With just over a month to go until our annual Partner Connect event, I am keen to stress what a valid and key event this will be. Especially for SMB resellers.
I have been engaged in some interesting conversations with VAR chiefs over the past couple of weeks as I'm conducting some internal research on how data is consumed and where information is gathered.
Interestingly, every single one of them has mentioned attending events as a great way of drumming up business and making new contacts. Some even called networking events "invaluable".
However, when it comes to the crunch, I'm not seeing a lot of this actually being put into action by our audience.
To be frank with you, it is a little frustrating to say the least.
Of course I have an agenda behind my words in this post - our Partner Connect Event (click on link for full list of exhibitors and speakers), which is taking place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 17 May.
Last year we had so many people trying to get into our keynote seminars that we had to turn some away on the door. They realised the value of what was on offer.
We had keynotes from senior executives from several of the top Tier 1 vendors, all of whom were available for questions afterwards as well.
The feedback we had was fantastic - many felt they had been equipped with useful business advice that they could take away, and they had also topped up their contact books.
This year we have an equally enviable line-up, with top execs from IBM, Microsoft and Fujitsu to name but a few, plus a further 60 exhibitors, all fielding channel-based staff who are keen to speak to you and help you grow your business.
Where else would you get that under one roof?
I know in the past some readers have had their fingers burnt with our old Channel Expo event.
But this is NOT and I repeat, NOT Channel Expo. That event was killed off two years ago.
This is Partner Connect - with the emphasis on Connect. The idea is to bring people from the channel together to do business.
We have learned a lot from our past experiences and I truly think this is the best event we have ever offered on this scale.
Nowhere else is there such a specialised event aimed squarely at the IT channel.
Now I appreciate that everyone is busy and has a business to run, but if you never get out from behind your desk, surely that is the quickest way to stagnate?
How do you meet new people? How do you meet up with your peers? How do you hear what is going on in your industry, or where the next area of opportunity is?
At CRN, we are extremely short on resources, but we make an effort to get out and about as much as we can. It is important. It is how we meet new contacts and find out what is going on in the industry.
So I would urge you, as a modern channel business, to come along to Partner Connect. If you can't take time out yourself, send someone from your company along. They will not be disappointed.
So. See you there?
To register, click here.
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