Guidance Sessions FAQ

Introduction To Guidance Sessions

What is a Guidance Session?

Guidance sessions are one-on-one engagements with a Forrester analyst to accelerate your success. Guidance sessions are up to 50 minutes and delivered by phone/video conference or a written email. The ability to schedule a Guidance Session is exclusive to Forrester Decisions VIP Leader and Leader license holders, as well as SiriusDecisions Research Inquiry Member and Emerging Growth license holders. Clients schedule guidance sessions to get:

  • Answers to key questions on Forrester’s research
  • Insight into important market drivers and trends
  • Help to apply frameworks and models
  • Best practice advice on specific challenges
  • An independent perspective on technology and service providers
  • Feedback on the output of a Forrester assessment, tool, or template
  • Filters of data and benchmarks by customer demographic, industry, or geography
  • Clear next steps to make decisions and forward progress

What are the different ways I can use Guidance Sessions?

There are several different ways to use guidance sessions to make progress on your priorities:

  • Planning: Scope and set definitions or objectives for a project. Discuss annual planning and budget ideas. Get candid feedback on plans.
  • Problem-solving: Present a problem, learn how other organizations struggle with the same challenge, and get recommendations on how to solve it.
  • Process design: Create, define, and maintain processes to help drive alignment across the enterprise.
  • Assessments: Review findings over time from a Forrester benchmark, process audit, functional competency, or maturity assessment.
  • Education: Help your team absorb and understand concepts based on the agenda we set together delivered through an internal webinar-like experience with Q&A. Up to 20 attendees are permitted.
  • Ideation: Generate new ideas about a topic, trend, project, strategy, or initiative to gain new ways of thinking about an issue.
  • Vendor insights: Hear our take on a market or technology category.
  • Best practices: Learn how best-practice organizations achieve success related to a particular initiative or challenge and review case studies.
  • Emerging trends: Delve into a topic of interest, usually to learn about an emerging topic or refine understanding of an existing topic.
  • Data and benchmarks: Request custom filters of data you see in research to provide more relevancy to your industry, company size, and or regional context.
  • Review and feedback: Get written feedback on planning templates, org charts, messaging, tactics, RFPs, dashboards, product roadmaps, and more.

What are the different ways to conduct a Guidance Session?

Guidance sessions are delivered by phone/web conference or a written email based on your personal preference.

How long is a Guidance Session?

Guidance sessions are either 30 or 50 minutes depending on the nature of your question and your urgency. The analyst may recommend a 30-minute guidance session if your question is straightforward and or can be answered by existing research through a quick discussion. The analyst may recommend a 50-minute guidance session for more complex questions where active collaboration and content sharing will be beneficial.

Can I have an analyst review my documents in a Guidance Session?

Yes. You can schedule a guidance session to receive written feedback from an analyst on your planning templates, org charts, messaging, tactics, RFPs and RFP responses, vendor proposals and contracts, dashboards, product roadmaps, and more. Analysts will also review your or the application of Forrester’s assessments, tools and templates, or data. Analysts will review up to 20 pages. The scope is limited to one to three specific questions related to the document the analyst reviews.

If we think you will be better served through by a more comprehensive review of your document than can be managed via a 50-minute conversation, we may recommend that you conduct a Forrester Advisory or Consulting engagement.

Can I use Guidance Sessions to talk to an analyst about their upcoming research?

Please do this selectively. We recommend starting with the planned research tool to view Forrester’s upcoming research for the next 12 months. If you still believe it is necessary to speak with the Analyst about their research plans, we will schedule a Guidance Session for 30 minutes. Guidance sessions of this nature are subject to analyst availability, and we will decline requests to speak to analysts who do not cover your specific questions, market, or area of focus.

Can I schedule a Guidance Session with an analyst outside of my service?

Yes. Forrester Decisions VIP Leader and Leader license holders can schedule up to five courtesy guidance sessions per contract year with analysts outside of the service purchased.

Guidance Sessions Terms Of Use

Who can schedule Guidance Sessions?

