Richmond Events’ (R.E) is an event organizing private company, which organizes strategic business forums on cruise ships. Their main aim is to bring together buyer and sellers. The operating system at R.E spans over several weeks.
The first stage takes place several weeks the before the event itself starts. R.E maps out the participants. And carefully carve out the meeting plans with the help of their software tool; Richmond Engine. They in this time receive meeting requests and then make individual itineraries for each participant. And if some participant doesn’t wants to meet some company, R.E takes care of this through their software. Participants are then sent itineraries; explaining their 2 day meeting schedules.
Second Stage (Setup)
The next stage, stage 2 is the day of event. On this very day IT staff right from the morning sets up IT systems and appointment systems, which could readily be available all over the ship. Along with the IT staff conference staff and contractors too, arrive. They make shore everything from conference sets to dress rooms and audio visual aids are in place and available.
The next step starts right after the operating staff and managers arrive the early afternoon. They make sure they are in place to greet the arriving guests. Thus right from 3pm the guest starts arriving. And from 3 to 5pm the guests keep on arriving and orientation takes place.
The next is the managers help the speakers’ setup and prepare for the presentations. This also marks the end of “the setup stage” that is second stage.
Third Stage (The Event)
The third stage, “the event”, starts at 6pm. This is the first scheduled event; opening presentation. This presentation explains plan and objectives of the 2 day event. From 7 to 8 pm the guests are free. And during this time they are served dinner. The dinner itself proves to be a good time for the guests to have first meeting between buyers and sellers. The dinner is then followed by casual meetings and discussions in bars and casinos or the lounges. And the first day activities end here.
STAGE 3 (THE EVENT)
7 PM TO 8 PM
12 HALF HOUR MEETINGS
STAGE 1 (PITCHING)
SEVERAL WEEKS BEFORE EVENT
The second day consists of main course. The meetings according to itineraries take place on this day. The whole day consists of participant meeting other participants. Suppliers get engaged into 12 half hour meetings. These meetings help each supplier engage for sufficient time with buyers. Along these meeting the three meals are served to participants. And these meals each include 2 additional customers. Where as buyers spend their half time with suppliers and rest in meeting in the conference sessions. Thus buyers and sellers are both catered with planned management of time.
2. Describe RE’s competitors and its competitive operating advantages.
R.E in event organizing sector is faced by many competitors. R.E itself being a company formed out by an MBO is relatively new to some of its competitors. But along its way, its performing well by following its unique business model. Namely we can say some competitors are:
Reed ExhibitionsEmapHaymarketDMG World MediaGL Events
3. Consider RE’s approach to soft systems and identify the challenges they face.
The soft systems approach to their problem is quite a serious one. That is because Rayner and Parkes disagree on quite much of the growth and the management plans. Rayner is of point of view that the employees should be given autonomy while management. But Parkes disagrees to this. Parkes says that the management of these senior level events should be handled by more experienced managers, rather than new and inexperienced. This further leads to the problem whether they should be trained or not. Same cases here both disagree. Parkes says the new employees should be given enough training so that they could have enough experience to tackle problems. But Rayner her again disagrees to her by saying that they should be given freedom to learn on the job and innovate at the same time. This would help them excel more in the hierarchical level than the approach used by Parkes. Further Rayner wants to expand further into the Far East Asia. As according to him Asia is larger market. And it can cater their expansion plans. And with some modifications to the business model they can make good profits in Asia. But Parkes says according to her research every market has it’s owns requirements and needs. And as they have face problems in the USA market, difficulties expanding. Similarly they can face problems in the Asian market. Because for examples Japanese is high context society; which doest prefer senior management meeting face-to-face with lower management. So these cultural problems for R.E models could be disastrous. They need to create some understanding between each other.
So both have soft problems; psychological disagreements with each other. They have serious problems regarding decisions. These contradictions with each other could translate into something more painful. So they need to respond to these problems in systematic way. At the moment they aren’t communicating well enough with each other. So they need to carve the problems they have. After they have come out with the problems they need to compare it with the real world. Meaning is Rayner’s or Parkes’ approach right. These approaches must fit into the world and should be based on facts. Because solving these problems need to build a feasible alternatives or solutions according to the real world requirements. After they have decided what are the feasible and best fit options or in other word that is right, they should take proper and authentic action according to the decided decisions. Further the management can also step in and find the best solution according to the requirement. The debates should be held to solve the problems.
4. What recommendations would you have for a change in RE’s strategic direction and how this change might be introduced?
Though there is sustained growth in UK they should think of reinvesting the sustained profits back into their company. But the problem which lies ahead of them is an internal one. They are faced with different views of strategic direction within the company. Rayner and Parkes both think of taking the company in their desired direction.
Setting up Vision and Mission Statements
Firstly they need to resolve the direction in which they want to go. They aren’t clear with the direction they want R.E to take. Will R.E expand or will it reinvest by looking at the current scenarios. First step they need to take is set up a clear vision statement. This would underline and point out their direction the map. After they have a clear vision statement they can then workout on their mission plan. What they want to do with their company.
