During a morning networking break, I had the opportunity to chat with both Frank Scavo with Constellation Research and Josh Greenbaum with Enterprise Applications Consulting, which we would like to share as an aside.

We talked about our recent experiences at conferences sponsored by enterprise software vendors that have morphed to be fairly large-scale, sales-driven events whose attendees number in the thousands. These events limit a sense of connection to either customer education, networking among customer or prospective customer attendees or to the actual technology provider’s key staff. We contrasted that to an event such as Kinexions, with smaller but yet more meaningful and open access in conversation and interaction.

It is becoming more evident that large-scale, and rather expensive customer events have perhaps lost a purpose. Events solely geared toward business development and lead generation miss the opportunity for customer connection and community-building. Smaller, local events, trump large-scale events where finding a cup of coffee turns out to be a logistics challenge, let alone securing a quiet area to speak with another attendee, or finding a quality local restaurant that is not totally booked.

The message for marketing and conference organizers is that smaller events that focus on customer interests, education and community outweigh larger-scale alternatives, and are far more enjoyable for all.

Bob Ferrari

Disclosure: Kinaxis is one of other named sponsors of the Supply Chain Matters blog and has a business services relationship with The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group LLC.