The ability to schedule Guidance Sessions is exclusive to Forrester Decisions VIP Leader and Leader license holders, as well as SiriusDecisions Research Inquiry Member and Emerging Growth license holders.

Who can attend Guidance Sessions?

As defined by the terms of your licensing agreement, Guidance Sessions are intended to be one-on-one engagements between Forrester Decisions VIP Leader and Leader license holders and the analyst. To collaborate with peers and team members using Forrester’s research, we do provide opportunities to invite colleagues to attend Guidance Sessions in a structured way:

  • Individuals who are Forrester Decisions Team license holders can attend Guidance Sessions scheduled and attended by a Forrester Decisions VIP Leader or Leader as needed. The focus of the Guidance Session should be to address questions from the stakeholder with Guidance Session access.
  • Individuals who are Bold Vision Access and non-Forrester Decisions VIP Leader, Leader, and Team license holders can attend Guidance Sessions only when: 1) the Guidance Session is scheduled and attended by a Forrester Decisions VIP Leader or Leader, and 2) these additional attendees are agreed to in advance by Forrester for an acceptable use case, such as the “education” type described above. The focus of the Guidance Session should be to address questions from the Forrester Decisions VIP Leader or Leader.

You should not invite additional attendees to join Guidance Sessions on a frequent or recurring basis. When additional attendees join a Guidance Session, Forrester will record and share their names with your Forrester account team and account administrator. We may suggest repeat attendees purchase or upgrade to a VIP Leader, Leader, or appropriate user license for their needs.

What is the scope of a Guidance Session?

Guidance sessions should focus on one to three specific questions based on the analyst’s existing research, areas of expertise, or the application of Forrester’s assessments, tools and templates, or data. This also includes reviewing your strategic documents (as defined above). Analysts may decline your guidance session request if it is: 1) not based on their existing research, 2) falls outside of their areas of expertise, or 3) requires more than 50-minutes to answer thoughtfully.

Can I schedule a Guidance Session with more than one analyst?

No. Guidance sessions are designed to give you quick access to Forrester analysts in a one-on-one experience. We limit guidance sessions to only one analyst to avoid scheduling delays and provide an optimal collaborative experience.

If you are interested in sessions with a broader number of Forrester experts, we recommend a Forrester Advisory and Consulting engagement. Contact your Forrester account team or account administrator to learn more.

How often can I submit a Guidance Session request?

Clients can submit Guidance Session requests as needed, typically after reading new research, participating in a webinar, or attending an event. To ensure our analysts can provide equal access to all clients, back-to-back guidance sessions are prohibited. Likewise, multiple guidance sessions on the same topic or question(s) are discouraged unless they are part of your continued adoption of a Forrester framework or tool.

If we find that your needs extend beyond what we can provide in a typical 30- or 50-minute guidance session we will recommend other options to engage more deeply with Forrester analysts or consultants.

Can I invite others to participate in my Guidance Session?

As defined by the terms of your licensing agreement, Guidance Sessions are one-on-one engagements between Forrester Decisions VIP Leader and Leader license holders and the analyst. To collaborate with peers and team members using Forrester’s research, we do provide opportunities to invite colleagues to Guidance Sessions in a structured way:

  • Individuals who are Forrester Decisions Team license holders can attend Guidance Sessions scheduled and attended by a Forrester Decisions VIP Leader or Leader as needed. The focus of the Guidance Session should be to address questions from the stakeholder with Guidance Session access.
  • Individuals who are Bold Vision Access and non-Forrester Decisions VIP Leader and Leader license holders can attend Guidance Sessions only when agreed to in advance by Forrester for an acceptable use case, such as the “education” type described above. The focus of the Guidance Session should be to address questions from the stakeholder with Guidance Session access.

You should not invite additional attendees to join Guidance Sessions on a frequent or recurring basis. When additional attendees join a Guidance Session, Forrester will record and share their names with your Forrester account team and account administrator. We may suggest repeat attendees purchase or upgrade to a VIP Leader, Leader, or appropriate user license for their needs.

Can I schedule Guidance Sessions and have colleagues attend on my behalf?

