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.