The CIO Panel is reason enough to attend the AR Forum at Symposium (part 5 of 7 about Gartner’s Q3 AR Call)

Gartner’s Analyst Relations team holds a quarterly conference call for the analyst relations (AR) community. SageCircle occasionally will post about the call, but for this particular call there was so much information that we have a seven-part series to highlight details and provide commentary. See below for links to all seven posts.

Logo - Symposium 2009Gartner will be holding AR Forums at Symposium again this year. They will be from 3 pm to 5 pm followed by a reception from 5 pm to 6 pm. The Orlando forum will be on October 20 and Cannes will be on November 3. Sydney has not been scheduled yet.

There will presentations by CEO Gene Hall and Head of Research Peter Sondergaard, which should be useful. However, the agenda item that really stands out as a compelling use of an AR professional’s time is the “CIO Panel Discussion: Understanding How the CIO-Gartner Dialogue is Changing.” The description says that CIO clients will share their perceptives and then field questions.

One of the reasons why many vendor executives question the relevance of the analysts in the age of free information on the Internet and bountiful opinions on social media is that they do not grok how the relationship between CIOs/IT managers and analysts is so radically different from the often contentious and dysfunctional relationships vendors have with the analysts. Attending this panel discussion can provide AR with valuable insights about the CIO-analyst relationship that they can then use with skeptical colleagues when discussing the relevance of the advisory analysts such as Gartner.

In addition, understanding the dialogue between CIOs and analysts can help AR focus the type of content they give to the analysts. AR professionals might find that they are leaving out important types of information when briefing analysts simply because they do not understand the types of conversations that go on between analysts and their end-user clients.

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR should prioritize attendance at the AR Forum
  • AR should consider bringing non-AR colleagues to the AR Forum or at least invite them to come when the CIO Panel will be held
  • Potential questions to ask the panelists
    • Why in the age of the Internet and social media do enterprises spend money with analyst firms when so much information and opinion is available for free?
    • How does the CIO and his/her staff use information from the Internet and blogs?
    • How does the CIO’s staff use the analysts?
    • Does the CIO query the staff about whether the staff used the analysts when developing important proposals or making critical purchasing decisions?
    • How has the recession changed the CIOs’ attitude toward purchasing analyst services?
    • For the CIOs, what is the business value of using the analysts?

Bottom Line: Increasing your understanding of how enterprise end-user clients interact with analysts can be a valuable benefit for any AR staff attending Gartner’s Symposia.   This is also true for theme conferences as well as other firms’ end-user events. Beyond attending the AR Forum with its CIO Panel, AR professionals should be engaging end users between sessions, at meals, on the ITxpo floor, and elsewhere about how they use the analysts and how that usage is evolving in the age of social media.

Question: AR – Have you ever interacted with end users about their relationship with the advisory analysts?

  1. Prepping for Gartner Symposium
  2. Don’t bring your CEO to Symposium and expect to brief the analysts
  3. Cost optimization at Symposium will be a critical thread to follow for vendors
  4. Make sure to attend relevant Magic Quadrant presentations at Symposium ITxpo Marketplace Theater
  5. The CIO Panel is reason enough to attend the AR Forum at Symposium
  6. Evidence Sidebar – Gartner needs to discuss end user inquiry data points
  7. Gartner’s updated Vendor Research Escalation Process
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