While I’m at Symposium, I thought it might be helpful to share the rules that Gartner has in place to ensure that Gartner’s research positions and event activities remain separate and distinct from vendor marketing activities. At Gartner events more than anywhere else, analysts and vendors intermix, so it’s imperative that all Gartner clients understand the nature of those relationships, and also that Gartner carefully monitors vendor activities. Client trust and analyst integrity the very cornerstones of Gartner’s business, so ensuring that there are no perceptions of impropriety is essential. Here are some examples:
1) Vendors are restricted in both the types and content of materials they can distribute during the Gartner event. For example, marketing materials require Gartner Vendor Relations approval and may not include language that appears to endorse a particular vendor or product.
2) Analysts may not attend pricey exclusive events sponsored by vendors. While we realize time constraints may require a business lunch or dinner, it is important that those interactions avoid even the appearance that an analyst is accepting gifts from vendors.
3) Analyst participation in Solution Provider Sessions is only permitted within established Gartner Sponsor guidelines. For example, in these presentations the analyst may only cover industry-general content — nothing vendor or product-specific.
4) While the costs of putting on an event as large as Symposium are offset somewhat by sponsor participation, sponsors have no input into the research process or material presented during the conference.
So what? Gartner analysts are independent and objective and work hard to earn and keep your trust. The rules we have in place help avoid even the appearance that anything else is true.