Mapping out these would somewhat help them decide what path they want to take. Further there should be one decision making person. Because without one supreme decision taker there would always be problems on the final say. So management should vote out one among Rayner and Parkes.
Solving internal problems
If we look at the problems between them we can also take decisive approach, because there is always a middle way to every problem. As Rayner says that the employees should be given autonomous management powers, whereas Parkes contradicts to this approach. What they should do is initially train the new employees and then train them on the job under strict supervision. Then when they are trained enough and well they should be tested by giving tasks. These tasks should be further increased and their level of difficulty should be increased. Thus making them innovate and at the same time are under supervisions of any experienced manager. They both posses’ extreme approaches. Rayners approach not to train employees would not be better for the growth of the employees. While approach of Parkes is also conservative in a sense that employees under too much supervisions rust out their minds. Their capability to think out of the box condenses. Thus it’s better for the employees to train and have autonomous powers to manage.
Another problem they contradict is the problem of whether to expand or not. Now Parkes approach is quite right that applying the same model on Asia wouldn’t always yield profitable results s it did in Italy. It was a coincidence that the model worked in Italy but it may not be true for example Japan. The problem faced in the USA market is an alarm for them. Because word of mouth strategy as it worked in UK, didn’t worked in USA due its geographic. So what they need to do is to expand into Asia, because Asia has a lot of potential. And with economic conditions decorating in UK and USA markets, Asia could prove to be a good hedging investment. But applying the same model would be a disaster for R.E. What they should do is altogether change their business model. Though it has proved to be a competitive advantage in this market, but it may not in Asia. Asia being high context society needs to be dealt accordingly. Their culture is quite different from Europe and USA (West). Moving into East would require a whole new shape to the business model. As the Japanese senior-level executives rarely engage in face-to-face conversation with fellow sellers. So this model is going to be difficult to apply there. In the Japanese market they need to take an approach which would suit their culture. Unlike UK market which prefers executives meeting executives, the Japanese market should be introduced with middle management meeting the middle management, rather than senior. Because Japanese market prefers putting forward their middle managers for such deals. Thus it would be more appropriate to use middle management meeting format. Everything else which is the 30 minute approach would prove successful in the Japanese market, as they are punctual about time.
And the problem the USA business is facing is of quite problem. Because according to the case applying British model in USA wasn’t beneficial. They have two options. Either get out of the USA market or either invests more in the USA SBU. But that would require a lot of funds. So they could either expand to Asia or reinvest in USAbusiness. The US SBU lacks an experienced team. So for short term they could either send experienced supervisors to USA SBU or hire experienced management. Both options could be disastrous and fruitful at the same time. British experienced supervisors in USA could save hiring cost, but at the same time it would add the British flavor in the management, which they at the first place want to avoid. So what they could do is hire experienced staff in the USA. But further expansion in USA wouldn’t be beneficial due to recession. So expanding in Asia at the moment and waiting for the right to invest the Asian profits back in USA would be somewhat the right policy and strategic direction they should follow. Because China still has a growth rate of almost 8.7%, while India has 7.4%., so these two can prove to be potential growth markets for R.E. And reap good profits until the recession is over. On the other hand USA having growth rate of -2.6%, while European Union has -4.1% and UK has -4.9%. So even though UK markets are supporting sustained growth for the companies, but still future looks risky. So going abroad to Asia would be better option to opt for the time being.
CIA . (2009). Library : CIA
. Retrieved January 7, 2011, from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2003rank.html
DMG Events. (2009). About Us: DMG Events Corporation
. Retrieved January 7, 2011, from DMG Events Web site: http://www.dmgevents.com/
Emap. (2006). About Us:Emap Corporation
. Retrieved January 7, 2011, from Emap Corporation Web site: http://www.emap.com
GL Events. (2009). About Us: GL Events Corporation
. Retrieved January 7, 2011, from GL Events Web site: http://www.gl-events.com
Haymarket. (2011). About Us: Haymarket Corporation
. Retrieved January 7, 2011, from Haymarket Corporation Web site: http://www.haymarket.com
http://www.answers.com. (2010). Retrieved January 7, 2011, from http://www.answers.com
IMF. (2010, October). Retrieved January 7, 2011, from http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2010/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=31&pr.y=11&sy=2009&ey=2009&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=512,941,914,446,612,666,614,668,311,672,213,946,911,137,193,962,122,674,912,676,313,548,419,556,513,678,316,181,913,
Reed Exhibitions. (2009). About Us: Reed Exhibitions
. Retrieved January 7, 2011, from Reed Exhibitions Corporation Web site: http://www.reedexpo.com
Richmond Events. (n.d.). About Us: Richmond Events
. Retrieved January 7, 2011, from Richmond Events Corporation Web site: http://www.richmondevents.com