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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Transformation Strategy for Event Planning Company in Corporate Niche

Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Growth-Share Matrix to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

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Consider this scenario: A mid-size event planning company specializing in corporate events is grappling with a stagnant growth-share matrix and intense competition.

The organization faces a 10% decline in client retention due to increased competition and a 20% rise in operational costs. The primary strategic objective is to solidify its market position through operational excellence and innovative service offerings.

Market Analysis

The event planning industry is experiencing a shift towards digital and hybrid events, with increasing demand for personalized and unique experiences.

We begin our analysis by analyzing the primary forces driving the industry:

  • Internal Rivalry: High due to numerous well-established and new entrants offering similar services.
  • Supplier Power: Moderate, as event suppliers (venues, caterers) have some control over pricing and availability.
  • Buyer Power: High, clients have many options and demand high customization and value.
  • Threat of New Entrants: Moderate, barriers to entry are low but building a reputation takes time.
  • Threat of Substitutes: High, digital platforms and DIY event solutions offer alternatives to traditional event planning services.

Emergent trends include the shift towards virtual events, increased demand for sustainability, and the integration of advanced technology in event planning.

  • Virtual Events Growth: This trend creates the opportunity to develop comprehensive virtual event packages, enhancing client reach. The risk is the potential cannibalization of in-person event services.
  • Demand for Sustainability: This shift offers the chance to position as a leader in eco-friendly events, though it requires investment in sustainable practices.
  • Technology Integration: This trend allows for creating immersive and interactive event experiences, though it demands significant CapEx in technology upgrades and staff training.
  • Customization and Personalization: Opportunity to cater to niche markets with bespoke solutions, though it increases complexity and operational challenges.
  • Economic Uncertainty: Presents risk in fluctuating client budgets, necessitating flexible pricing models and cost control measures.

A PEST analysis reveals that political stability and favorable government policies support industry growth, economic factors such as fluctuating corporate budgets pose challenges, social trends towards personalized experiences drive demand, and technological advances offer innovation opportunities but require investment.

Learn more about PEST Market Analysis

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Internal Assessment

This event planning company has strong client relationships and a talented team but faces challenges in scalability and technology adoption.

The organization's strengths include a high client satisfaction rate and a robust vendor network. However, weaknesses such as outdated technology and limited digital capabilities hinder growth. Opportunities lie in expanding digital event offerings and improving operational efficiency. Threats include new market entrants and economic downturns impacting client budgets.

A MOST analysis reveals that the company's mission is to provide exceptional, tailored event experiences. Its objectives include increasing market share and enhancing digital capabilities. Strategies involve leveraging client feedback and partnerships. Tactics focus on refining service offerings and operational processes.

A 4 Actions Framework analysis suggests eliminating redundant processes, reducing operational costs, raising service quality, and creating new digital service lines. This approach aims to streamline operations and enhance client satisfaction.

Distinctive capabilities analysis highlights the company's strong client-centric approach and extensive vendor network as key strengths. However, the lack of advanced technological infrastructure is a significant gap. Developing digital capabilities and integrating innovative technologies will be crucial for maintaining competitiveness and expanding service offerings.

Strategic Initiatives

The leadership team formulated strategic initiatives based on the comprehensive understanding gained from the previous industry analysis and internal capability assessment, outlining specific, actionable steps that align with the strategic plan's objectives over a 3-5 year horizon to drive growth by 20% over the next 12 months .

  • Digital Event Services Expansion: Develop and offer comprehensive virtual and hybrid event packages to capture the growing online event market. The goal is to increase market share and diversify revenue streams. Value creation comes from meeting rising demand for virtual events, expected to boost revenue. Requires investment in technology, training, and marketing.
  • Operational Efficiency Optimization: Streamline internal processes to reduce operational costs by 15%. The goal is to improve profitability. Value creation comes from cost savings and improved service delivery. Requires process reengineering and staff training.
  • Sustainability Leadership: Implement eco-friendly practices and offer green event options to appeal to environmentally conscious clients. The goal is to differentiate the brand and attract new clients. Value creation comes from enhanced brand reputation and client loyalty. Requires investment in sustainable resources and vendor partnerships.
  • Client Relationship Management Enhancement: Strengthen CRM systems to improve client retention and satisfaction. The goal is to increase client retention rates by 10%. Value creation comes from long-term client relationships and repeat business. Requires investment in CRM software and staff training.
  • Technology Integration: Integrate advanced technologies such as AR/VR and AI to create immersive event experiences. The goal is to offer unique, high-value services. Value creation comes from increased client engagement and premium pricing. Requires significant CapEx in technology and R&D.
  • Market Penetration Strategy: Utilize growth-share matrix to identify and target high-growth market segments. The goal is to increase market share by 15%. Value creation comes from entering new, high-potential markets. Requires market research, targeted marketing, and sales efforts.
  • Talent Development Program: Launch a comprehensive training and development program for employees to enhance skills and capabilities. The goal is to improve service quality and staff retention. Value creation comes from a highly skilled workforce and reduced turnover. Requires investment in training programs and resources.
  • Partnership Development: Forge strategic partnerships with technology providers and sustainability experts to enhance service offerings. The goal is to leverage external expertise and resources. Value creation comes from access to cutting-edge technologies and sustainable practices. Requires negotiation and collaboration efforts.

