Pro’s and Con’s of multi-vendor briefing days

Tekrati’s comment on Forrester’s multi-vendor briefing days interested us. Last year’s HFN meeting day in Frankfurt was very successful: it allowed a handful of vendors and 22 analysts from many countries to gather together.

Both Forrester’s events and HFN’s are thematic, and allow the opportunity for analysts in a defined research cluster to be briefed by multiple vendors in one day. The days also include ‘plenary’ presentation sessions for all the attendees.

It’s a good riff for the two of them to work with, and I would not be surprised if the idea had spread between these two organisations: Forrester is a HFN client, and their Frankfurt offices are a few doors apart.

Tekrati explains that the advantages of this approach are clear. Small and medium-sized vendors, and their agencies, will feel more comfortable trying to get onto the analysts agenda. They are specific, punctual opportunities, and will attract those who don’t meet with the analysts attending on an ongoing basis. Face-to-face evens transform the ability to build rapport, so they are also a great advantage for the analysts for build more candid relationships with vendors. However, there are some weaknesses. Tekrati point out that it may be harder to be memorable at these events.

Our view is that many large firms will reject on principle the idea of sharing a platform with smaller brands. That, therefore, gives challenger firms the opportunity to look more candid and open.

As the numbers of analysts working remotely continue to grow, the opportunity to organise further events like this sees to enlarge.

However, as I discovered on a visit to HFN’s office this week, the logistical and diplomatic obstacles to organising these events are massive. Forrester will not make money with these events, and the major benefit from HFN must also have been the generation of goodwill, since the organising work started in the summer for their mid-November meeting. Co-ordinating spokespeople and analysts from different firm involves much more complexity than Forrester’s events, where the overhead in organising them is much lower.

These events will initially be very hard to organise, however they look promising.

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5 thoughts on “Pro’s and Con’s of multi-vendor briefing days

  • Not quite the same, but NetEvents has been running shared analyst+press briefing conferences for the network & security sectors for years. Typically there’s about 10-15 analysts and 60-odd tech editors, plus around 20 or so vendors (both large & small). Events run over 2 days, with around 15 scheduled one-on-ones (or two-on-ones sometimes) as well as various panel sessions. I’ve always found them both useful & with a great friendly atmosphere, with a bunch of analyst “regular” attendees.

    Also, a company called EuroPress also used to do “reverse” analyst tours where they’d ship 10 European analysts to Silicon Valley for a few days & shuttle them around 3 or 4 vendors per day.

  • Fascinating. I’ll try to call you tomorrow to find out more about who they suited.

  • If my memory serves me right, back in the ’90s Gartner’s ERP team would hold annual “Hell Weeks”. Analysts from around the world would fly to Stanford for a full week of extended face-to-face vendor briefings and team meetings.

    It seemed like a good idea as they were set up well in advance and had great vendor participation.

    Tho’ by the end of the week all the analysts were looking a little brain dead.

  • I’m surprised that you don’t see the Forrester Briefing Day program pretty much as an analyst implementation of a vendor AR briefing day.

    I don’t see much common ground with the 3rd party multi-client/multi-analyst briefing events.

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