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Let’s Predict the Future – Starting with a Market Potential Analysis

After watching some of NPR’s 501©asts – specifically “Digital Marketing for Nonprofits” with Jeff Rose of Feathr, and “The Future of Events“ with Julian Sainz from Vario Productions, the concept of market potential analysis becomes more prominent as we begin to pivot towards 2022 and understanding what the events space (in-person, or virtual) will look like going forward.

Simply put, market potential analysis helps us understand what our audience and attendance is looking like. How has projected attendance changed for an audience, such as in terms of onsite attendance, at certain points in time? What tools, resources, and strengths are successful, and will continue to be successful, in the future? This goes beyond just expected attendance, since market potential analysis is actually able to consider the public’s attitudes, behaviors, and projections.

Why is a market potential analysis relevant to my organization?

According to a 2021 guide published by Stanford Graduate School of Business, market potential analysis ensures that “a systematic process followed to learn about recent changes in your organization’s external environment”.

  • Market analysis gives you the information you need to support the strategic plan. A deeper understanding of the needs and values of different segments of a community strengthens organizational design, leading to greater impact.
  • Projected attendance can change drastically from the start of the year, to the beginning of the year.
  • Identifying what makes your organization unique can help with determining revenue potential and conducting other market research

What factors are considered?

In a 2006 study by Shoham, Ruvio et al. on “Market Orientations in the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector: A Meta-Analysis of Their Relationships With Organizational Performance”, key dimensions included external stakeholders and their perspectives (e.g. political leadership, news, current events), performance benchmarks when compared to past achievements, awareness of the organization, negative substitution (the ability to reach new audiences fast enough), and more.

A holistic view of a nonprofit’s market. No organization operates alone, so considering key dimensions is crucial to a market analysis. (Summer 2018 issue of Nonprofit Quarterly)

What is the process?

Lots of math! (And the inner data nerd in me is thriving!) Although there are many different ways that a market potential analysis can be conducted, it can be boiled down to a few steps:

  • Collecting research from organizations on an ongoing basis
  • Creating models and prototypes that would allow analysts to prototype two main frameworks:
    • An organization, and the attitudes and behaviors surrounding it
    • What current conditions are like, for that specific organization
  • Creating comparisons to see how those two frameworks will interact with each other. In fact, some universities even have simulations to construct real-time/live modeling based on current events as they arise!

What’s coming up next for events?

In fact, recent research suggests that market potential projects totaled 72.2% of 2019 attendance, down from 78% (from a projection in August 2020). However, 2022 is looking bright, with a slight increase to 98.8%.  

So, as we continue to move towards the right direction, look for the professionals who can help you succeed. Nonprofit Resources has a robust team, knowledgeable about the latest market trends and best practices, ready to help YOU succeed. Contact us for a free consultation!


Nonprofit Resources

Nonprofit Resources

Nonprofit Resources was formed with the idea that all nonprofits, large or small, need and deserve a professional staff at an affordable price. Incorporated in 2007, we're grounded in the experience of President Kristin Bennett’s 27 years as an Executive Director, and built as a team of specialists to serve all types of nonprofits. Nonprofit Resources employs all levels of executive, program, and administrative staff with a broad range of experience to meet your needs.

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