in various competitions. The 2020 Summer Olympics, also known as the XXXII Olympiad, is slated to be held in Tokyo, Japan from the 24th of July to 9th of August. Qualifiers have been held from May 1st 2019 – June 29th 2020. Due to the increasing spread of the corona virus, a couple of qualifiers have been cancelled or postponed, while some of the participating teams have been determined, it affects the outcome of participating teams since there are many others who are waiting to go through preliminaries.

This has sparked many concerns over fairness as well as problems that may arise due to conflicting schedules with different regions as well as other major sporting events for different types of sports. Some athletes have spoken up about the postponement of the Olympics, asking for it to be cancelled as it will affect athletes from being able to qualify for the games, as well as the uncertainty if qualifiers can still be held in time for the Olympics, or if the games would even be held altogether. The torch-lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia was held on 12th March without any spectators present during the dress rehearsal as well as the actual ceremony, the first in 35 years. This was part of the organizers bid to increase tighter measures against the corona virus.

The fate of the Olympics has yet to be decided. It seems highly unlikely to be cancelled, but with the nature of the timeline and the amount of time athletes take to prepare for the games, It might have to be postponed till much later.


NBA season is an annual basketball tournament that consists of 30 teams from the United States and Canada, held by the National Basketball Association (NBA). It is considered to be the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world. This year’s season, 2019-20 NBA season, is slated to last from 22nd October 2019 till April 15th 2020. However, the NBA announced on 11th March 2020 that the season would be suspended. This followed the news of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who tested positive for the corona virus. During the day of the scheduled game against Oklahoma City Thunder, Gobert was feeling unwell two days prior to getting diagnosed.He was eventually brought to test for the disease and it was confirmed hours later. The NBA had to call off the game and informed spectators that the match was cancelled. The next day, his teammate, Donovan Mitchell, also tested positive for the disease. Players who played against Utah Jazz had to undergo self-isolation, and they were all told to prepare for the possibility that they have to play without fans, and only essential personnel can be present. While it is not confirmed, the postponement might have to last until June.

Champions League

Champions League

The UEFA Champions League, also known as the European Cup, is a football competition held yearly within Europe. It is organised by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) and has 32 teams competing with each other during a season which lasts for 11 months, from qualifying to the actual competition. The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League, which is in its 65th season, had its qualifying rounds from 25th June till 28 August 2019 and was supposed to have its Competition proper from 17th September 2019 till 30th May. However, on the 15th of March 2020, UEFA announced that all matches from that week onwards were to be postponed. They aim to postpone all activities by a month, hopefully completing all planned games by 30th of June.

Special Mentions

Special Mentions In the 21st Century, with the widespread improvement of travel and entertainment over the years, many artists from all over the world are able to host tours all around the world as well as their own region. This ranged from music concerts, shows, comedy concerts, as well as theatre productions. This allows entertainment not to be just enjoyed on electronic gadgets and tv, it can also be experienced live. Revenue in the music events segment amounts to US$24,837 million in 2020, according to Statista. Such events can be very diverse, with some fans flying to different countries to be able to attend events to see celebrities live. With the issue of the corona virus situation, Governments have been trying to reduce gatherings with large amounts, and many concerts host hundreds or even thousands of attendees that come together.

This is definitely a concern as it can encourage much faster spreading of the disease with a lack of social distancing. Many artists have chosen to cancel or postpone their concerts, including Madonna, Green Day, Guns N’ Roses and many more. There are also many music festivals that have been cancelled, including Ultra Music Festival, which was to be held in Europe, as well as the South by Southwest (SXSW) that was to be held in Texas. Even world-famous circus Cirque du Soleil, which is a contemporary circus that performs in various locations around the world, has had their shows suspended in light of the situation. Many event management services have been greatly affected by these situations, and are forced to quickly come up with a feasible solution to ensure the safety of participants, as well as reduce the amount of losses occurring as much as possible.

In Conclusion, it seems that with the imminent effects of COVID-19, it has put off many event organizers as no one predicted to have a worldwide epidemic sweeping through the globe. Moreover, with the fact that many events were planned to be held this year due to ongoing traditions over the decades as well as celebrating the beginning of a new decade.

It has put a damper on many as the celebratory mood has evolved into one with fear for the future. Most event organizers have either chosen to limit the number of audiences attending the event, postponing the event to a later date, hosting the event without spectators to prevent spreading, or even cancelling the event company. However, with past experiences throughout history of unforeseen circumstances affecting major events, event organizers must not forget and apply relevant lessons to prevent their events from suffering even major losses. Event companies must also be alert and be ready to whip out possible contingency plans to support the government and world in the fight against the virus to reduce the spread as rapidly as possible. We cannot predict when the epidemic will end, but the actions taken can be carefully calculated to improve the current situation.

Author: Anwar

This author has published 4 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.

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