Learn more about Market Research Industry Analysis Value Creation

Growth-Share Matrix Implementation KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.

Without data, you're just another person with an opinion.
     – W. Edwards Deming

  • Client Retention Rate: An increase will reflect the effectiveness of CRM enhancements and client satisfaction improvements.
  • Operational Cost Reduction: Measure the success of efficiency optimization initiatives.
  • Revenue from Digital Services: Track the financial impact of expanding digital event offerings.
  • Employee Skill Development: Assess the effectiveness of the talent development program through skill assessments and retention rates.
  • Sustainability Metrics: Gauge the success of eco-friendly initiatives through metrics such as carbon footprint reduction and client adoption of green services.

These KPIs provide insights into the effectiveness of strategic initiatives, enabling the organization to make data-driven decisions and adjustments to achieve desired outcomes.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

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Stakeholder Management

Success of the strategic initiatives hinges on the involvement and support of both internal and external stakeholders, including event managers, technology partners, and clients.

  • Event Managers: Responsible for implementing new service offerings and operational processes.
  • Technology Partners: Provide the necessary technology and support for digital transformation.
  • Clients: Feedback and engagement are critical for refining and validating new services.
  • Marketing Team: Essential for promoting new service offerings and entering new markets.
  • Finance Team: Manages budget allocation and financial planning for strategic initiatives.
  • HR Team: Oversees talent development programs and employee engagement.
  • Vendors: Collaborate on sustainable practices and enhance service quality.
  • Investors: Provide financial backing for strategic initiatives and growth plans.
Stakeholder GroupsRACI
Event Managers
Technology Partners
Marketing Team
Finance Team
HR Team

We've only identified the primary stakeholder groups above. There are also participants and groups involved for various activities in each of the strategic initiatives.

Learn more about Stakeholder Management Change Management Focus Interviewing Workshops Supplier Management

Growth-Share Matrix Deliverables

These are a selection of deliverables across all the strategic initiatives.

  • Transformation Strategy Deliverable (PPT)
  • Digital Services Expansion Plan (PPT)
  • Operational Efficiency Roadmap (PPT)
  • Sustainability Framework (PPT)
  • Financial Impact Model (Excel)

Explore more Growth-Share Matrix deliverables

Digital Event Services Expansion

The implementation team leveraged several established business frameworks to help with the analysis and implementation of this initiative, including the Resource-Based View (RBV) and the VRIO Framework. RBV focuses on the internal resources of a firm as the primary determinants of competitive advantage. It was particularly useful in this context because it helped identify and utilize the company's unique resources for digital event services. The team followed this process:

  • Conducted a thorough inventory of the company's existing resources, including technology, human capital, and client relationships.
  • Assessed the strategic value of these resources by analyzing their rarity, inimitability, and organization (VRIO criteria).
  • Allocated resources to develop comprehensive digital and hybrid event packages based on the findings.

The team also employed the Value Chain Analysis to identify key activities that could be optimized or enhanced for the digital event services. This framework helped pinpoint areas where the company could add the most value to its clients. The team followed this process:

  • Mapped out the entire value chain of the event planning process, from initial client contact to event execution and follow-up.
  • Identified primary and support activities that could be digitized or improved, such as marketing, event design, and client feedback mechanisms.
  • Implemented digital tools and platforms to streamline these activities, enhancing efficiency and client satisfaction.

The implementation of these frameworks resulted in a 25% increase in client engagement and a 15% boost in revenue from digital services, validating the strategic initiative's effectiveness.

Learn more about Competitive Advantage Value Chain Analysis Value Chain

Growth-Share Matrix Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Growth-Share Matrix. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Growth-Share Matrix subject matter experts.

Operational Efficiency Optimization

The implementation team utilized Lean Six Sigma and the Theory of Constraints (TOC) to optimize operational efficiency. Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that combines lean manufacturing principles and Six Sigma to reduce waste and improve process quality. It was particularly useful in this context because it helped identify inefficiencies and improve process flow. The team followed this process:

  • Conducted a value stream mapping exercise to identify waste and inefficiencies in current processes.
  • Implemented DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology to systematically address identified issues.
  • Trained employees on Lean Six Sigma principles to ensure continuous improvement.

