Question: As AR managers look forward to 2009, many are thinking about scheduling an analyst conference. A common question SageCircle receives on this topic is whether to co-located the analyst event with other events.
Are you holding an IT or telecom industry analyst conference in the next few months? If so, planning should be well under way. One of the questions we have received several times over the year concerns the possibility of combining your analyst event with some other company function. This other event might include customer or user group meetings, partner events, financial analyst events, or PR or marketing meetings. The logic seems to be that you have gathered all the key executives together and can leverage their time and travel.
We think this is a really bad idea.
The needs of the Industry Analysts are different that these other groups. Your executives need to have presentations – and more importantly mindsets – focused on the analysts. Treating analysts like customers or reporters is easily detected and in general disliked by the analysts. Remember that analysts are best addressed by content that is tailored to their needs.
In our experience the less formal time at these events such as meals, round-tables, and one-on-one meetings has the highest value to the analysts. Sharing the executives with another group either physically, or because they met with that other group earlier in the day, can diminish the value of that type of interaction.
SageCircle suggests that although you might think it is “convenient” to grab executives’ time by combining events you are better served by scheduling analyst events independently.
- Begin your planning early so that you don’t conflict with other analyst or company activities
- Set expectations with your executive spokespeople so they devote the required time
- Presentations for analysts should be tuned to their needs and not re-purposed from other sources
- Plan informal interactions to leverage the perceived high value by the analysts
Bottom Line: Holding an analyst conference can provide great interaction opportunities to tier 1 and 2 analysts, but requires a focus on the needs of the analysts. Presentations that are not tuned or executives who are distracted pose a risk of negative analyst reactions.
Question: AR Teams: Do you ever combine activities? If so, what was the result? Analysts: What have been your experiences with combined events?
Don’t forget to notify SageCircle when you schedule your analyst conference/summit so we can add it to the
SageCircle can help with staff training, agenda planning, presentation review, spokesperson training, or other event suggestions. Feel free to contact us very early in your planning process to get the most from your event.