Cyclefest can be described as an open area event that is attempting to take advantage of the growing popularity of cycling and outdoor festivals (Beard and Ross 2013). It is based on this that it can be classified as a form of events tourism wherein people from various locations within the U.K. and abroad are encouraged to come to Cyclefest in order to take part in the various activities and events that are being promoted.
The market environment in this instance is actually advantageous for Cyclefest since there is little in the way of congested competition when it comes to the type of outdoor event that the promoters are attempting to put together. While there are several outdoor events within the U.K., these are primarily focused on music, movie or historic festivals. A festival focusing entirely on cycling is almost unheard of within the region and, as such, makes Cyclefest, the prime mover when it comes to establishing this sort of event (Aldred & Jungnickel 2014).
This would help to place the company in an advantageous position in the future since Cyclefest would have a considerable level of brand recognition as well as would have organisers that know what they are doing (Aldred 2013). It should be noted though that within the U.K., there has been a growing trend towards the adoption of healthier lifestyles and a focus on physical fitness. This movement has actually been influenced by local government units as a direct response to data indicating a rise in the number of obese people within the country (Aldred 2010).
As such, the current marketing environment is generally receptive to activities that focus on combining both health and fun. Evidence of this can be seen in the rise in the number of “fun runs” and marathons within the U.K. From a certain perspective, it can be stated that Cyclefest is merely an inevitable outcome of the current trend in healthy living.
The primary consumers that are targeted by Cyclefest are people that are heavily involved in cycling, whether as a hobby or as a sport. Based on the information from the proposal, most of the prospective consumers will be male since cycling has attracted more male than female members. When examining the type of consumer that the festival is targeting, it becomes immediately obvious that there are some issues that should be taken into consideration. The first of the issues is the lack of general appeal when it comes to the theme of the event (Jones 2005).
While it may be true that there has been an increase in the number of cyclists within the country, this does not make it an absolute certainty that this would result in a lot of people attending Cyclefest. Since the festival is primarily targeted at cyclists, this limits the potential type of consumers that would attend the festival resulting in a greater risk that it may become a failure. Further analysis of the consumers that are being targeted by Cyclefest shows that many of them took up cycling as a means of staying fit and healthy. This factor could be potentially utilised in the marketing methods utilised wherein Cyclefest can be promoted as a fun and healthy means of interacting with new people and staying fit.
When examining the current marketing environment that Cyclefest finds itself in, it can be seen that there is little in the way of significant competition. While it may be true that marathons, fun runs as well as outdoor concerts and film festivals can be considered as “competitors”, the fact remains that the aforementioned activities are “indirect competitors”. They may exist within the same competitive landscape but cater to completely different types of consumer demographics with only a slight overlap. It is based on this that when examining the competitive landscape of Cyclefest, there is little in the way of significant competition for the event.
The main strength of Cyclefest is the fact that it does have any direct competitors when it comes to its target demographic.
One of the primary weaknesses that can be attributed to an event of this scale and type are the various logistical and safety issues that need to be taken into consideration. For instance, after a review of the proposal document, it became immediately obvious that there is no safety and security plan in place for the various guests that will be arriving at the event location (Hurdle 2012).
While the proposal did state that there are a variety of accommodations that visitors can choose from, ranging from tents, hostels, inns and other similar establishments, there is little in the way of sufficient evidence to show what measures the event planners have done in order to prevent cases of theft, assault, violent altercations or even rape which are all potential hazards that may occur in a multi-day event that spans 1,500 acres just for the 5,000 estimated tent pitches alone (McClintock 2001). It should also be noted that along the 150 mile stretch of land that will be utilised for Cyclefest are various hazards which may adversely impact riders ranging from potential collisions, falls as well as an assortment of other road hazards that are common when it comes to the sport of cycling.
Onsite emergency services would be needed to help treat injuries. Another potential issue is the sheer amount of human waste that would come about as a direct result of Cyclefest. If several thousand people were to descend on the event location for three days, inevitably a massive amount of human waste would accumulate (Pooley, Horton, Scheldeman, Tight, Jones, Chisholm, Harwatt & Jopson 2011). There are also issues in relation to proper hygiene and waste disposal in the allocated campsite since people need to relieve themselves with the necessary facilities also needing to be setup.
Cyclefest can be considered an ambitious project, however, when examining the location, there is little in the way of sufficient waste disposal infrastructure in order to handle the number of people that the event coordinators are expecting. One way of seeing the potential ramifications of the identified problems can be seen in the study of Lagnado (2011) which delved into the events and marketing processes that went into Woodstock, one of the most famous outdoor events in the world.
Lagnado explains that the events and marketing team did not anticipate the sheer amount of people that went to attend the event, which resulted in a massive logistical nightmare. There was no apparent waste disposal system, insufficient means of keeping unwanted “non-paying” visitors out as well as a lack of food at the location. The end result was that there was a massive crowd of people within a single location that could have potentially sparked a riot. Such a possibility can happen in the case of Cyclefest, especially when taking into consideration the logistics involving visitors who may travel to the event via cars (Chatterjee, Sherwin & Jain 2013).
