What a year it’s been! The New Normal for Analyst Relations series was our way of providing you with the means to talk through the whirlwind of this year. Thank you to everyone that attended an event and especially if you were able to make it to all 5! This last session for the year hit on our most common COVID-19 related topics: virtual events, analyst engagement, and trends in analyst firms.

NOTE: We’re following one of the tips suggested by your AR colleagues and we will no longer be recording these sessions. Join us for the next one to get the scoop live.

Virtual Events

Virtual events took mainstage throughout the open session as most AR teams are now hosting many virtual events simultaneously. There is definitely a fight for time among vendors and analysts since there are a lot of virtual events happening at the same time. To keep attendance high and host a successful event, AR teams have discovered some best practices for analyst virtual events. To host a successful event, preparation is key. Many AR teams have started to hire AV teams as well as use backdrop management. These details were not necessary before but can make the difference in virtual events. Some other best practices are scheduling breaks in between sessions and splitting sessions across days. Giving breaks is very necessary and analysts find it inconsiderate to not be given breaks. Some events have received backlash for not including them so be sure to include them and even make them fun. They can even be fun meetings in between that are casual. One practice that is absolutely necessary for hitting your tier one analysts is to schedule 1 on 1s in conjunction with the event. Overall, virtual events are constantly shifting and finding the right model for your events will come with some trial and error. The important thing is to keep your goals in mind because you won’t be able to please everyone.

Analyst Engagement

With analyst meetings at an all time high, many AR teams are looking for alternate ways to maintain engagement and connect. In terms of virtual events, AR teams are breaking up sessions by topic areas to invite more concentrated, focused groups rather than a broad meeting. This means there will be a smaller audience but the session will be more insightful and focused for those involved. Outside of events, you may be having some difficulty getting your analysts attention and you need alternative ways to stay connected. In a recent article by Ricarda Rodatus of Oracle, she discusses how AR has shifted with COVID-19 and AR teams need to scale their opportunities by reaching more analysts through a digital experience. With that in mind, many AR teams are looking for ways to connect with new analysts that they may have not had the time to pursue before. One way to connect is through our Analyst Portal where you can host videos, images, and files behind a secure firewall

Trends in Analyst Firms

Another topic that came up during the session was regarding trends at analyst firms. Recently, many AR teams have had issues when scheduling calls and distinguishing the different types of Gartner analysts and what they can advise on. When scheduling a call to find out more about your end users and more vendor facing analysts, it is important to schedule calls with ITL (Gartner for IT Leaders) or TSP(Gartner for Technology & Service Providers) analysts as they talk to end-users often while GTP (Gartner for Technology Professionals) analysts have more technical information and less end user insight. One other trend noted during the call is that Forrester’s Q3 revenue did not go up to compete with Gartner. This is very interesting because Forrester has been very customer experience and employee experience focused and those are two of the most talked about topics during these virtual times.