Other posts on the Cartner CRM Summit 2007 can be found here.

Now that I’ve discussed all the take-aways from the Gartner CRM Summit, I have to rant about a couple of issues that came up during the conference (and offer kudos on one item). I’m putting on my meeting planning hat, here (and I was a terrible meeting planner).

  1. Have the Gartner analysts never read a single tip on appropriate use of Powerpoint? Without exception, every Gartner presenter had about ten times as much information on their slides as could be reasonably read. I typically sat in the middle of the room and usually was unable to read most of the slides. I can’t imagine what it was like in the back of the room. Here’s a sample of what I’m talking about:

    Gartner Slide

  2. Staff walking in front of rear projectors.  At nearly every session where rear projection screens were being used (meaning the Powerpoint slides were being projected from behind the screen, rather than from in the room), someone behind the curtain would walk in front of the projector, casting a big “shadow puppet” on the display. Disconcerting, to say the least. Had it only happened once, I wouldn’t have commented, but it happened three times in one session, and once in two other sessions! Overall, the Westin Diplomat had outstanding service, and I don’t know if these people were Westin staff or Gartner staff, but my goodness, don’t walk in front of the projector!
  3. Music in the rooms prior to the session’s beginning. A long time ago I read a meeting planner’s tip that in effect said “Play music in the room before the speaker starts, because low music encourages discussion among attendees. In a dead-silent room, no one wants to speak.” Prior to each speaker, the sound system would play some great classic pop music (think Motown) while the attendees sat and waited. It’s a nice touch, and one I don’t see at too many conferences.