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

Intriguingly, Forrester’s organized multi-vendor briefing days. A similar multi-vendor meeting day organized by analyst relations consultants in Frankfurt was very successful: it allowed a handful of vendors and 22 analysts from many countries to gather together.

Both events were 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 idea to work with, and I would not be surprised if the idea had spread between these two organizations.

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 to build more candid relationships with vendors. However, there are some weaknesses: 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 in Frankfurt, the logistical and diplomatic obstacles to organizing these events are massive. Forrester will not make money with these events, and the major benefit for AR consultants must also have been the generation of goodwill since the organizing work started in the summer for a mid-November meeting. Co-ordinating spokespeople and analysts from different firms involves much more complexity than Forrester’s events, where the overhead in organizing them is much lower.

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

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As SageCircle research director, Chapple directs programs that assess and increase the business value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.

There are 5 comments on this post
  1. Dean Bubley
    April 01, 2007, 11:21 pm

    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.

  2. Duncan Chapple
    April 02, 2007, 9:32 am

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

  3. Carter Lusher
    April 03, 2007, 4:29 pm

    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.

  4. Barbara
    April 04, 2007, 6:19 am

    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.

  5. Barbara
    April 04, 2007, 6:29 am

    Dean – EuroPress now does business as Globalpress Connection. They’re at