SWOT Analysis for Events 2023
SWOT analyses are part of the basics of business administration and are taught at universities and schools all over the world. But how much is behind the theoretical concept and how does it help you plan your next event?
We took a closer look at the theory and give some practical tips for SWOT analysis in event management. You can also download your own SWOT analysis template and white paper.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
The SWOT analysis is a popular method for situation analysis and is often used especially in the fields of marketing, management and also in leadership development. But it can also be useful in assessing the success of your event.
Fundamental to the SWOT analysis is a valid assessment of strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities. Based on this assessment, the status quo can be evaluated and strategies and future perspectives can be considered and evaluated.
The name, SWOT, can be derived from these four categories:
These categories are presented in a table, the so-called SWOT matrix. Different factors can be ranked here based on their importance. Further down in this blog article, we have prepared some suggestions for the SWOT analysis for you and your event.
SWOT Analysis in Events
SWOT helps you analyse the success of current, past, and upcoming events. With the SWOT analysis, you not only identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your project, but also divide the factors into internal and external. This facilitates the assessment for the following project. You can't change most of the external factors of your event, such as the weather. But you can make sure that you are well-prepared for all circumstances. Important hint for your SWOT analysis: Stay realistic. No whitewashing, no doom and gloom.
You should always conduct an initial SWOT analysis before your event takes place. This way you can identify weaknesses as well as opportunities and adapt your strategy accordingly, which makes the process more efficient and multiplies the potential event success.
But what does a SWOT analysis for events look like? We have prepared a template for your event management and give you an inspiration with which factors you could fill it.
Internal and External Factors for the SWOT Analysis of Your Event
SWOT analysis divides not only into the 4 factors of Strength, Weakness and Opportunities and Threats, but also into External and Internal factors.
You should start by dividing into external factors and internal factors.
Internal factors of the SWOT analysis include individual strengths and weaknesses of your event and project team: personnel, image, motivation, leadership qualities etc. These factors are very individual and can be different for different events. They should therefore always be developed individually. A SWOT analysis can also be useful for a competing event concept. If you happen to focus on a field where your competitor is strong, but you are weak, this will be noticed, and you can adjust your strategy.
External factors in the SWOT analysis include, for example, trends, political changes or legal circumstances. At the latest, since the Covid pandemic and the Infection Protection Act, everyone is aware of the scope that external factors can also have for the success of their own event.
For your inspiration, we have summarized some factors for your weaknesses and strengths and risk and opportunity analysis:
Internal & external factors of a SWOT analysis
What Does the SWOT Analysis of My Event Tell Me?
Your SWOT table is filled in, but what does the SWOT matrix tell you now? How does a table affect the success of your event?
Generally speaking, there are 4 strategies that you can derive from this table.
Promote - the SO strategy (strength - opportunities)
SWOT analyses are part of the small basics of business administration and are taught at universities and schools all over the world. But is this just a theoretical concept and how does it help when planning your next event? We at Sweap have taken a closer look at the theory and give some practical tips for SWOT analyses in event management.
In the best case scenario, this area is huge at your event: this is where your strengths meet your opportunities. Here, you can leverage your team's skills to gain an advantage. Contrast your strengths with your opportunities and try to "match" the two - this way you can identify connection points and build on your advantages.
Neutralize - the ST strategy (strength - threats)
You can use your strengths to mitigate and avoid risks. Identified risks can be prevented by your own skills and planning - this is called neutralization strategies.
Catch up - the WO-strategy (weaknesses - opportunities)
Nobody can do everything. There can also be certain weaknesses in a team, for example due to a lack of personnel in one area. But those who have identified weaknesses can work on them specifically. Strengths can be transformed into weaknesses through these transformation strategies. This strategy is particularly important if you find the processes that you can improve, especially in an area where your competitor is strong.
Avoidance - The WT strategy (weaknesses - threats)
Ideally, this area of your matrix should be very small, because it poses a threat to the success of your event. If you can't avoid this area increasing, it's important to keep the damage as small as possible: Work on your weaknesses while trying to keep the possible damage as small as possible.
Examples of SWOT Analysis for Events
Here are a few examples of how this tool might be used to assess an event:
A music festival might conduct a SWOT analysis to identify its strengths (e.g., a popular lineup of artists, a scenic location), weaknesses (e.g., limited parking, a history of inclement weather), opportunities (e.g., potential sponsorships, new revenue streams), and threats (e.g., competition from other festivals, public safety concerns).
A political campaign might use a SWOT analysis to assess its chances of success by looking at factors such as its strong points (e.g., a well-known candidate, a strong ground game), weaknesses (e.g., a lack of funding, low approval ratings), opportunities (e.g., favorable demographics, a divided opposition), and threats (e.g., negative media coverage, voter apathy).
A charity organization might conduct a SWOT analysis to evaluate a fundraising event it is planning. This analysis might reveal that the event has strengths such as a compelling cause and a strong network of donors, but weaknesses such as a lack of community awareness and a limited budget. It might also identify opportunities such as potential partnerships with local businesses and threats such as competition from other fundraisers.
Your Free SWOT Analysis White Paper + Template
The SWOT analysis for your event can be tedious, but with the right template and white paper you are well-equipped. Download the free event SWOT analysis bundle here.
5 Tips on Creating an Event SWOT Analysis
Here are five tips for creating an effective SWOT analysis for events:
Involve a diverse group of stakeholders in the analysis process. This will ensure that a wide range of perspectives and experiences are taken into account when evaluating the event.
Be specific and objective when identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the event. Avoid making assumptions or jumping to conclusions, and focus on facts and data to support your assessments.
Prioritize the factors that are most relevant to the success of the event. Not all strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will have the same impact, so focus on the ones that are most likely to affect the event's outcome.
Develop actionable strategies to address the identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis is only useful if it leads to concrete steps that can improve the event's chances of success.
Regularly update the SWOT analysis as the event planning process progresses. New information and developments may arise that could impact the event, so it's important to revisit the analysis periodically to ensure it remains relevant and accurate.
Summary of the Insights
By identifying an event's strengths, organizers can focus on leveraging these advantages to make the event as successful as possible. For example, if an event has a strong social media presence, the organizers could use this to promote the event and attract more attendees.
By identifying an event's weaknesses, organizers can take steps to address these issues and mitigate their negative impact. For example, if an event has a history of poor attendance, the organizers could implement strategies to improve attendance, such as offering discounts or partnering with other organizations.
By identifying an event's opportunities, organizers can explore new ways to enhance the event and generate additional revenue. For example, if an event has the potential to attract sponsors, the organizers could reach out to potential sponsors and negotiate deals to provide additional funding and resources.
By identifying an event's threats, organizers can take steps to mitigate these risks and ensure the event goes smoothly. For example, if an event is threatened by inclement weather, the organizers could plan for contingencies such as providing covered areas or rescheduling the event.
The SWOT analysis can be a helpful tool if you need a quick status quo for your event planning strategy. It gives you a profound overview of your weaknesses and strengths and helps you make decisions. With the participation of all employees, it can strengthen internal communication.
However, SWOT analysis is not a panacea. The results should always be viewed with a certain degree of caution: Because all assessments are made on a subjective basis, the results are also easy to manipulate and, in the worst case, can be instrumentalized for a specific result. Data for competitor analysis is also always dependent on the respective insight and whether information is available at all.
But if these possible disadvantages are conscious during the process and results are classified accordingly, the SWOT analysis can also be a simple but powerful tool in event management.