I’m sure that larger event organisers will be able to eventually find new venues that fits whatever event types they want to run.
The bit that is much much harder will be building the right culture within the organisation, of innovation and customer service, and that’s the battle front that I think SLT and Challenge are going to win upon.
IM may have the flagship event with Kona, but history is littered with huge brands associated with a dominant presence, that disappeared in very short order once an innovator appeared in their market with an offering that genuinely appealed to customers.
Often, as has been suggested above, the physical representation of the brand survives in the form of a logo and company name, but the content and substance behind it, are long gone, along with its glory days.
I’m not wanting to overplay it, but I seriously think that IM are within a year of the point of no return, and their actions between now and then will be critical to their future as they current exist. It takes one clever, yet to be realised or dreamt up move, from a Challenge or SLT and IM are screwed.
If I were to be a betting man (which I’m not), then i’d predict a merger/acquisition between SLT and Challenge before too long, and the appearance of a really creative idea focused on raising the stakes, profile and interest within a much wider audience, with lots of high profile media coverage to create a very marketable brand and draw in a lot of cash. SLT have been very clever in taking a simple concept, and making it a key part of a pro circuit, heavily branded and cleverly promoted. They are not short of ideas, contacts, or ability.