Strategy Execution Life Cycle – Formulating and Documenting, Approving and Endorsing

Background context – A key economic driver of an airport operator is the ability to increase passenger volumes. Increasing passengers drive an economic model through aircraft landing fees and through partaking in commercial activity in the terminal precinct. There are a range of supply and demand drivers that influence passenger numbers to a destination, one of them being the vibrancy and effectiveness of the Major Events calendar at the airport location. When executed well, a Major Events strategy can be a strong demand driver for visitation, and therefore, passenger demand. In addition, a well-structured Event calendar can increase destination visitation in otherwise ‘off-peak’ times of the year. By reducing the impacts of seasonality, travel affordability and accessibility to the location can improve which has a multiplier impact on visitation levels at other times of the year. An airport operator has a strong economic interest in supporting and engaging in a successful Major Events strategy.

Strategic Challenge – Despite the strategic awareness of the importance of major events in its visitation strategy and despite significant government investment in Major Events, the outcome performance of visitation levels to the airport destination were poor and well short of performance achieved by comparable airport locations around Australia. In addition, over time the airport operator had retreated from being an influential stakeholder in the Major Events space.

Strategic Activities – The project required an analysis of the current state of major events at the airport location, both in terms of inputs (such as event calendar, Major Event organisations, funding, infrastructure and locational capacity) and outputs (such as Major Event attendance, interstate and international visitation trends, and the economic multiplier benefits from visitation). Comparative research was undertaken on destinations exhibiting strong output performance in terms of Major Events visitations to understand both the strategic and tactical drivers of performance. These insights were incorporated into a new strategic framework for the airport operator with discrete steps to improve credibility with the Major Events eco-system. With improved credibility the airport operator is positioned to influence outcomes in the major events space at both a strategic and tactical level.

Outcomes – A new strategy framework was syndicated with Executive leaders and documented in a Board papers and presentation for debate at the company’s annual strategy workshop with the Board. The strategy framework was endorsed by the Board. The Executive team are aligned and are progressing against a well-articulated execution plan.