An interview with Bloor Group CEO, Eric Kavanagh by Deidre Hudson
Time flies when you’re having fun! The Briefing Room is celebrating its 10th year in 2019. After working with the parent company, The Bloor Group, for over a year, I wanted to get a sense of why this is a significant milestone and what makes The Briefing Room special. Bloor Group CEO Eric Kavanagh is famous for his interviews with movers and shakers in the industry. So I thought I would turn the tables and sit down with him to get some answers. #flipthescript
Eric, you are a veteran of this business. You helped design and launch TDWI’s Webinar series back in 2005 and in 2008 launched the DM Radio concept, which is the only live radio show to focus solely on data.
Can you tell us how The Briefing Room got started?
It happened during 2009. I was watching co-founder Dr. Robin Bloor take a briefing from a vendor at a conference. Dr. Bloor was able to very quickly ask all the right questions, bringing out an excellent conversation that drew a crowd within moments. I thought, “If we can bottle this, we’ve got something special!”
Who are some of the guests you’ve had on the show?
We’ve had some pretty exciting companies on the show, who were in many cases at significant stages of company growth. For instance, Actian, Birst, Alteryx, Dell Boomi, MapR to name just a few. Acunu was a guest on the show in early 2013 and later that year announced its acquisition by Apple
Are you saying that their success is somehow related to being on The Briefing Room?
[laughing] Certainly not. I am just pointing out how those companies, which were at the forefront of technological innovations, saw value in being able to present their platforms to The Briefing Room audience. Clearly, the market saw the value as well.
There are lots of media and publishers offering webinars. What makes The Briefing Room special?
The Briefing Room turns the traditional format upside-down. In most webinars, the analyst goes first, lays out a problem space, and then the vendor comes in and says: “I’m so glad you shared that because we have a perfect solution!” This can feel a bit contrived and like a song-and-dance. So, we turned it around. The host (yours truly), makes an opening statement, laying the groundwork for the topic: here’s what you will learn, and why it matters. The vendor then goes for 20-30 minutes, sharing their solution, and providing granular details about the technology, its design, and application. An Analyst then follows, asking probing questions for 20 minutes, just like a traditional Analyst Briefing. We finish with a live Q&A from the audience.
We have played around with the format on occasion, but the key is that we have a focused, direct conversation about the nature of the technology, how it works, why it was designed a certain way and the various use-cases for its application. This is information our audience really seems to appreciate.
What do you see for the future of The Briefing Room?
I only see great things for The Briefing Room. We are continuing to expand our audience and media outlets, giving brands an expanded number of ways to connect with the people they are trying to reach in the data world. We are collaborating with Dr. Bloor on a book about Artificial Intelligence, which will come out later this year. Our audience for DM Radio has expanded exponentially and we are literally available coast-to-coast. Plus, to help celebrate our 10th anniversary of The Briefing Room we are making available a special discount for clients that would like to appear on the show.
I can see The Briefing Room has really maintained a great position in the market. I’m excited to see what happens next. Thanks for your time today.
The pleasure was mine.