Five innovations define multi-vendor briefing days

Some folk think we are over-impressed by the novelty of Forrester’s move towards multi-vendor briefing days. Thanks to Barbara for her comment: “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.”

Lighthouse’s view is that the key message for AR managers has to be this: multi-vendor briefing days are an innovation that they should expect to encounter with increasing frequency. There are five reasons why Forrester’s event is not simply an analyst reworking of a vendor’s event:

  1. First, these events are primarily not there to sell the sponsoring firm.
  2. Second, competitive vendors are there, allowing analysts a more critical and rounded selection of data.
  3. Third, these events will be mainly aimed at mid-market attendees and those from smaller firms while vendors increasingly aim for fewer, but better analysts at their events.
  4. Fourth, some analysts will be more resistant to attend these events, because of their less selective nature, which will produce both self-selection (more open-minded, less time-oriented analysts will attend) and friction in the analyst house (some teams of analysts will be more open than others: for example software analysts are more open to smaller firms than are IT services analysts). Vendors’ executives love to attend these events, even if it’s just to network with their colleagues: organising these events with analysts is much harder.
  5. Fifth, in the future Forrester could invite analysts from other firms to attend. We don’t think it is thinking along those lines but, for example, that might allow it to build up alliances with national boutiques in other regions, firms it has co-operated with and independent analysts it might want to work with more closely in the future.

Barbara is right to suggest that these are not third party events, however Forrester’s event shares the unusual feature of being a multi-vendor briefing opportunity. We think they are here to stay.

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