Recently I have written and tweeted about communication with customers.  On a few occasions I have discussed Chicago Craft Beer Week.  I have been a bit disappointed in the flow of information coming from then.  At the bottom of this post is the full text of their email to me.  They made a comment that they would welcome constructive criticism, and well, I like that.  I want to recognize their upfront willingness to get feedback.  I also feel that if you point out a problem you should be able to attempt to provide a solution.

The biggest problem I have with Chicago Beer Week is the slow output of information.  One of the reasons for this slow output is that some proprietors were slow to provide information.  I feel like there has been an all or nothing sort of attitude.  I may be wrong, but it is as if they do not want to publish things until a majority if not all of the places are ready.  The Passports and smartphone apps have also been delayed for what I believe is the same reason.  My solution for the website is simple, start publishing as soon as you have information.  Yes it may mean there is a partial schedule, but it allows the bars who get their act together quickly to be rewarded, and motivate other bars to inform you.  Additionally, this will take preasure off the webmaster to launch an entire site at once.

For the smartphone apps and passports, which are not being mailed out until the 48 hours before the event, I recommend deadlines.  A hard and final deadline for the proprietors to get Beer Week organizers their information, and allow them to get this information to consumers.

I understand this is the first year it has been organized on this scale.  I hope to see each successive year on an even bigger scale.  Just because something has not been done before does not mean we can’t do our best.   If a proprietor has paid to be involved in this week’s events and feels like he has not financially benefited will he participate next year?  I skipped going to a festival in Ohio because information was too slow to roll out.  Did people not make plans to come to Chicago?

I am looking forward to a great series of events.  I will be attending at least three of them and probably more.  Look for my review on the events and the week as a whole when it is all over.

Their Email to me:


We couldn’t help but notice some of your tweets recently. We couldn’t agree more with your thoughts about the need for businesses, particularly bars and restaurants, to better publicize their information regarding special events/hours.
The Beer Week is a production that depends on each one of the participating businesses to provide and input their own information. As you are already keenly aware, this is a process that is easier said than done. Additionally, the Beer Week is a labor of love and no one is making a full time salary to see it through. The combination of these two factors sometimes creates difficulties that prevent things from operating precisely as planned. As such, the Passports and apps (both of which are completely dependent on information received from participants) are not available as early as hoped. But they will both be available before the start of the events on May 19th.
Additionally, this is the first year that the Beer Week is operating at this level of magnitude or organization. Things of this nature take time to reach perfection, and we’re sure that future years will be even better. That being said, this year is still going to be pretty impressive and we have a good deal of faith that a great many beer drinkers will thoroughly enjoy themselves throughout the Week.
We appreciate your interest and the extent that you care about the Beer Week and our efforts. We also welcome your constructive feedback and input as to how the Week can be improved moving forward.
CCBW Staff






  1. […] the communication skills of the organizing committee.  I already addressed most of the concerns here and here.  I think some of their plans were brilliant in concept but flawed in execution.  The […]

  2. Tracy Quick says:

    great site

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