Monday, 14 November 2005

Is Gartner going Symposium frenzy? Part 1/2

Starting with the good news, the event production team as usual did a top job (those guys can really run a large show neatly) and the James Bond party at the Carlton hotel was impressive, with its ice scultpted artefacts, a casino room and even oysters… Quite an improvement over previous years, although some say Florence was still the nicest one. We wonder how the Orlando do was in comparison? Miller Lite, chicken wings and Mickey Mouse till 7:30 pm? Just in case you were wondering where your platinum sponsorship package went, we scientifically guesstimated the party budget to $200+ a head (.2 probability).

The estimate we have on attendees numbers vary (we won’t get the final numbers until the event sales team has finished massaging them) between 3500 and 4000, which seems down at lest 500 on last year -a similar in proportion as for the Orlando event. About 60% of those are users (in Europe at least). The unfortunate choice of dates (November 11th is a bank holiday in France and most like to be home early on Fridays) might be one of the causes explaining this audience drop. We also think budgets are tights and events drag less attendee nowadays.

Going on about numbers, we heard some vendors commenting on the number of events: in Europe, Gartner will hold a spring and a fall Symposium, the new Data Centre Conference that will take place in Amsterdam in 2 weeks and other specialists events. Would that symposium frenzy be a good illustration of the law of diminishing returns? This would mean a logic of more events, less attendees for each and decreased ROI for sponsors. BTW, that gala party was quite useful to pickup the exhibitors’ mood (those rich enough to buy stands and vendor sessions) which was quite bleak. After a few glasses of Moet champaign, most of them confessed on being disappointed by the poor audience showing up on the ITxpo show-floor.

As a side comment on Stephen from KGC who was probably high when he accused Gartner to have moved the Symposium dates to kill KGC’s event (read Gartner Disconnects KCG Connects). We agree with SGV that they had to cancel either due to low audience or careless planning this on a Sunday. Or both. But that business of blaming Gartner for having to cancel, even if they’re now becoming a monopoly… tsss…. Side note two: the reason for starting on a Tuesday was that the Palais des Festivals was booked till the WE, which also had a knock-on effect on the show-floor build –ITxpo was not accessible during Tuesday’s lunch.

Bottom line: we recommend vendors to use this year's Symposium shortfalls to negotiate a rebate for 2006.

To be continued tomorrow...


theARpro said...

ARonaut, I hope I haven't given you and SVG the wrong idea. When I said Stephen has sniffed one yellow rose too many I was referring to the state flower of Texas, which is his adoptive home. I don't think he was high on anything [unless he wrote it on the Delta flight home]. I used the lyric 'Back in the high life' because Stephen was suggesting that Gartner's Symposium was back at its pre-crash importance.

Stephen England @ KCG said...


To Texas?

Now who's smoking what?

Seriously, thanks for not impugning my already damaged reputation. I have too few brain cells left functioning to risk anything stronger than a good Anejo or the odd stogie!

Stephen England @ KCG said...

Now here's a question. When you say "would match with the US event turnout" are you suggesting the European event total turnout was the same as Orlando?

Anonymous said...

Delta flies Orlando-Austin twice daily.

ARonaut said...

Well spotted. We meant that numbers are down in Cannes in the same proportion than in Orlando.

Stiennon said...

Could I please make a request? This blog would be much more readable if you did a little spell/grammer checking.

"but we think budgets are tights are events drag less attendee nowadays." ????

There are so many typos you are asking your readers to guess at your meaning.

Otherwise thanks for the report from Cannes!

Anonymous said...

I agree! I want a refund.

ARonaut said...

We confess hastily posting this post and have corrected those spllhing mestakhs.