By Aman Munglani, Research Director, Conference Chair, Gartner, Inc.
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company that research, analyze and interpret IT business through resources of Gartner Research, Executive Programs, Consulting and Events. The Connecticut headquartered company was founded in 1979 and has a current market cap of $6.57 Billion.
Aman Munglani, Research Director, Conference Chair, Gartner, Inc.
The predominant responsibility of every event organizer is providing value above the money. The conference should not only daze the first time audience but also astonish repeated audiences. To accomplish it, event organizer must ensure the coverage of all the aspects expected by every audience and surpass it. One-on-one sessions, Q&A sessions, powerful networking and roundtables with experts can just be the ticket to guarantee that no audience is returning empty handed. Instead of waiting for days and talking to analysts over phone in the availability basis, one can make use of the one-on-one session with analysts to consult about building a future roadmap.
Heart of Conference
Though every organization is unique and facing their own kind of challenges, there are few contents applicable to everyone. The heart of a conference lies in identifying such theme that is relevant to Indian audience. We run surveys with past attendees and CIO & CEO audiences to bring forth a futuristic theme. We find the applicability of a certain technology and its short & long term impacts. Aspects like net impacts from organizational behavior perspective and the kind of skill sets organizations should be focusing on will also be unearthed. Finally, all these features will be married to pick the perfect theme. Each and every presentation will be delivered based on these five rocks. Once the theme is identified, we look at the parallel coverage one can possibly take from the perspective of the chosen theme.
The analysts and experts are selected depending on the theme. Audience can attain diverse learning experience with a fresh perspective from analysts, if a new face is presented in front of the audience every time. For instance, for our Goa Symposium, we have Anupam Kher. Not many people know that he is an amazing inspirational speaker. He is very strong in management practices and has a good understanding about organizations' tendency to get straight jacketed with day-to-day life in their efforts.
Captivating the Audience
Choosing the conference venue can play a major role in the success of conference. By keeping the CIOs captive in location akin to Goa for the entire length of conference, they can be kept away from the day-to-day operations in their office. The distant location enables audience to focus on the big picture without distraction. Instead of rushing back to their offices to deal with a problem that is growing in sidelines, they can concentrate on strategizing a roadmap for long term.
CIOs are embroiled in the world of IT. They should branch away from their core area and get fresh perspectives in terms of management practices and strategy lessons. Though such contents might be a little far from their primary role, they will find it quite interesting and fruitful. It could be an exhilarating ride for a CIO to come to a new location and recognize burning issues in the market akin to mobility in a new vision. A CIO can gather all the knowledge and update himself with access to such content, analysts and like-minded folks. After returning to his office, he can implement the same and share the insights with his team.
Mobilizing 2000 people simultaneously across different shows requires huge co-ordination effort. Hence, we hire event vendors to aid us with efforts like ensuring right locations, reallocation and stage & backdrop arrangement. The vendors are chosen by Gartner team through a rigorous process based on the vendor's past experience and number of events successfully accomplished by them.
Our historical audiences range from large banks, big manufacturing companies & giant telecom companies to SMB organizations. We expect 1500 to 2000 attendees to the Gartner Symposium/IT Expo 2014. It will take place in Goa from 14th to 17th October with the theme Driving Digital Business, where attendees can meet 35 Gartner analysts under one roof. Apart from this biggest conference, we have planned two more major events in India namely Business Intelligence & Analytics Event, and Infrastructure & Inauguration Data Center Summit in Mumbai. Beyond that, we also have numerous local briefings for smaller audience with limited number of analysts, who talk about pertinent issues in market at that point of time. We hope all our audiences will leverage our conferences to successfully realign their focus up-to-date with market realities.