Beer is knocked out of the World Cup earlier than expected

Is anybody surprised by the reports coming out of Russia that beer-supplies are running low?  Even without experience in capacity planning or event organisation and management, it is not difficult to foresee that a World Cup tournament will attract hundreds and thousands of beer-drinking football supporters to the host cities.  Combine a lack of careful forethought with the implementation of a control on beer sales (a ludicrous idea) that limits where and when beer can be purchased and consumed by visitors, and an inevitable chaos will ensue.

Focusing on a single concept — restraint, order and control — without simultaneously adapting the requirements to provide an environment in which visitors feel welcome, relaxed and safe is not the most intelligent way to plan an event.  Ostensibly herding visitors into ‘fan zones’ where a limited choice of beers is available at limited times has the potential to result in unrestrained behaviour, disorder and a lack of control.

Planning in the world of beer requires a lot of cognitive flexibility, an ability to quickly respond to fast-paced shifts in trends, behaviour and likely outcomes.  Maybe we are not seeing the best example of this if we look towards Russia at this crucial time for its public image.

One Muscovite who works in the hospitality industry is reported to have said “There are really a lot of people in Moscow…and they are all drinking [beer].”  Whoever did the planning was a little premature in seemingly expecting the situation to be any different.

The events leading to a shortage of beer have occurred in exactly the manner expected by anybody who recognises drinkers and drinking-habits.  The cheap beer was all consumed first, leaving the premium beers till last — and now these are rapidly disappearing too.



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