The team also applied the Theory of Constraints to identify and manage bottlenecks within the organization. TOC was useful for pinpointing the most critical constraints that limited operational performance. The team followed this process:

  • Identified the primary constraints in the event planning and execution processes.
  • Implemented focused improvement strategies to alleviate these constraints.
  • Monitored the impact of these changes and adjusted strategies as needed.

The implementation of these frameworks led to a 20% reduction in operational costs and a 30% improvement in process efficiency, significantly enhancing the organization's profitability.

Learn more about Continuous Improvement Value Stream Mapping Six Sigma

Sustainability Leadership

The implementation team employed the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) and the Natural Step Framework to drive sustainability leadership. TBL is a framework that evaluates a company's social, environmental, and economic impact. It was particularly useful in this context because it provided a comprehensive approach to sustainability. The team followed this process:

  • Assessed the company's current practices across social, environmental, and economic dimensions.
  • Set specific, measurable goals for improvement in each area.
  • Implemented initiatives to reduce environmental impact, enhance social responsibility, and ensure economic viability.

The team also utilized the Natural Step Framework, which provides a science-based approach to sustainability. This framework was useful for developing a long-term sustainability strategy. The team followed this process:

  • Conducted a sustainability audit to identify areas for improvement based on the Natural Step principles.
  • Developed a strategic plan to align the company's practices with these principles.
  • Engaged stakeholders to support and participate in sustainability initiatives.

The implementation of these frameworks resulted in a 40% reduction in the company's carbon footprint and increased client interest in sustainable event options, bolstering the company's reputation as a sustainability leader.

Learn more about Leadership

Client Relationship Management Enhancement

The implementation team leveraged Customer Relationship Management (CRM) theory and the Service Profit Chain (SPC) to enhance client relationship management. CRM theory focuses on managing a company's interactions with current and potential customers to improve relationships and drive growth. It was particularly useful in this context because it provided a structured approach to enhancing client interactions. The team followed this process:

  • Implemented a robust CRM system to track and manage client interactions.
  • Segmented clients based on behavior and preferences to tailor communication and services.
  • Developed personalized marketing campaigns to enhance client engagement and retention.

The team also employed the Service Profit Chain, which links service quality to profitability through employee satisfaction and customer loyalty. This framework was useful for understanding the drivers of client satisfaction and loyalty. The team followed this process:

  • Analyzed the relationship between employee satisfaction, service quality, and client loyalty.
  • Implemented initiatives to improve employee engagement and service delivery.
  • Monitored client feedback to continuously refine and improve services.

The implementation of these frameworks led to a 15% increase in client retention rates and a 20% improvement in client satisfaction scores, demonstrating the effectiveness of the enhanced CRM strategy.

Learn more about Employee Engagement Customer Loyalty Customer Relationship Management

Technology Integration

The implementation team utilized the Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) Framework and the Innovation Diffusion Theory to drive technology integration. The TOE Framework examines the influence of technological, organizational, and environmental factors on technology adoption. It was particularly useful in this context because it provided a holistic view of the factors affecting technology integration. The team followed this process:

  • Assessed the technological readiness of the organization, including existing infrastructure and capabilities.
  • Evaluated organizational factors such as culture, structure, and resources that could impact technology adoption.
  • Analyzed environmental factors, including market trends and regulatory requirements, to identify opportunities and challenges.

The team also employed the Innovation Diffusion Theory, which explains how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread. This framework was useful for planning the adoption and diffusion of new technologies. The team followed this process:

  • Identified key stakeholders and opinion leaders within the organization to champion the new technologies.
  • Developed a phased implementation plan to ensure smooth adoption and minimize disruption.
  • Provided training and support to employees to facilitate technology adoption.

The implementation of these frameworks resulted in a 30% increase in technology adoption rates and a significant improvement in the quality and innovation of event services, positioning the company as a technology leader in the event planning industry.

Learn more about Disruption

Market Penetration Strategy

The implementation team leveraged the BCG Matrix and the GE-McKinsey Matrix to formulate the market penetration strategy. The BCG Matrix, also known as the Growth-Share Matrix, helps organizations analyze their business units or product lines based on market growth rate and market share. It was particularly useful in this context because it provided insights into which market segments to focus on. The team followed this process:

  • Classified existing services into four categories: Stars, Cash Cows, Question Marks, and Dogs.
  • Allocated resources to high-growth segments (Stars and Question Marks) to maximize market penetration.
  • Developed targeted marketing and sales strategies for each segment based on their classification.

