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Gartner’s Spring Symposium is a fine opportunity for vendors competing on emerging technologies and trends

logo-gartner-spring-symposium.jpgHmm, it’s early January, what to do? I know! For AR teams, it’s time for the big push to ensure the proper visibility at Gartner’s Spring Symposium. This is especially true for vendors that truly compete on hot tech, R&D and being on the leading edge. Spring Symposium has turned from deadly boring into an interesting opportunity to get visibility and recognition. Unfortunately, many vendors that should be mentioned at the “emerging trends” Symposium won’t be. Why? Most vendors are so focused on briefing analysts on today’s products or services that they do not get around to briefing the analysts on their work on emerging technologies and trends. There is still time to raise one’s profile, but the window is quickly closing. 
2007 was the first time that Gartner really gave Spring Symposium its own raison d’être, which was emerging trends and technologies. This was a smart move as it gave vitality to an event that frankly had become listless and tedious. I have been going to Spring Symposium since its first launch in the early 90’s as an analyst, SageCircle strategist, and AR executive. 2007 was the first Spring Symposium that had serious buzz. Gartner said attendance was up 30% and I believe it from the packed rooms. Even on Sunday the sessions were filled. In fact for one Sunday session, the facilities crew had to remove one wall of an already large room and bring in extra chairs. I sat in on many sessions where people were sitting on the floor.
US Spring Symposium is April 6-10 in Las Vegas and analysts are creating content. Yes, the website is already up with agendas, presentation descriptions, and a speakers list. However, the situation is still fluid. It is possible for tech vendors to provide input on which analysts participate on analyst panels, directions of presentations, and which vendors get mentioned. Remember that for both US Symposiums in 2007, Gartner was still tweaking things up to a month before the events.


So what should vendor AR teams be doing? Here are some suggestions in time order sequence.

  1. Review the content on the Symposium website identifying opportunities and questions
  2. Conduct an inquiry with Mark Raskino, UK-based VP & Gartner Fellow, who is the analyst conference chair. Topics for inquiry:
    1. Explain your company’s work on emerging trends and technologies
    2. Ask for Mark’s advice on which tracks are relevant and who are the track leaders
    3. Ask for Mark’s advice on which presentations are relevant and who are the analyst(s) giving them
  3. Conduct an inquiry with your Gartner Lead Analyst (if you have one) or a senior trusted analyst to get their insights on what is happening behind the scenes and what you need to do
  4. Conduct inquiries with the appropriate track leaders to gather more intelligence about the tracks and presentations
  5. Analyze the opportunity and decide go/no go based on your resources. If “go,” continue.
  6. Put together a plan. The plan does not have to be exceptionally detailed, but should include objectives, spokespeople commitments, budget, and calendar
  7. Run a series of briefings to expose the relevant analysts and track leaders to your company’s work on the pertinent emerging trends and technologies
  8. Schedule periodic inquiries to keep your finger on the pulse of the analysts’ thoughts about their presentations
  9. Organize a Deep Dive (an analyst consulting day focused on multiple analysts from a single firm, in this case Gartner)
  10. Schedule final inquiries for the last week of March to determine any last minute analyst information needs and generally position yourself top-of-mind. You should initiate the scheduling of these inquiries in the first week of March to ensure yourself a spot on the analysts’ busy calendars.

 There will be a distinct possibility that you will be required to broaden your topics and spokesperson portfolio. If that is the case, make sure that the spokespeople and their content developers are well trained on the ins-and-outs of interacting with the analysts.
Shameless marketing pitch – If you need advice about what to do with the Spring Symposium opportunity, check out SageCircle’s two-hour and five-hour advisory paks. Easy to setup and pay for via credit card. We can help you evaluate the opportunity, discuss how to conduct the inquiries, review your plans, prepare your spokespeople, and train your content developers. For more information, visit our website or contact us at sales@sagecircle.com or 650-274-8309. 
Bottom Line: Gartner’s Spring Symposium with its focus on emerging trends and technologies is newly relevant for vendors who compete on being on the leading edge. AR teams should act now to ensure that the relevant analysts are properly educated about their companies’ key capabilities and R&D projects.
Question: Have you been educating the analysts on your companies’ position and capabilities on emerging trends and technologies?

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