Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Forrester's latest AR Council initiative

Would you invite an AR professional from another company to attend one of your analyst events?

Well now you can, thanks to a new initiative from Forrester Research's AR Council. Eric Lobel, the director of the AR Council in North America, explained to me that the 'Analyst Event Exchange' is being introduced as a result of "great member suggestions." The idea is to "enable members to attend an analyst event conducted by a fellow council member.“

He goes on: "The Event Exchange will allow participants the chance to see first-hand how their peers are conducting every facet of their analyst event. This will create an unprecedented opportunity for information exchange, idea sharing, and professional development."

The initiative has already generated positive feedback from AR Council members, which isn't surprising. I'd certainly be very happy to attend any analyst event should anyone out there care to invite me along. It would be fascinating to see how other AR folk decide what type of event to hold, work out which analysts to invite and how they go about the inviting, prepare their executives, run the briefings and interact with the analysts generally.

But while it's an interesting idea, I do wonder if this can be made to work in practice? Is it really feasible to get someone from another organisation to attend an analyst event, never mind get them involved with every step of the planning and set-up process? Can this stranger's presence be justified to your colleagues, your executives and even the analysts?

So far says Eric, this doesn’t seem to have presented a problem. Those individuals who have expressed interest in attending someone else's event have also volunteered in turn to act as a host. He's aware though that it's still very early days.

Will it work in practice? Who knows - we'll just have to wait and see. Talking to Eric, he’s obviously well aware of the practical challenges that need to be overcome if this initiative is to succeed.

But Forrester has to be applauded for introducing this pilot scheme. The idea of sharing knowledge, ideas and experience between AR professionals is one I support wholeheartedly.

ADDITION
Eric has clarified for me that Forrester doesn't expect guests to be involved in any way, other then as spectators during the event. The hope is for hosts to explain what went into their planning.

2 comments:

Dennis Howlett said...

David - I think we're already past that point. Have you been following what's happened at SAPPHIRE06? If not then skim through my site as a starting point, search on SAPPHIRE06 or do a Technorati search on that same term/ Technorati by the way is out of date on this. Duh!

My take is this defo works. the bloggers are already getting a head start on MSM and it's getting picked up by the likes of Dan Farber. This is just a start on a very interesting road.

i've aqlso been doing stuff around this at IntegrationMonitor and enterprisey.wordpress.com

David Rossiter said...

Dennis - I have been following SAPPHIRE06, mostly through you and Vinne. It's been educational to see how it works in practice. Like you, I agree it's just the start of a very interesting road.

It's been interesting seeing how conversations with clients have evolved over the past - let's say - 12 months. They're not all at the same stage but they all now seem to realise it's the blogging communities a) can not be ignored and b) actually can deliver a lot of value which has previously either not been available or hard to tap into.