Arjun Chakravart, Managing Director of COGKNITION Analytics
University of Education: University of Chicago
How long have you served on the CEIR Research Council?
Why did you volunteer to work with CEIR on the Research Council?
I had been in analytics for many years, and then moved into events. For me, it was the best way to give back to the community while learning about it. It has been a really wonderful exchange in that regard. I credit CEIR and IAEE as a major contributor to my learning about this industry – understanding how research and analytics are used in impacting decisions.
What have you learned through your work with CEIR?
I think the key thing for me is around the nuances about what specific stakeholders care about and how to balance that by understanding their decision making. How exhibitors, organizers and attendees rely on each other for information to make choices about what they are doing and what they need to know about each other. CEIR provides a focal point around how to reconcile those needs.
Under Nancy Drapeau’s leadership, there has been a lot of forward thinking around greater connections into omni-channel marketing. The CEIR Index is very important – whether you are working as a vendor or organizer – as a benchmarking perspective or to help understand where you think market will orient in next 12-18 months. That is a major piece of research and service.
How has CEIR research helped your organization?
When I was at GES, we used it very widely from understanding exhibitor perspectives. Now I run a more analytic-facing company, and it has been a mutual collaboration in generating work together. CEIR provides a real pulse of the market. CEIR’s orientation is to all stakeholders and is a great source of partnership for us.
Is there specific CEIR research/report that has helped you?
The CEIR Index and the recent sponsorship study.
What can peers and colleagues learn from CEIR research?
Internet research will get you maybe an idea or two, but CEIR research provides universal perspectives on what your colleagues are saying, in a structured way. There are times you need to rely on understanding and benchmarks, and that is CEIR difference. On top of that, you get CEIR’s reputation for maintaining a balanced view, which is critical.
Whether you are an organizer or an exhibitor or a constituent in the field, you need a trusted source to give you benchmarks. CEIR can get those because they are trusted. Your clients are not going to buy into qualitative elements beyond a surface conversation, so you need to go deeper, into insights-based selling.
How do you plan to use CEIR research in the future?
I find myself to be a heavy consumer of CEIR research and will continue to use it as a resource. Understanding the evolving technology and vendor space sits on equal ground with continuing to get stakeholder perspectives and understanding where there are growing market opportunities.