As an analyst at gap intelligence, my role includes a variety of essential job functions including client presentations, writing industry news and product reports, market analysis, managing client relationships, and working within our internal category teams. Under the client relationship umbrella is what we at gap call industry citizenship. Recently, I’ve collaborated with a few gappers to really define industry citizenship and learn to make the most of our relationships to better serve our clients and understand our industries.
What is Industry Citizenship?
We’ve defined industry citizenship as actively engaging in and contributing to your industry and its related community. The “why” or the main idea behind the term is working to become more knowledgeable within your industry, as well as establishing relationships with and connecting with other analysts, executives, and industry players to ultimately understand and participate more actively. One way that we enhance our industry citizenship as analysts is through attending events such as trade shows, dealer shows, and analyst conferences. Although these events sometimes require extensive travel and all-day meetings, in my opinion, they are some of the most valuable experiences a gap analyst can get.
Analysts Put to the Test
I’ve had the pleasure of attending two industry events this year, including the Kyocera Dealer Conference in Orlando and the HP Industry Analyst Summit, which was held in Boston. My recent brainstorming about industry citizenship really got me thinking about these two events and how impactful they were to me as an analyst and how they contributed to industry citizenship.
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The first event that I attended was the Kyocera Dealer Conference in Orlando, Florida in May. This event marked my first event as a gap intelligence employee and my first time traveling as a representative of gap. At the time, I had only been in the analyst role a handful of months, and I was attending the event as the sole representative of gap, so the pressure was on! Although I was unsure of what to expect, several gappers assured me that it’s extremely informative, fun, and exhausting, but definitely worth the experience and work.
The Kyocera conference was geared towards dealers who sell and support Kyocera devices and solutions. As an analyst within the industry, I was there to report on the event, and essentially gain an understanding of the company’s messaging and overall theme, any new products that were launching, and network with dealers, executives, and other industry analysts attending the event. Since this was my first event, I had minimal existing relationships, so I took it upon myself to chat with dealers and introduce myself to other analysts in an effort to gain insight into their perspectives and how they viewed Kyocera’s messaging. The general sessions were packed with top-level strategic and financial information and product details. One of my biggest takeaways from the dealer conference was how Kyocera focused its attention on all of the event details and messaging, while essentially rolling out the red carpet for all of the attendees. From coordinating hotels and meals for upwards of 1,000 people, to the presentations and the product previews; it was an impressive, high-quality event where they truly put their best foot forward. Through the event, I had met several dealers, who although they don’t know it, helped me gain a better understanding of how Kyocera’s messaging and products will help them run their businesses and ultimately impact the industry. I was also able to see first-hand the new product portfolio and the strategy behind the devices, supplies, and solutions. This all directly contributed to industry citizenship.
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The next month, I was asked to attend the HP Industry Analyst Summit in Boston, Massachusetts. (As a native Vermonter, I welcome any chance to visit New England!) For this event, I was able to travel with another gapper, my printer analyst counterpart Val. I was immediately relieved of some pressure in knowing that I had a colleague by my side, and also that I had my first event already under my belt. Our coverage requirement for the HP event was similar to the Kyocera Dealer Conference except HP has several different product portfolios within its personal systems and printing lineups. This summit also marked HP’s first analyst event since the company split into two entities, HP Inc. and HP Enterprise, in late 2015, which guaranteed a lot of important information would be shared. With such importance attached to the event, it was an honor to have the opportunity to attend.
As expected, this event was slightly different than the Kyocera dealer conference for a few reasons. First, HP created this summit to target industry analysts, so the messaging and themes were designed to speak directly to that audience. Second, HP had a lot of information to communicate to the analyst community post-split especially since the company had reported consecutive quarters of declining sales. Val and I attended an entire day of informational sessions containing the company’s financial performance and outlook, product launches for both PCs and printers, and we were able to listen to HP’s top executives speak on their respective divisions. It was an extremely relevant experience for both of us in our analyst roles at gap intelligence as we soaked up the information and made countless relationships with analysts and even dined with a few HP executives. We left well equipped to share with the rest of the gap analyst team and our clients what we had learned and what we expected from the company going forward.
Ultimately, both events were beneficial to me as an individual and in my role as an analyst. The opportunity to hear top level executives speak on vision, strategy, investments, and product portfolios is a unique experience that helps provide a macro level understanding of the industry. Although attending industry events is just one of the many ways that analysts at gap develop and improve industry citizenship, it’s an opportunity that provides great insight into the major players that contribute to our industries. I am definitely looking forward to attending my next industry event!