Badminton Horse Trials is considered one of the most reputable events on a global scale. Recently, several innovations were introduced by the management in an attempt to stay relevant to the attendees. The following case identifies the current stage of Badminton’s development, identifies challenges characteristic for the stage, and lists external influences that may impact its life cycle.
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Several challenges are expected to be encountered by Badminton at the current stage of its growth. First, it is necessary to acknowledge that in its current form, the duration of the main competition is incompatible with the Olympic competition standards. The explicit refusal to alter the format of the event voiced by the event director suggests that the organization capitalizes on the loyalty of its target population. However, it is reasonable to expect that at least some of the professionals will be repelled by the conservative attitude, leading to a partial decrease in attendance.
Second, the massive surge in popularity observed after the restructuring of the course and a hiatus caused by the foot-and-mouth disease the previous year may result in logistical difficulties during the preparation phase. More importantly, the online booking service introduced to comply with the increased demand can create unforeseen difficulties. For instance, it is possible that due to certain technical issues, a number of booking records are lost or filled in erroneously. Considering the tight schedule of the event, this challenge may lead to a disruption of the event’s schedule. In addition, at least some of the participants may experience difficulties while using the system due to the unfamiliarity with the new interface.
At this point, it is worth mentioning that due to the continuous nature of the event, it becomes prone to disruptions. For instance, the failure of a participant to start within a narrow window (three to four minutes) can shift the entire event, compromising its value. From this perspective, the risk of errors created by the novel booking system becomes especially prominent.
Finally, the decision to make forward car parks only available through advanced sales can lead to major confusion. It is likely that at least some of the visitors will be unfamiliar with the change and will face the inability to obtain a parking slot upon arrival. As a result, the success of the campaign will partially depend on the availability of external vendors offering substitute services.
Considering the information above, it is possible to identify the current stage of Badminton’s growth as maturity. There are several reasons for this. First, it is evident that the number of visitors is large enough to generate profit at a steady rate. In addition, the current scope and scale of the event ensure a predictable attendance rate, which is also characteristic of the maturity phase. While a recent spike in business activity is apparent, it is most likely related to the availability of novel practices and services and, therefore, is temporary. Finally, the decision to relocate cash flows to the introduction of new services despite the existing success is consistent with the recommended strategic decisions made at the corresponding stage.
Finally, it is important to identify the most feasible external impacts that may impact Badminton’s life cycle. First, it is possible to expect that further changes in standards and requirements will necessitate significant changes in the event’s format. For example, a conversion to a one-day event would require major logistical adjustments associated with considerable expenses. In a similar manner, the environmental policies and regulations introduced by animal rights activists could result in the removal of certain elements or competitions. Finally, the reliance on external vendors in the delivery of services can compromise operational stability by introducing unforeseen challenges.
As can be seen, the current approach used in the case of Badminton suggests the onset of a maturity stage of growth. Admittedly, several external factors have the potential to undermine the stability associated with it. Nevertheless, investing in innovations is expected to open new revenue streams in the long term.