Well that was interesting. I flew back from my whistle-stop tour of GDS International’s North American offices and headed to HQ thinking about content and context (as discussed in my last blog).
Then my wife and I packed the family and went on holiday. I wanted a good break; I got a clean one – to my elbow. If you learn nothing else from the blog, know this: cycling hurts.
All of which meant no “Spencer Green GDS International” blog last week (I really must change that title), a lot of time to think, and a v-e-r-y slowly typed entry this week.
Two weeks ago, I wrote: “At GDS, we’ve shifted our focus onto being more content driven. We’re using our data in new ways to create content that provides exclusive insight to our clients – both existing and potential – and allows them to hit the ground running when they arrive on site at one of our events.”
What does that actually mean? How does a business events company (primarily a context provider) realize its own compelling content? The answer is questions.
We asked our delegates what they wanted to know about. We asked our delegates whom they wanted to learn from and network with. We asked them what they know and where they think their industries are headed.
We asked our sponsors what they wanted from our summits. We asked our delegates what they wanted from our sponsors. We asked everyone about her or his spending and priorities.
Our most unique lever for content is access. We have it in spades: 70 summits per year, 100+ senior executives at every summit. Our commitment is to use that privilege to make every event stronger and more useful. Our results are a series of reports for each product.
These intelligence reports come in two flavours: the first is for our event attendees only (sorry), and includes executive briefings on each person, their company and why they have chosen to spend 2.5 days at our summit. What do they want to learn about and why? Who can they learn from and why? GDS creates business chemistry and this is our formula.
The second flavor shares what we all learned at a macro level. For example: between April 2012 and April 2013, GDS International organized three summits for senior IT executives in North America. 231 CIOs, vice presidents and IT directors joined us in three stunning locations in Atlanta, Miami and Newport Beach for a collective 7.5 days of structured conversation, learning and networking. We gave that data to our chief propellerhead and his team, GDS Labs, created this excellent and bloody useful CIO U.S. IT Spending Intelligence Report.
The Labs team are currently looking back through our customer experience surveys for January to June 2013. Have we made every event stronger? Watch this space.