A new post by ARmadgeddon is critical of an initiative by Forrester’s analyst relations council. Forrester’s plan allows participants to attend a conference for analysts being organised by a participant at another firm. Eric’s comment summarises the proposal nicely.
Those who have commented on the proposal so far [David, ARonaut, Armonk] are sceptical: other stakeholders would object to it; it looks like a competitive intelligence ploy by Forrester; the notion is dismissed as a drug-fueled mirage.
We disagree. Forrester will not expect most, or even a large minority, of its clients to take up this opportunity. However, those firms who take up the offer will benefit. Because most AR practitioners are isolated and under-supported they rarely understand the full range of basic techniques; few optimise their effectiveness. Furthermore, when attending someone else’s events you are are to really see the dynamics and variables better than you can at your own event, because at your own event you are too busy running it and focussing on the content.
The reality is that most analyst events are rather poor. Effort is focussed on the content, but few people ensure that the venue is ‘on brand’, that analysts and spokespeople interact well, that vendor-side people do not network with each other, and that time for one-to-one discussions is optimised.
There is a massive amount to learn, and little risk. Since most events focuss only on publicly available material, there is little confidentiality risk. However, the benefits are substantial.
The doom-laden and fearful responses of Forrester’s critics is on target in one way: it shows that some AR professionals are still operating in a climate in which they are closed off and defensive. We take no pleasure in identifying this: these fears are the realities of some of the largest companies and this anxiety will slowly, if ever, be replaced by openness.