Why do a SWOT analysis before you invest in a Convention Centre or an Auditorium?
By *Ameen Ahsan Strategy Consulting*
Most buildings are occupied by one tenant for one purpose, such as offices. As a Convention Centre has different tenants every day, using the building for different types of event, it needs to be as flexible as possible, to meet the exact needs of each individual customer. The design must meet the needs of the market and enable the operator to run the building successfully for all types of event.
The market and different events for which the building will be used will vary for a particular city, country and business objective. Once these are established and agreed through feasibility and market research then a detailed brief can be prepared, which specifies the range of facilities within the building and the operational parameters for all aspects of the building.
SWOT is one very important tool that an investor or promoter should apply before venturing in to a new project. The strength and weakness are an internal analysis of the promoter whereas the Opportunity and Threat is an external analysis. A promoter has to totally analyze and understand his strengths and opportunities internally and externally along with threats and weakness which again can be internal or external.
Once the design is complete and construction is underway, it is important to programme in at least three months after the planned completion and handover date, for the operations team to settle into the building, have practice events and generally make sure all the systems are operating correctly. It is also prudent to have a buffer period between the reported completion date and the first commercial event, as it is extremely common for the construction to overrun.
Time, Cost and Quality are key criteria with different priorities at different stages of the project. It is important to remember a cut in the capital cost could have serious consequences on the operational aspects, which only come to light after the design and construction teams have moved on to other projects.
The most important factor in planning a convention centre is to have expert end user input throughout the project.
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