A few weeks ago I wrote this post about how “analyst summits” keep improving. I had previewed the contents with the Unit4 analyst team as they prepared for their first “summit” (they previously outsourced analyst relations and with significant new management talent and product news need a much fuller day of presentations, and more direct analyst contact) and I was really pleased they took what I shared and added several nice touches to the analyst day they hosted in Boston yesterday.
What stood out:
Executive Transparency: CEO José Duarte set the tone with an interactive session and every other session and mealtimes had plenty of time for q&a.
Mix of sessions: Besides the executive sessions, there was a customer and a partner session, and time for some product drilldown, including a session on a just-closed acquisition of Three Rivers Systems, a higher education vertical play. I heard at least 8 accents speaking fluent English during the course of the day – testimony to Unit4’s European roots but growing N. American and other global growth.
Polling: Unit4 polled analysts ahead of the day on what they wanted to hear, the preferred format (they were a bit surprised people did not want 1:1 sessions. I had told them most bloggers liked the interaction of group sessions) and ended the day asking for live feedback – there was a genuine desire to engage with analysts not just present to them.
Convenience: Unit4 “split” the day – in London last week, in Boston this week. The goal was to reduce travel time and effort for the majority of invitees. This of course, meant the presenters had to travel more but again it was considerate of them to focus on the analysts.
Aesthetics: The State Room atop 60 State Street provided a superb, panoramic view of Boston and its waterfront. There was plenty of fresh air on the walk from the hotel and to the dinner. The dinner was “La Famiglia” style, shared Italian and encouraged even more banter.
Content availability: One of my pet peeves is slides from such sessions are often not available for days afterwards. Unit4 had slides available for download from a Dropbox folder at the start of the day.
Very nicely done day – will blog more about product direction in coming weeks as Unit4 removes the embargo on some of the content.
Holger Mueller has a nice Storify summary of the day.
Photo Credit above : Ivo Totev