Are You Proactive, Reactive, or Passive with Your Company’s Strategic Plans?


As with any business emergency that has the scale of this one, some have emerged as leaders while others have receded. What the run of the last months has shown to me is that there are three types of businesses: Proactive, Reactive, and Passive.  What, you might ask, are the characteristics of the three?

Proactive businesses:

  • Reach out to current customers, both to listen and to help.
  • Actively build new business models – as was referenced in my most recent post, linked here.
  •  Compare notes with industry colleagues.
  • Keep the trust and respect of key customers.
  • Study success from other industries and apply what works.
  • Focus on keeping key customers.
  • Control the factors they can control, mitigate the ones they can’t.
  • Have the courage to try new things.
  • Build products that fit customer needs rather than event organizer convenience.
  • Adhere to new marketing approaches such as those found in this LinkedIn article.
  • Seek to open new markets and revenue streams.
  • Represent the agile and nimble company of the future. 
Reactive businesses:
  • Wait until the last opportunity to make key decisions.
  • Communicate late to their key stakeholders about what’s happening.
  • Are forced by the market to make strategic and tactical changes.
  • Do not think of the long-term impact of short-term decisions.
  • Constantly are fighting fires.
  • Follow the lead of their competitors.
  • Lose key customers.
  • React quickly and non-strategically to the latest bad news.
  • Suffer financial losses.
  • Do more of the same, tired marketing pitches (pitches that never appealed in the first place.)
  • Are about to experience a grim future. 
Passive businesses:
  • Expect the trade show business to return to exactly what it was before the pandemic.
  • Are forced by customers to make decisions
  • Get chargebacks from credit card companies from customers who want their money back.
  • Find customers are abandoning them with little or no advance notice.
  • Are controlled by factors over which they have no control.
  • Are going out of business.

Let’s face it, whether we are the CEO of the company or a marketing specialist, we’ve all had to learn new skills and most of us don’t like the change. In the long run, these changes will benefit our future businesses, as we are compelled to use ‘muscles’ we never knew we had. It has been hard and will be so for a long time.

I predict that most companies that survive will have only faintly resemble their pre-pandemic selves.  Most of the others will disappear, as factors beyond their control strangle them. Fear not, the decision on how to move forward is in your hands and you may as well try something new if what you are doing isn’t working.

If you’re struggling with pivoting to a new way of running your events business, this is an opportunity to chat. I am happy to offer a free one-hour consultation to see if I can help you make that transition. If interested, email me or contact me.

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