No. As defined by the terms of your licensing agreement, the Forrester Decisions VIP Leader or Leader license holder must attend Guidance Sessions they schedule. If the VIP Leader or Leader has a conflict and would like a colleague to attend in their place, our recommendation is to reschedule. If rescheduling is not possible, we will consider an exception, but this should not become a regular or frequent need.

We will contact VIP Leaders or Leaders who regularly or frequently schedule Guidance Sessions but don’t attend to understand the context. We will also notify their Forrester account administrator. We may suggest that the colleague(s) who attend in the absence of the VIP Leader or Leader purchase or upgrade into a Forrester Decisions user license.

How do Guidance Sessions on data and benchmarks work?

Forrester Decisions clients can access data and benchmarks through published research and request custom filters through Guidance Sessions with Forrester’s experts. Here is how it works:

  • Data Requests: As needed, clients can request filters of data in published in research by industry, company size, and or geography when statistically significant. Data requests are limited to one (1) topic and up to five (5) questions or data points. Results are delivered by Forrester’s experts in PowerPoint or Excel format. Clients can schedule a follow-on Guidance Session with our experts if needed to discuss the data and what actions to take.
  • Extended Data Benchmarks: Once per year, clients can request a more comprehensive story of data and benchmarks spanning multiple topics and questions and/or against small group of highly filtered peers. Results will be delivered by Forrester’s experts through a 50-minute Guidance Session with a prepared PowerPoint.

Can I record my Guidance Session?

No. Guidance sessions are one-on-one interactions with a Forrester analyst where clients may share confidential information. To minimize the risk of confidential information being shared outside of your company, we ask that you take notes but do not record guidance sessions.

What about SiriusDecisions Research?

All Guidance Session FAQ answers above also apply to SiriusDecisions Research Inquiry Member and Emerging Growth license holders.

Scheduling Guidance Sessions

Do I have access to schedule Guidance Sessions?

Guidance sessions are reserved exclusively for Forrester Decisions VIP Leader and Leader clients with Guidance Session access, as defined by the terms of your licensing agreement. Check your registered products to see if you can schedule guidance sessions.

Contact your Forrester account administrator or account team if you cannot schedule guidance sessions but would like to. Contact us if you do not know your Forrester account administrator or account team.

How do I submit a Guidance Session request?

The easiest way to schedule a Guidance Session is to submit your request through our form accessed through the Connect with an Expert button found at the bottom of all reports and most pages on the Forrester platform. See below for details on the type of information Forrester needs to route your request to the appropriate analyst.

What context should I include as part of my Guidance Session request?

Forrester needs the following information to route your Guidance Session request to the appropriate analyst and prepare them to successfully deliver on your needs:

  • Subject: Provide a brief phrase describing the topic of your question.
  • Your question(s): List one to three pointed questions so our experts can focus on what’s most important to you.
  • Your goals: Briefly describe your goals and what you would like to accomplish during the Guidance Session to help us better meet your needs.
  • Your deadline: Enter the deadline for receiving this information.
  • Preferred method: Tell us whether you would like to conduct the guidance session as a phone/video conference or a written email.

How do I schedule the date and time of my Guidance Session?

After submitting your Guidance Session request, our Customer Success team will review and follow up with any clarifying questions. Within 24 hours of your submission, you will receive a scheduling email if the analyst accepts or confirmation of your submission with a timeframe of when you can expect a more detailed response. We strive to conduct guidance sessions within eight business days.

If you would like to conduct your Guidance Session by phone/video conference, you will receive an email with a link to our online scheduling tool. After you select the date and time to conduct your guidance session, you will receive a calendar invitation with agenda, session details, and aligned analyst’s name.

What happens if the analyst declines my Guidance Session request?

Guidance sessions are intended to accelerate your success. Analysts may decline your request if they believe they cannot achieve this for you because your request: 1) is not based on their existing research, 2) falls outside of their areas of expertise, or 3) requires more than 50-minutes to answer thoughtfully.

If this happens, we will contact you as soon as possible and share what the analyst can or cannot cover. We also will work with you to reframe your question in a way the analyst feels comfortable answering. Alternatively, we may suggest a more tailored Forrester Consulting engagement to meet your needs.

