Because of the engaging and dynamic conversations sparked during the New Normal for Analyst Relations, we set out to reopen the conversation on the impact of COVID-19 on the AR community. With such great insights from AR pros across the globe, we dove deep into the following topics and their implications on our business needs:

The world around us continues to change at hyperspeeds and we wanted to provide another opportunity for the AR community to share their successes, challenges and ideas on how we are all evolving with the impacts of COVID-19. It has been extremely successful and welcomed by the AR community and we are expecting to host another conversational event next month.

With this most recent session of the New Normal for Analyst Relations Pt 2, we were able to dive deep into the repercussions of COVID-19 and unveil these fascinating take-aways:

The Transformation of Events 

The analyst relations community thrives off events so it’s no surprise that this was a common topic during the open conversation. Because of the shift to virtual events, there were many observations made by your AR colleagues on recent transformations. Due to a lack of travel, AR teams and analysts can attend more events, but some have noticed that the quality of the events has decreased. Without the opportunity to network, virtual events can lead to video fatigue amongst the audience. Virtual events are consisting mainly of breakouts and keynotes which leaves viewers a bit unsatisfied. Since AR teams are consistently going to these virtual events, they have seen that event hosts are beginning to shift to create more interactive experiences. This includes shifting to open forums, creation of digital booth spaces, and content twists by presenters. Because there are options to host polls and chat, speakers can gauge their audiences better and shift gears if needed. During the open session,we addressed what travel might look like post COVID-19, evaluating which events are most valuable and even if events need to be attended. Many AR teams pointed out that going forward they plan to cut down on unnecessary events to limit travel. One positive side effect of COVID-19 is that some AR teams are really enjoying the virtual world and hope to continue planning virtual SAS days going forward.

Analyst Firms and Shifting Expectations

One of the strongest talking points from the open conversation was why and how analyst firms are shifting with these challenging times. Most analyst firms are taking a huge hit with their events being cancelled.Many in the AR community expect consolidation among small firms with some closures and merges to occur. Larger firms are shifting their business models to fill in gaps from cancelled events by lowering service costs. Call volumes at large firms like Gartner have greatly increased due to COVID-19 related questions and lowered costs. In turn, this has pushed out analyst availability for months. While firms are wrapping their arms around these changing times, it has been noted by numerous AR professionals that there are requirements for research evaluations, like changes like customer references and video submission options that are not standardized. Specifically, customer references are dependent on your analysts.

Keeping Analysts & AR Teams Engaged

Lastly, the AR community had a few great tips for keeping AR teams and analysts engaged. With the fear of video fatigue and analyst absences from presentations, both sides of the spectrum have tips and best practices. On the analyst firm side, most analysts are compressing SAS days to half days to keep AR teams and analysts attentive during sessions. With AR teams concerned about keeping the attention of their analysts, some have started to submit their presentations to their top tier analysts who were unable to attend the event for written response. They submit a presentation for document review with the basis of scheduling a session with the analyst. This cannot be scaled across all your analysts but can help when trying to engage your key analysts under the basis of an upcoming session. Another tactic of AR teams to stay engaged with their analysts is to ask what events they are prioritizing when reopening occurs on a larger scale. This allows the AR teams to plan to also attend these events to stay active with their key analysts.

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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