This post is one in a series where SageCircle pulls out the crystal ball and looks ahead to what happens in the analyst ecosystem in 2010. See below for links to all posts in this series.
2009 was a brutal year for industry analyst events businesses with over 20 conferences canceled, including Gartner Spring Symposium. Of course this was totally predictable because in any recession ticket sales drop due to corporate travel restrictions and evaporating vendor sponsorships. Toward the end of 2009, Forrester and AMR Research reported results from several conferences that exceeded their modest expectations. Even Gartner, which projected that its Events business would be down 26% to 33% for 2009, was making some hopeful noises.
Building on the faint revival in 4Q09, the analyst firms will start adding back conferences in 2010, especially in 2H10. However, the numbers of conferences, attendees, and vendor sponsorships will lag pre-2009. The addition of an event in some cases will be relatively last minute as the firms try to gauge interest in particular topics and the revenue streams that could be generated.
AR teams that are not keeping their fingers on the pulse of the firms’ intentions about reinstating canceled or launching new events will miss multiple opportunities. The most obvious miss will concern working with their most relevant analysts on specific presentations. Larger missed opportunities will be the ones where AR can
help analyst firms define the goals and agendas of conference tracks or entire conferences.
- AR professionals should be chatting with their most relevant analysts on a regular basis to determine analyst firm plans for adding events
- AR should have standard processes in place for working with analysts and conference managers about providing input into agendas
- AR should have event outreach as part of its AR strategic and tactical plan
- AR should alert their colleagues responsible for events sponsorships about potential sponsorship opportunities
Bottom Line: Hundreds or thousands of customers and potential prospects attend analyst events. AR should be evaluating the business value for investing in outreach on currently scheduled and likely to be added events. If it looks like a particular event will provide the vendor with good exposure opportunities, then the AR team will need to weave outreach on the event into to its plans.
Question: Analysts – Are your firms adding events in 2010? AR – Do you have a standard process for working with analysts and conference managers about the content and agendas of events?
Looking ahead to 2010 Series
- Analyst Market…
- Social Media…
- Analyst relations…