Midwich's Technology Exposed showcase saw 1,000 resellers and potential business partners through its doors on Wednesday and Thursday.
According to Darren Lewitt (pictured, below left), audiovisual director at Midwich, the show is going from strength to strength, with increasing numbers of channel partners seeing the value in offering diversity.
"We have had a record attendance," he told ChannelWeb. "In the first 45 minutes on the first day, we had more than 200 people come through the doors."
Lewitt said about five per cent of attendees were end users, and attendance as a whole was up 35 per cent up year on year.
The specialist audiovisual event, first held in 1996 and for the past four years in the grand surrounds of Ascot Racecourse, is expanding every year, he added.
About 75 vendors had stands this year, according to Lewitt, ranging from the big names of Samsung and Dell to specialist niche players such as Lumens and Signagelive.
"It is about having the right vendors with the right technologies and solutions. If you haven't got the right vendors, you cannot put on a show," he confirmed.
This year saw three new specialist zones within the showcase: leisure and hospitality; healthcare; and command and control. Each was designed to show the variety of solutions and how they work together in a specific environment.
Audiovisual on the go
Mobility was a theme on many of the stands. Casio, for example, was showing its Android-based business tablet, with a specially hardened screen and increased support for business applications.
Mark Keohane, emerging technologies consultant at Casio UK, told ChannelWeb the company was aiming to differentiate its offering.
"Some tablets coming out are great in business but if you drop them, they break, and they do not always have full business functionality," he said.
He claimed the iPad had pushed the tablet PC into the market, and now organisations are looking for more. "Now retailers, for example, are really questioning whether a tablet can be used to replace a till, complement their till, or even half a till, as it were," he added.
Chris White, EMEA regional manager at Elo Touch Solutions, said the touchscreen inventor was displaying a range of robust 7in to 55in interactive displays suitable for kiosk deployments.
"The main thing for us at this event is to get more mindshare via Midwich," White said.
Consumer and pro-sumer also had a special focus this year, with a stand devoted to offerings targeting the home, including automation kit and consumer accessories such as pocket audio systems.
"The bigger share is always going to be B2B, but the consumer business is growing for us," Lewitt said. "It is totally different from our B2B business; we have a different account team for it, for example."
Audio is also increasingly important, as is security as a category, he indicated.
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