Is Gartner stooping to new lows to boost event attendance?

Summary:Ever since attending my first Gartner Symposium (a little less than a month after 9/11/01.... my flights were empty), I've been subject to a barrage of emails and snail-mails from Gartner's marketing department inviting me to attend the myriad events run annually by the research outfit.

Ever since attending my first Gartner Symposium (a little less than a month after 9/11/01.... my flights were empty), I've been subject to a barrage of emails and snail-mails from Gartner's marketing department inviting me to attend the myriad events run annually by the research outfit. I'm not sure how many events Gartner runs.  But in addition the big Symposium/ITxpo which happens two times per year domestically but seven times per year around the entire globe, the company seems to also run a gaggle of more narrowly focused events around every subject known to IT-kind. According to my count, Gartner is running nine separate events in September of this year alone.  This summer however marks the first time that I'm receiving invitations to Gartner's events that appear to be signed by the research analysts themselves:

Hello David,

You and I recently spoke regarding your open source initiatives. I thought you might be interested in attending our upcoming Open Source Summit which is being held September 27-29 in Phoenix, AZ. You may also be interested in our co-located Application Development Summit, September 25-27 (details below). Hope you can attend.

Regards,

John Pescatore

John Pescatore is one of Gartner's better known and oft-quoted "rock star" analysts.  Forgetting for a moment that my discussions with Pescatore have, in my recollection, always been related to his main area of expertise (security), is Gartner stooping to new lows by involving its star analysts in attendee solicitation? I half-wonder if the analysts even know this is happening.  The return address on the email says:

John Pescatore [gartner.eventspromotion@gartner.com]

Speaking of Symposium/ITxpo, the next one runs from October 8 through October 13 in Orlando. So far, I plan to be there.

Update (9/6, 8:15PM ET):  After I published this blog, John sent me the following email (republished here with his permission):

Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 6:51 PM
To: David Berlind
Subject: Gartner Events Shilling

Hi, David - that email you received from Gartner Events was definitely *not* from me, and was definitely *not* done with my approval. I was not consulted, if I was I would have said no.

If elected, I would resign, etc.

I have forwarded your blog to the Gartner ombudsman to take action to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Regards, John P.

As I suspected, Gartner was signing its solicitations with the names of its star analysts without their knowledge (answering the question of whether Gartner has truly stooped to new lows -- it has).

Update II (9/7): Gartner's ombudsman responds

Topics: ZDNetLive

About

David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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