A couple of weeks ago I attended my 7th JRocket Marketing Grape Escape®. This year the theme was “Bewitched Grape Escape -2012” complete with a fortune teller, a living statue of a witch, a reenactment of a Salem witch trial and a mock trial of our own with analysts as prosecutors pitted against enterprise application vendors SYSPRO, UNIT4 Agresso and CODA as defendants, with Judge Judy presiding.
As an analyst I have been to my share of analyst/influencer events, but I have to say this one is quite unique and one most of us wouldn’t miss. After all the wine, the food, the entertainment, the attention to detail… all top notch. Judith Rothrock (aka Judge Judy for the evening) is the mastermind behind this annual event and her event planning is legendary. In fact she does such a good job planning it that when she had a devastating accident and emergency surgery to reconstruct her hand a week before the event in 2011, it still went off without a hitch, even though she couldn’t attend.
OK, so I do like the wine and the food and the entertainment, but that’s not the only reason I make sure I get this on my calendar every June, as well as the roadshows that she plans every December. You see: she runs these events and roadshows on behalf of several of her clients – usually two or three enterprise application solution providers. Judith provides services including complete positioning, market planning and training, but among the analyst community she is best known for her JRocket Marketing Nitro™ 12-month analyst program.
As analysts we deal with “analyst relations” all the time. We also sit through a lot of presentations, summits and briefings, both over the phone and in person. What analysts actually do varies from firm to firm, as does the business model we operate under. But there is one consistent theme for any analyst. Our time is our most precious commodity. And the sub-theme is: Please don’t waste it. What we see and hear at summits, events and briefings runs the gamut from “well planned, with lots of content” to “why are we here?”
We wonder why we’re here when there doesn’t seem to be any real content, when there always seems to be an inconsistent “message du jour”, when the message is unclear or when the conversation strays off course. Of course, on the other hand, some analysts are pretty good at steering the spokesperson off his or her charted course… but not with Judith in the room. Judith runs a tight ship when it comes to staying on message and if her clients start to wander, she engineers a course correction immediately. The messaging is clear and targeted; announcements are well-planned, clear and concise and spokespeople always stay “on message.”
That’s what analysts want – even better with the flair of a JRocket Marketing event.