In our open session, we were able to dive deep into the biggest impacts on our AR lives and how we are pivoting to meet the demands of our new business needs by exploring the following topics:

During Episode 4 of our Learning Series, we asked if you, the ARchitect community, would like a platform to share how COVID-19 has impacted your life professionally and personally. With the open discussion and topics introduced by your colleagues, there were some interesting new findings:

How Video Conferencing Helps

During the webinar, there were a few discoveries on how video calls are affecting analyst relationships. We discussed how analyst calls are frequently using video, as opposed to voice-only calls. In fact, the use of video seems to be building greater relationships with analysts, as our homes have become the new office and analysts are open to sharing more about their personal lives. The “new normal” of video calling with analysts has benefited in building rapport and has started to normalize talking about children, pets, families, and health.

Effects On Analyst Relations Tasks

There were many great key takeaways on how analyst relations tasks are shifting with the “new normal”. First, inquiry volumes have been growing during these times and certain topics, like security, are getting even more awareness and, naturally, analyst influence is also growing for those topics. Next, many AR teams shared that breaking up inquiries and SAS engagements into 4-hour sessions helps to maintain attention while limiting on-screen overload for analysts and AR teams. Lastly, because the office is at home and there is more sharing of our personal lives, the relationship-building during video calls has facilitated better-quality interactions. The quality of these interactions is certainly due to the increase in “face-to-face” video calling, but may also be the result of analysts having more free time since they aren’t always traveling to the next event.

What This Means for Existing Events

One of the most notable changes discussed was the changes in travel and events. There were several topics addressed with respect to creating your own digital events, as well as updates to analyst firm events. Many events held by analyst firms have been turned into digital events. Some of the key differences discussed were significant decreased pricing for these events, the format of these events shifting away from all-day conferences, and how the role of sponsorship is shifting. Gartner has recently sent out a survey to determine their new pricing model for their events. It is suspected that Gartner will be reducing their fees for digital events, as opposed to in-person events. We can expect to see the same for other analyst firms following suit. The AR community has also been susceptible to “screen fatigue” and events are chopping themselves up into smaller segments, rather than all-day conferences to keep the attention of their audiences more engaged. Sponsorship of events has also shifted for some, with one company (Micro Focus) donating their sponsorship funding in support of COVID-19 charities in the name of their event. 

Best Practices for Creating Your Own Virtual Event

While many AR professionals gave input about events they are attending, there was also a lot of helpful advice on how to put on impactful digital events. Virtual events run smoother when there are assigned roles to those putting on the event. It is important to assign a person to the technology, chat, Q&A, moderators, note-taking, and presenters to have the event run in an effective manner. You may also be able to call on your IT team to help with the technology. Many individuals are also switching up their formats to more social events rather than the standard presentation format. The best way to stand out among all the digital events is to consider your audience and to be creative. Digital events can be really exciting for your audience when you consider sending them something beforehand, changing up your format, or including fun surprises along the way.

We hope you enjoyed the webinar as much as we did. This was definitely one of our most rewarding webinars, and we can’t wait to see you at another!

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