The Man by Your Stand……..is a lady!

You know what a Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is, right? Like the tagline says, it’s ‘The World’s Most Important Gathering of CIOs and Senior IT Executives’. It must be important – just look at all those random capital letters! It’s a global show, and I’m looking to create more interest than a pay-day loans company for Micro Focus and Borland. So, no pressure there, then. But what does being there from a Field Marketing perspective feel like ?

Preparation

Well first off – knowledge of what you’re dealing with doesn’t hurt.  Anyone who’s in the know (or spends valuable company time looking stuff up on the Internet in the name of ‘research’) will be aware that that this year’s Orlando event is a biggie. It will feature IT royalty in the form of Microsoft Big Cheese  Steve Ballmer and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.  In terms of moving and shaking, this event is way up the Richter Scale.

Gartner itself been around since 1979 – 34 years of powerhouse IT Analyst legacy – starting off in the IT world which Micro Focus thrives :  Big Iron, COBOL, Business Application Development, Developer tooling and Testing. So Micro Focus and Gartner should go together like apple pie and custard. Staying ‘modern’ and relevant is key to Gartner’s success – how have they achieved this year after year in making the Symposium a success ?  Gartner constantly modernizes this event to stay relevant and powerful is an obvious conclusion to draw……but how do they go about this ?

Understanding

Gartner clients include large corporations, government agencies, technology companies and the investment community. Gartner know their audience inside and out, their research targets CIOs & senior IT leaders in industries that include government agencies, high-tech and telco enterprises, professional services firms, and technology investors. Exciting and bleeding edge it may not be – but it underpins the industry. Based on this enterprise knowledge they can start their modernization process year after year…….recycling core assets while maintaining the underlying features that keep the Events ticking over successfully.

Quick wins whilst developing the strategy

Based on a sound understanding Gartner Executives will move forward with confidence on their path – developing a strategy for the events with stake-holders and key clients.  Modern tooling and techniques like Social Media for Gartner ( & Micro Focus / Borland) is one easy win. In essence Social Media is about providing a modern, relevant interface to a robust, solid but perhaps visually outdated back-end….just like Terminal Emulation! Different channels must be catered for and Social Media does just this – LinkedIn, YouTube, Slideshare all play their part. With a few whizzy tricks we’ve modernized our user interaction and made it more efficient whilst maintaining our business logic and core assets…..now to Develop and improve the core underlying strategy (as the mobile apps are tested & the website performance is monitored.)

Testing the strategy

Gartner wouldn’t want to test their strategy in a live environment. It could work – but it could be risky  and extremely costly if it all went wrong. Practice makes perfect right ? So testing the strategy outside of the real deal saves money, time and development resource. Advisory boards, client meetings  – talking with analysts is one sure-fire way of ‘testing’ the messaging . Simpler tests (that something ‘just works’) can be achieved in a more automated way bringing more efficiency to the mix.

The rubber hits the road

At the end of the day – all the preparation, development and testing is about execution – deploying a seamless event off the ground is no mean feat. These days an event isn’t just a physical meeting, it takes place in the cloud,  online, on phone calls, in the printed press – making it work on multiple platforms saves money and increases success. And after the event the whole cycle starts again with better knowledge, more analysis and the same solid foundation for winning !

Anyway avid readers,  the clock on the wall is ticking and the red light on the BB is winking. Much to do. But we’re getting there.  So if you’re in Orlando between 7 and 10 of October, check us out at Gartner. It’s a busy agenda and the organisers and delegates are going to be seriously busy . Not only the Gartner crew – but the thousands of other folks from the companies on the floor who’ve dedicated hours and hours to make it the success it will be. Stop by booth 500 to say hi if you’ve enjoyed my blog (you might get a special prize, I am in Marketing after all). And look out for Part 2 of my blog. It’ll be coming soon.

But only one free golf ball, okay?

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