Friday, September 15, 2006


Why Conferences don't show respect to small analyst firms...

I had an interesting conversation with a conference chair regarding why they never have analysts from small firms speak at their venues...

I will be speaking at several upcoming conferences on SOA, Security and Open Source over the next couple of weeks. Apparently, my name has appeal to many conference hosts. Some have asked me to speak because I am a noted author, others because I work for a well-branded Fortune 100 enterprise and others still because of the topics that I speak about tend not to be thinly veiled repeat-after-me cliche statements delivered in bullet form.

I enquired as to why I wouldn't be hearing from analysts I have the utmost respect of such as James Governor of Redmonk, Jason Bloomberg of ZapThink and Daniel Blum of the Burton Group. The answer I received was interesting at some level in that conferences look for speakers not because of subject matter expertise but more because of brand. They did mention that large analyst firms tend to have massive customer lists they blast out to large enterprises like the one I work for in order to attract participation.

They did indicate that small analyst firms are plagued by a problem in that they could bring lots of vendors to the table, but without us enterprise folks also showing up that this isn't sustainable. Likewise, they also mentioned that some analysts expect compensation for speaking at industry events while others don't. Not sure of what to think in this regard.

Anyway, on one of the upcoming conferences, I will be ahead of an analyst that works for one of the larger industry analyst firms. Being displeased with having an analyst follow me I started to noodle how to have fun with it and figured I would ask him to answer one single question.

This analyst may need to duckdown...

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