The Guidance Session Experience

What should I expect during a 50-minute Guidance Session?

Guidance sessions that are scheduled for 50 minutes will be interactive, collaborative, and action oriented. Here is the typical experience you can expect:

  1. Preparation: In advance of the guidance session, the analyst will prepare by reviewing your questions, context, and goals. They will come prepared to provide answers to your questions; show relevant research, frameworks, and tools on the Forrester platform; and / or provide feedback on the documents you asked them to review.
  2. Introductions: The session will start with brief introductions between you, the analyst, and any other participants.
  3. Recap: The analyst will recap your question and context so you can provide any additional clarification or new information; this should take five to ten minutes.
  4. Active discussion: For 50-minute guidance sessions, the analyst will spend the next 30 minutes answering your question and actively sharing relevant research, frameworks, and tools from the Forrester platform. This will be an active conversation between you and the analyst. A Forrester research associate will take notes so you can focus on the conversation.
  5. Wrap up: In the last 10 minutes, the analyst will summarize the call and itemize key follow up items with you.
  6. Follow up: After the meeting you will receive an email with follow-ups agreed to on the call, which may include links to research notes and additional inquiries to be submitted. We will update your “Workspace” in the Forrester platform to capture the recommended research.

What should I expect during a 30-minute Guidance Session?

If you schedule a 30-minute guidance session, expect a similar sequence of events as in a 50-minute session but in a shortened timeframe. Because 30-minute guidance sessions are typically used to share information based on published research, a research associate will not join to take notes and the analyst may not need to share content via videoconferencing.

What should I expect from a Guidance Session delivered by written email?

If a phone/video conference is not an option, the analyst will email you their response to the questions including links to relevant research and recommended next steps.

What phone/video conferencing technology does Forrester use for Guidance Sessions?

Forrester uses Webex to conduct guidance sessions over phone/video conferencing to enhance the experience by providing both video and content sharing options. For example, analysts will share their screen to show you a specific research report, model, or framework. Likewise, you can share your screen to focus the analyst on the specific Forrester framework you have a question about or your own internal document where you’d like feedback.

Comparing Guidance Sessions To Other Forrester Services

Guidance sessions accelerate your success by providing quick access to a Forrester analyst to answer specific questions about existing research or provide feedback on your strategic documents or application of Forrester’s assessments, tools, templates, or data. Guidance sessions are up to 50 minutes, delivered by phone/video conference or written email. Guidance sessions are exclusive to Forrester Decisions VIP Leader and Leader license holders.

What is a Research Request?

A Research Request is a complimentary service available to all Forrester seat holders. It is distinct from a Guidance Session. In a Research Request, a Customer Success Specialist will locate the most relevant published research for a client’s business needs. You can submit your question at forrester.com and will receive a response within two business days.

What is an Analyst Briefing?

Analyst Briefings (briefings) enable technology and service providers to update Forrester about their firm’s strategic developments such as new product releases or acquisitions. Briefings are an opportunity for technology and service providers to present to Forrester, but they are not interactive sessions. Our analysts will ask questions, but they will not provide advice or feedback. Briefings are a free service and available to both Forrester clients and non-clients. Learn more about Analyst Briefings.

What is a Forrester Advisory or Consulting engagement?

Forrester Advisory and Consulting engagements are tailored to your organization’s needs, capabilities, and timeline, and delivered by analysts and or consultants. If we believe the scope of your questions go beyond what we can answer in a 50-minute Guidance Session, we may suggest an Advisory or Consulting engagement. Forrester offers clearly defined time-saving Advisory and Consulting engagements that flex to meet your needs:

  • Webinars and speeches. Hour-long sessions with a Forrester expert educate your stakeholders or customers on critical trends and the latest practices.
  • Workshops. Half- or full-day sessions align your stakeholders to a single vision, learning about industry trends and best practices.
  • In-depth projects. Ranging from one to six months, consultants partner with you and your team to execute a strategic initiative or create custom content.