It is hard to believe Channel Expo 2009 is just a few short months away and CRN is pulling together an exciting education programme to attract even more visitors.
The UK’s premier channel exhibition is taking place in Hall 9 of the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 May 2009.
And Expo, the only show of its kind dedicated solely to the IT channel, including system builders, retailers, VARs and converged resellers, is even more relevant this year than ever, with plenty of information on how companies can survive the tough economic conditions.
Even as we go to press, the CRN team is working hard on a killer education programme that will be jam-packed with top-notch speakers and presentations.
Subjects confirmed so far include piracy, fraud, IP protection, overseas expansion, keeping a business going in difficult times and leasing.
Proving its worth
The final education lineup and leading keynote speaker will be revealed at a later date, but the emphasis this year will be on giving delegates access to key industry experts, who will giving valuable tips and advice to help businesses of all sizes
survive the downturn.
Last year some 3,000 people came through the doors over the two days and feedback from the event proved that the delegates who turned up were even better quality than we hoped.
As CRN went to press, Dell confirmed it would be attending Expo this year for the first time.
Andy Dow, UK channel director at Dell, said: “Channel Expo is a great opportunity for Dell to show the market the value of our partner programme. We will be there in force and are keen to engage with existing and new channel partners.”
Mark Burton, CRN’s publisher, stressed that a show such as Channel Expo would prove its worth through the recession.
“We have taken some vital feedback from the 2008 event and used it to build a more detailed education and training programme featuring key speakers from all areas of the industry,” he said.
“We have picked out topical business areas that we think will affect our visitors the most over the next year, and assembled a high-profile line-up of expert speakers, business leaders and entrepreneurs. They will provide valuable advice and help for delegates looking to build a stronger business through difficult times.”
He added that the exhibition is about far more than just wandering round stalls, collecting pens and plastic bags.
“Attending a trade show such as Expo gives the delegate a fantastic opportunity to increase margin potential through meeting and learning from key decision-makers in the industry, seeing and understanding the latest products and services and catching up with peers,” said Burton.
“Ultimately, by seeing the whole market in one place you can ensure you have the correct business strategy.”
He added that the show will benefit from some larger exhibitor names this year.
“This year is also attracting more exhibitors, as distributors and vendors recognise the value of the show. It is great to see a number of exhibitors from 2008 confirming their presence again.”
One such exhibitor is distribution behemoth Ingram Micro, which has big plans for its Expo appearance.
Bhavesh Patel, commercial director at Ingram, said: “Last year we had fantastic representation from over 30 vendors and I don’t expect that this year will be any different.
“It is hugely important to give a compelling reason for resellers to attend the show, particularly in the current climate. We have already started planning a fresh approach, which we are confident will encourage resellers to visit.”
Learning the way
Nitin Joshi, whose organisation ChannelMoney attended the show last year, also stressed the event’s importance.
“This is a seminal event in the channel calendar. Right now it has added
potency and relevance. These are difficult times and trading conditions are so
dire that I
struggle to find a recent precedent.
“The education mantra that I know CRN is keen to promote hits the nail on the head. It will be the less initiated who will find themselves needlessly on the cliff’s edge, whereas so much is possible in terms of salvaging a business when faced with financial Armageddon. Education is key,” added Joshi.
Richard Eglon, marketing manager at support company Comms-care, agreed that Channel Expo is a vital date in the calendar.
“We are starting to see the right people attending the event and exhibiting at the show. When times get hard people tend to pull together more; that goes for all competing firms.
“The education part is important and CRN has identified that by including seminars and keynote speakers during the event, as well as providing independent meeting places, Expo will be a useful day out of the office.”
For the latest details of the show see http://www.channelexpo.co.uk/.
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