The team also utilized the GE-McKinsey Matrix, which evaluates business units based on industry attractiveness and competitive strength. This framework was useful for identifying high-potential market segments. The team followed this process:

  • Assessed the attractiveness of various market segments based on factors such as market size, growth rate, and profitability.
  • Evaluated the company's competitive strength in each segment, considering factors like market share, brand reputation, and operational capabilities.
  • Prioritized segments with high attractiveness and strong competitive position for market penetration efforts.

The implementation of these frameworks resulted in a 20% increase in market share and a 15% boost in revenue from high-growth segments, validating the effectiveness of the market penetration strategy.

Learn more about BCG Matrix Growth-Share Matrix

Talent Development Program

The implementation team employed the 70-20-10 Model and the Competency Framework to drive the talent development program. The 70-20-10 Model is a learning and development framework that emphasizes experiential learning (70%), social learning (20%), and formal learning (10%). It was particularly useful in this context because it provided a balanced approach to employee development. The team followed this process:

  • Designed experiential learning opportunities such as on-the-job training and challenging assignments.
  • Facilitated social learning through mentoring, coaching, and peer feedback.
  • Developed formal learning programs, including workshops, courses, and certifications.

The team also utilized the Competency Framework to identify and develop key skills and competencies required for success. This framework was useful for aligning employee development with organizational goals. The team followed this process:

  • Conducted a competency assessment to identify skill gaps and development needs.
  • Developed competency-based training programs to address identified gaps.
  • Implemented a performance management system to track progress and provide feedback.

The implementation of these frameworks resulted in a 25% improvement in employee performance and a 20% increase in employee retention rates, demonstrating the effectiveness of the talent development program.

Learn more about Performance Management Job Training Employee Retention

Partnership Development

The implementation team leveraged the Strategic Alliance Framework and the Partnering Continuum to drive partnership development. The Strategic Alliance Framework provides a structured approach to forming and managing strategic alliances. It was particularly useful in this context because it helped identify and establish mutually beneficial partnerships. The team followed this process:

  • Identified potential partners based on strategic fit and complementary capabilities.
  • Developed a value proposition for each potential partnership.
  • Negotiated partnership agreements to ensure alignment of goals and expectations.

The team also employed the Partnering Continuum, which outlines different types of partnerships ranging from transactional to strategic alliances. This framework was useful for determining the appropriate level of partnership. The team followed this process:

  • Assessed the nature of each partnership to determine its position on the continuum.
  • Developed tailored strategies for managing each type of partnership.
  • Implemented governance structures to oversee partnership activities and ensure alignment.

The implementation of these frameworks resulted in the formation of 5 strategic partnerships, enhancing the company's capabilities and service offerings, and contributing to a 15% increase in revenue from collaborative projects.

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Increased revenue from digital services by 15% through the development of comprehensive virtual and hybrid event packages.
  • Reduced operational costs by 20% through the implementation of Lean Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints methodologies.
  • Improved client retention rates by 15% due to enhanced CRM systems and personalized marketing campaigns.
  • Reduced the company's carbon footprint by 40% through the adoption of eco-friendly practices and sustainability initiatives.
  • Achieved a 30% increase in technology adoption rates, leading to improved quality and innovation in event services.
  • Increased market share by 20% through targeted marketing and sales strategies based on the BCG and GE-McKinsey Matrices.
  • Improved employee performance by 25% and retention rates by 20% through a comprehensive talent development program.

The overall results of the initiative indicate a successful implementation of the strategic objectives, with significant improvements in revenue, operational efficiency, client retention, and sustainability. The 15% increase in revenue from digital services and the 20% reduction in operational costs are particularly noteworthy, demonstrating effective utilization of Lean Six Sigma and digital transformation strategies. However, some areas did not perform as expected. For instance, while client retention improved by 15%, it fell short of the 20% target, suggesting that further enhancements in CRM systems and client engagement strategies are needed. Additionally, the significant investment in technology and sustainability initiatives, while yielding positive results, strained financial resources, indicating a need for more balanced budget allocation. Alternative strategies could include phased investments in technology and sustainability to manage financial impact better and further segmentation of client engagement efforts to target specific retention challenges.

Recommended next steps include continuing to refine and enhance CRM systems to further improve client retention, with a focus on personalized engagement strategies. Additionally, a phased approach to technology and sustainability investments should be adopted to manage financial resources more effectively. Expanding the talent development program to include continuous learning opportunities will help maintain high employee performance and retention rates. Finally, leveraging the success of strategic partnerships, the company should explore additional collaborations to further enhance service offerings and market reach.

Source: Transformation Strategy for Event Planning Company in Corporate Niche, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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