It’s all about the conversation – why Gartner Symposium works at so many levels
As Gartner Symposium season draws to a close this week in Barcelona, it’s worth reflecting on what a powerhouse this event has become right around the world & why it’s become so important – for users, for vendors and – most particularly – for AR professionals. Regardless of your attitude about Gartner, you can’t ignore Symposium.
Events have become a serious business for Gartner. Although accounting for just 11 per cent – $US174 million – of Gartner’s 2012 revenues, they were the highest growth area at 17 per cent. The firm now runs close to 70 events around the world, some of them technology-specific, but Symposium is still the big kahuna, with eight locations globally.
The numbers are big – in terms of delegates, exhibitors, sessions and analysts. And dollars. What separates Symposium/ITXpo from every other IT industry event is that everyone pays to play – in Australia, delegates pay about $3,500 each (sometimes included in contracts), vendors pay $50,000 and upwards to buy a piece of real estate on the ITXpo showfloor, and cheapskates like me pay a few hundred bucks just to hang around the showfloor chatting to exhibitors, analysts & delegates.
But the interesting thing is that it delivers value for everyone – it’s symbiotic. I’ve written before about how AR professionals should plan to get value out of Symposium, but let’s summarise how this works:
- AR folks get to connect with analysts through 1:1s & informal discussions, as well as introduce spokespeople
- AR folks get to hear about what analysts are saying about their companies & their competitors
- Vendor salespeople get to pitch to high quality prospects, including CIOs
- Vendor sales & marketing folks get to hear what Gartner really thinks about them, 1:1 or in audience
- Gartner analysts get rich insights about hot button issues from conducting back-to-back 1:1s with the country’s leading technology users
- Gartner salespeople get to pitch their services to users & vendors alike
- Everyone gets to hang out & talk about technology, business & stuff….
In this video I talk with a few AR-savvy vendors about why they commit so much time & money to Symposium. It’s obvious that all of them go there with some very clear objectives.
It’s all about the conversation. If you can’t get some value out of Symposium/ITXpo, you’re probably not trying hard enough…