CHANNEL PARTNERS Channel Partners wrapped up its spring show with a record of nearly 3,700 participants — with the largest blend of agents and IT partners so far – and a host of networking and education sessions under its belt.
On top of that, the Sands Conference & Expo at The Venetian was bursting at the seams with a record number of new exhibitors.
Networking comprised a main theme of the Spring 2013 Channel Partners Conference & Expo. For example, participants enjoyed a packed Women in the Channel event on Tuesday night. Then came a crowded expo floor opening reception sponsored by Momentum on Wednesday evening, followed by the first-ever Channel Partners 360 awards ceremony and dinner, sponsored by AT&T. Thursday saw the return of the Selling Techniques Luncheon sponsored by the cablecos, Quest, ACT Conferencing, OnSIP, Star2Star Communications and Sungard Availability Services, as well as the Agent-VAR Partnering Best Practices event sponsored by WTG. Thirsty partners ready for a drink and some one-on-one time with exhibitors joined the pub crawl sponsored by Datavo, Equinix, Security on Demand, UNSi and WidePoint. Finally, Channel Partners once again hosted the ever-popular, invitation-only, uncensored Channel Partners Zone. Video of that event will post soon on the Channel Partners website.
But attendees also took part in education panels and sessions to boost their ability to create business value for their customers. To the latter point, Channel Partners on Wednesday debuted Business Value Toolbox, a series of videos, infographics, calculators, slide shows, reports and more that partners may use as their marketing department. After that, Calvin Hsu, vice president of product marketing for Citrix, underscored the business value focus with a keynote speech dedicated to helping partners do just that. His message was that if you want to know how to deliver on the promise of cloud, get to know what your customers want their technology to do. Thursday’s keynote roundtable featured master agents and distributors tackling the question of the future of distribution in a converged telecom and IT world. The consensus was that both sides will need to learn the art of working together as they capitalize on the cloud opportunity. Plus, there are so many more VARs in the United States than there are agents that masters can share the wealth when it comes to targeting IT partners, panelists said. Experts on the panel came from ScanSource, Ingram Micro, WTG, Intelisys, TBI and MicroCorp.
And as always, the show floor featured some fun and games. For example, TelePacific invited expo goers to race cars around a mini electric race track. TWCBC helped attendees loosen up those stiff and achy muscles with a shoulder massage. First-time exhibitor Datavo was impossible to miss with a massive booth that encouraged attendees to work hard, play hard. And Lightyear Network Solutions got a jump on March Madness with rounds of hoops.