There needs to designated parking spaces, security to prevent theft as well as an assortment of other logistical preparation that was also absent from the proposal. It is due to this that there is a high likelihood that the event may fail or significant complications arise due to lack of already present commercial and public infrastructure within the event grounds that is capable of handling the number of people expected (Lagnado 2011).
Some of the opportunities associated with Cyclefest can be seen in the proposal which indicated that there is a growing number of cyclists within the U.K. With this growth comes the potential to take advantage of its current popularity by focusing on the creation of an event that appeals to the desire of people to cycle while at the same time enjoy in a way that they have not experienced it before.
This manifests itself in the various events that were created by Cyclefest in the form of night bicycling, the various trails and vistas that have been outlined as the route that the cyclists will take as well as the experience of being in a new location with other likeminded individuals (Carse, Goodman, Mackett, Panter & Ogilvie 2013). From this perspective, Cyclefest can be considered as a brilliant move that can be expanded well into the future. This can be done by coordinating with other cycling events around the world, such as the Tour de France, and having the various athletes attend Cyclefest as a meet and greet event.
This can definitely boost the popularity of the event making it into a means by which local cyclists can meet their heroes and idols which should help in encouraging more people to come to the venue (Dickinson, Kingham, Copsey & Hougie 2003). It should also be noted that cycling has been gaining a considerable level of popularity within countries such as Holland, Germany, Amsterdam, Norway and Denmark (Pucher & Buehler 2008).
By promoting the event internationally and creating a means by which discounted flights to the U.K. can be arranged through a local carrier, this would result in an influx of foreign tourists to the site which would help in spreading “word-of-mouth” popularity regarding Cyclefest to the various countries within Western and Central Europe (Mason 2005). This would go a long way towards promoting the event resulting in even more people attending next year. Do note though that one of the issues in relation to this particular plan is that it is heavily dependent on the first Cyclefest event being a success. Should the event end in failure or even disaster due to logistical issues, it is unlikely that it would gain sufficient traction when it comes to its potential international popularity.
One of the threats in relation to Cyclefest is the possibility that it may not gain the same traction as other types of outdoor events. Based on the analysis of ( ), it was shown that outdoor events in the U.K. tend to utilise celebrities or popular culture as the means to draw people to attend. Popular culture icons in the form of celebrities are a mainstay in the current mindset of the general public and are usually an effective means of popularising a brand or a location.
This is in relation to the concept of emulation wherein people want to emulate their celebrity idols, whether it comes in the form of wearing the same outfits that they do or patronising the products that their idols promote. Thus, when it comes to various outdoor events, the presence of celebrities helps to significantly increase the likelihood of people attending. In the case of Cyclefest, the celebrities that would normally be associated with cycling do not necessarily appeal to the vast majority of the general population (Albert de la Bruheze & Emanuel 2012).
There is a considerable gap between the celebrities you normally see in movies, TV shows and concerts with those seen taking up cycling as a career (Song, Preston & Brand 2013). It is due to this that when comparing the prospective impact of a cyclist celebrity with those in mainstream media, it is likely that the former would not be able to draw as many people as the latter. As such, there is the potential that the event may fail simply due to a lack of “star power” so to speak that would be the catalyst to draw a sufficient number of participants to the event (Broadstock & Collins 2010).
Another potential threat to the event comes in the form of the incremental weather within the U.K. Since Cyclefest is an outdoor event, this leaves it at the mercy of the weather. Should things take a turn for the worst, there is the very real possibility that the event may be cancelled due to strong winds and rain that would make it unsafe to cycle on wet roads. Based on this analysis, it is recommended that Cyclefest be held during the summer months, where there is little chance of rain occurring.
Marketing Communication Plan
The primary marketing objective of this paper is to “get the word out” to speak to as many local and international cyclists as possible in order to get a fair number of people to attend the event. By doing so, this will maximise the amount of revenue gained and would result in the popularisation of Cyclefest.
Aside from print ads, television commercials and other traditional methods of advertising, the marketing strategy for Cyclefest will utilise a more “unconventional approach” utilizing present-day social media (McCurry 2014). The marketing strategy will revolve around the use of YouTube stars such as Michelle Phan, Philip DeFranco, the Yogscast and other popular YouTube stars as a means of getting the word out when it comes to Cyclefest (Saurabh & Sairam 2013).
Compared to the high fees demanded by magazines and TV studios, YouTube stars request a relatively low sponsorship payment (1,000 to 2,000 pounds) in order to mention a particular event during their show (Pomerantz 2014). By having these YouTube stars mention Cyclefest or even attend it, this can dramatically increase the potential number of attendees while at the same time lowering the associated marketing cost of such an endeavour (International Business 2014).
The primary target audience of this marketing strategy is local and international cyclists that either cycle for a hobby or do so competitively. The point is to get as varied a demographic as possible so as to popularise the event to various groups of potential consumers.
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