Entrepreneurs' Blog

25 Jan, 2012

The Show Must Go On by Bev James

Posted by: Bev James In: Bev's Blog|Business Tips|EBA For Coaches|Mentor Articles|Mentoring|Millionaire Mentors|Tips For Success

Bev James Blog

The London 2012 website is steadily counting down the days to the London Olympics, and already the dissenters have started to grumble about the disruption it will cause.

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber has gone so far as to say that he can foresee some theatres closing for the duration of the Games because (apart from for musicals) advance ticket sales are so low for this time of year.

I love the theatre so I must admit this piqued my interest as I thought it was a surprisingly defeatist comment.

None of us really knows how the Olympic summer will affect business, because we haven’t hosted a Games since 1948. The Olympics could be one of the greatest marketing opportunities – especially for Londoners – that we have had for years.

But what may bring good fortune to one business can mean disaster for another.

Each business owner will be considering the potential impact on their own sector.

The important thing is not to put your head in the sand – and to either work out a strategy to maximise the potential that the increased footfall might bring, or work out a plan to minimise any potential negative impact.

Lord Lloyd-Webber is quoted as saying that current hotel bookings are running at 10 per cent of normal tourist levels.

Based on this knowledge, his assessment is that theatres will experience ‘a bloodbath of a summer’ compared with figures year on year. But of course, this isn’t a normal year.

Yes, hotels will be difficult to book and many have increased their prices. But on the other hand, most will be full, with people seeking some kind of evening entertainment.

You could argue that as people are already carrying the cost of accommodation and transport they may as well take the opportunity to go to a show too.

There is a common assumption that people interested in sport are not necessarily interested in theatre but what about the increased number of other family members and overseas visitors?

Because there are two schools of thought. One would be: ticket sales are down, so the theatres won’t be busy. The other would be: London is going to be busier than ever – how could we get more people to the theatre?

Now of course, I know nothing about the costs or realities of running a theatre production, and Lord Lloyd-Webber is a talented man with years of experience – but several ‘what ifs’ went through my mind as I read the interview:

  • What if – he is being defeatist at the wrong point? The sales peak may happen at a different point this year.
  • What if  – the theatres jointly funded a press campaign to remind people that British theatre is in a class of its own, and that there will be extra demand this year – so get your tickets early?
  • What if – the theatres partnered with the Olympic organisers to sell theatre tickets and to make British theatre part of the Cultural Olympiad that is running alongside the Games?
  • What if – the theatres partnered with restaurants and hotels to offer more incentives to their clients to pre-book tickets?
  • What if  – instead of seeing the Olympics as a negative, the focus was instead on the increased number of people who will be visiting the Capital – including the families of diplomats, sportspeople, volunteers and others – not all of whom will be sport-focused?
  • What if  – closing some theatres during the Olympic fortnight turned out to be a missed opportunity? After all, there are overheads that need to be covered irrespective of whether a business is trading during those weeks. What could have been a bumper year can’t become so, if the peak months are taken out of the equation.

The bottom line is that Sir Andrew knows his business, is assessing the situation and will have to make some difficult decisions.

That’s what being a business leader is all about.

Besides – he knows that in the big scheme of things, the Olympics will put London back on the map and draw more theatre goers next year.

BUT, if it was your business, would you make the same decision?

What can you do differently to make the Olympic Games work for your business?

What steps are you willing to take to ensure that ‘the show must go on’?

By Bev James

About Bev

Bev is CEO of The Academy Group which includes The Entrepreneurs’ Business Academy (EBA) & EBA for Coaches which are both joint ventures with James Caan. Her book “Do It! or Ditch It” has already been listed as a bestselling business title and she is ready to pass on her success to your organisation.

Connect with Bev on Google+

2 Responses to "The Show Must Go On by Bev James"

1 | Tony

January 25th, 2012 at 18:06

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I can see andrew lloyd webbers point of view.

I own a private health sector business in a Uk tourist hotspot. Our local community grows by 50% or more in the month of August. Now you will say…more people to market to! Unfortunately it is not so.They on holiday and unless it is an emergency, they dont have health needs.

My regular patients do their best trade in that month…so they cannot afford to take that time off to visit me. I cannot sit and keep my doors open hoping for emergency patients to arrive (it is just not cost effective).

Thus I too am forced to book annual leave in that time (an expensive time to go on leave) as I know I will not be busy.

Thus it goes back to your last statement: The bottom line is that Sir Andrew knows his business, is assessing the situation and will have to make some difficult

That’s how I have to run my small business too.

The problem now arise my team may feel they are forced into an annual leave period when all entertainment ,travel cost,etc is high i.e an expensive holiday.

Another thing is ,we know it will affect cashflow.

The advantage about is is:I know it is going to happen ,thus we can plan for it.Adjust our budgets & forecast to absorb its effect on the business.

I also allows me a predetermined time to think & plan ahead.

2 | Marian Nielsen

January 30th, 2012 at 08:13

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For sure the show has to go on! There is nothing anyone can do now as it has become reality even for those who do not believe in the Olympics.

Who knows how it will affect business? Contingency/concrete
plans have to be put in place for all possible scenarios. But one thing I know for sure is that there’s going to be increased traffic with difficulties getting around and another reality would be that many, who don’t have interest and can afford to travel out, will be leaving London for the duration of the games.

Remembering what happens during Wimbledon gives one an idea of what to expect, and to think that the Olympics is even a much bigger event, and grandier, many times fold should ensure adequate preparation!

Best wishes to all the Sports men and women and to the organisers and thousands of volunteers. Hope they will make us all proud!

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  • Morgan Grage: I like this post, enjoyed this one regards for putting up. "No man is wise enough by himself." by Titus Maccius Plautus.
  • Derek: Brilliant article Bev, thanks for sharing. coincidentally the kilimamjaro example used is on my 2014 to do list! Ps thanks for the tips you gave me
  • jackson: thanks for your great article about developing your business idea to great business Jackson mutebi

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