Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.

SWOT Analysis

Pandemic SWOT Analysis

You’re familiar with a SWOT Analysis, I presume?

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Year ago, I wrote a brief article on doing a tradeshow marketing SWOT Analysis, which would be a bit different from a more general SWOT Analysis.

But now that we’re in a pandemic created by the COVID-19, how would you approach doing a SWOT Analysis and is it worth doing?

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

I would argue that while a formal SWOT is probably unnecessary, it’s not a bad idea to at least examine some of the changes the pandemic has wrought, to see what obvious and perhaps significant changes your company is facing.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

How are you positioned in the marketplace? Do you have new products about to launch? How are you perceived by your customers and clientele? Are you doing things to keep relationships going? Are sales strong or flat? Just knowing these and other related things will help you understand your position in the marketplace compared to your competition and compared to how you might have been with no pandemic.


With no tradeshow marketing coming for at least another quarter or two, can you put the budget towards something else? Is a virtual event worth the investment? Can you do another kind of outreach for a fraction of the cost of exhibiting at a big tradeshow? Take a look at your options and see if there are missed opportunities that you may have overlooked.


Are there marketplace threats you sense but perhaps haven’t put your finger on? Are your supplier lines still open and working well, or are there kinks that may signal something worse down the line? Do you have any competitors that are taking this time to move aggressively into an area that you thought you dominated? Threats are often overlooked because, unless you actively think about them and look for them, they can sneak up on you without you knowing until it’s too late.

All in all, doing a brief SWOT check-in may help you understand how the company is doing and give you insight and context in how you’ll handle the rest of the year and move into 2021.

SWOT Analysis for Tradeshows

If you’ve been attending and exhibiting at tradeshows over the years, no doubt you’ve had many chances to examine what went right and what didn’t. What brought in leads and what didn’t. What opportunities were open and those that weren’t?

But unless you’ve been trained in marketing, or spent a lot time reading about marketing and the analysis of it, you may not have ever done a SWOT analysis.

What’s A SWOT analysis? The SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

A through SWOT analysis will look at internal and external factors, but even a short examination of those areas will likely gather information that you’ll find useful. For your next tradeshow, ask yourself a few questions about each area.

What are your strengths? Do you have a solid brand? Are your products received well? Does your tradeshow booth show off your brand accurately?

Weaknesses: do you have staff members that may not be the right person to represent the company on the show floor? Are your competitors showing up year after year at the show with larger booths trying to squeeze you out?

Opportunities: What areas of new business or new areas can tradeshows assist with? Do you see certain competitors downsizing or vanishing completely from the show floor? Do you find that your products are getting better reviews or responses from potential users?

Threats: Higher labor costs to set up the show. Higher shipping costs. A competitor that is launching a new competing product right across the aisle from you – and yours is still at least a year away.

Take a notepad, draw a line across the middle from top to bottom, and one from left to right and label them: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Weaknesses. Start writing down things that come to you. Go over it with your team and management to see if they can identify more for each area.

Some pieces that might fall in any of the quadrants include global markets, new products and services, the cost of money, reduced labor costs, higher exhibit costs, rising costs of raw materials or labor, government regulations, tax changes, etc.

Such an exercise can bring to light a number of things that you might not have been aware of as you prepare for another chaotic appearance at the next big show. And it might not even prompt any immediate changes. But hey, if you think about all of the various items that you wrote down and let it marinate while working the show booth and walking the floor, you will probably find yourself in a position of more understanding of the process, your competitors and how much you can control the outcome of each show. By adding to your knowledge of your own company’s business, the broader business environment, your competitors and other internal and external factors, you will be much more prepared for each coming new show.

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Tradeshow Guy Blog by Tim Patterson

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