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ITEX Hits It Outta the Park

1 May, 2012 By: Sand Sinclair, imageSource imageSource

Keynote PanelThe positive buzz reverberating from the recent ITEX show was felt early on. The hub of dealers, vendors, OEMs, along with multiple professionals doing business in the imaging channel, experienced a well-synchronized trade expo utilizing a new format that flowed smoothly to create a hot show to find cool products, services, and education from the industry’s best “players” throughout North America. Lining up for action, team ITEX readily knocked it “outta the park” with a trade show agenda that had ‘em cheering.

Back in Las Vegas at the luxurious Mirage resort, the newly streamlined and reformatted 2012 expo offered designated exhibit-only hours separate from once competing education tracks for a portion of the show. Attendees, and those providers that serve and support them, could specifically focus on business-at-hand, allowing exhibitors to have solid face-time with dealers and solution providers in a controlled period of time, creating “quality traffic” while conference tracks enjoyed a similar non-compete schedule, especially on Day 1. The “ebb and flow” was complimented for its simplicity and appealed to both dealer attendees & exhibitors. The consensus? Lots of “high fives” all around!
In its 12th year, ITEX readily served up a full menu of savory solutions. Office dealers, solution providers, interested MSPs and more sought new partners, products and quality education on the latest strategies to survive, grow and profit in today’s marketplace. Top industry leaders that shared their knowledge at ITEX didn’t disappoint.

ReceptionThe jam-packed 2 ½-day agenda crested with three dedicated Pre-conference workshops, a power-charged MPS Strategy Forum, a new Managed Services Forum and MS Pavilion, mini-presentations in the Live Theater including the dealer Perfect Image Awards, 28 Power Hour sessions among many other planned activities. On opening day, a jam-packed Welcome Reception revealed a standing room-only crowd enjoying networking opportunities while feasting on select appetizers and cocktails, following the impactful Keynote address on “convergence” led by Jon Reardon, InfoTrends, Todd Thibodeaux, CompTIA, Randy Dazo, InfoTrends, and Trevor Akervik from Minnesota-based Marco, who took top prize for Dealer of the Year with imageSource magazine’s Perfect Image Award.  Without question, the 2012 ITEX Expo got tremendous accolades and a full round of “thumbs up” from both attendees and exhibitors as it unveiled a cadre of critical support tools amidst the food, fun and fellowship.

Jay Fletcher, Vice President, Rumble’s Office City added, “I had a very productive day with education and the keynote speakers. I really enjoyed that interaction. A lot of innovative ideas on IT, MS, and MPS management. Lots of good information. I’m having a great time talking to vendors on the Expo floor as well.”

Dan Barca, Business Development Manager, Marlin Leasing stated, “We had a great show at ITEX 2012. What we liked about the show is the time, the flow of classes & educational sessions that led directly into the Expo floor. It was certainly impactful. We experienced much better flow at our booth and look forward to networking & exhibiting at ITEX 2013.”

CompassHour of Power Delivered

With so many dealers seeking information on how to evolve their business and/or add new revenue streams, the mega-show’s broad menu of “solutions” and strategies were available from not only a tactical MPS forum and MS pavilion but the five “moneymaker” Power Hour tracks that featured speakers addressing Document Solutions, Hybrid and Beyond, Service & Supplies, Interactive IT, and Sales & Marketing. Led by experienced industry peers they grabbed the attention of dealers and providers wanting to learn the latest in best practices, and the new trends to watch for and profit from.

Sessions had good turnout; were paced well, including the Service track where topics ran the gamut including an insightful presentation from Carlyle Singer, Pres/CEO of Katun Corporation on “Is Anyone Guarding Your Color Profitability?” Hard hitting Sales & Marketing topics addressed the print industry, as with Sarah Henderson, West Point Products, who with WPP’s Sr. VP of MPS, moderated a strategic panel led by industry leaders from BEI Services, Printelogy, and OneDoc where each shared viable tactics on “Pricing Print for Profitability.” 

The Interactive IT track had lots of takers as dealers and providers sought firsthand information on IT and managed services found in sessions led by Achievement Partners’ Mitch Morgan & Chris Ryne, who captivated attendees with “Selling Managed Services as an Entry to the Cloud,” along with the CompTIA’s Quick Start: Managed IT Services session which nabbed loud applause. On that note, other key sessions such as “Dive Into IT Services Without Getting Wet” got lots of kudos as well, each helping to round out this highly successful track.

According to Daniel Bombard, Asst. Mgr./IT Director, Yuma Office Equipment, “This is my fifth year at ITEX and it has changed the way we do business. The Power Hours are phenomenal. The amount of things that you find here is phenomenal, including a quality expo floor. This year was a great experience and I recommend it to all dealers.”

Always key to the show’s conference agenda is spotlighting innovative technology, as found in the Hybrid & Beyond track which touted a look at “Mobile Capture: Where the Opportunities Lie” from Dean Tang, CEO, ABBYY USA, or the smart panel of experts where “Leaders Share on Managing Change Through Business Model Shifts,” led by Greg VanDeWalker of GreatAmerica Leasing Corp., John Hey, Strategic Business Associates, and Chip Miceli, Owner, Des Plaines Office Equipment.”  Add in the Document Solutions track where “Hybrid Document Management” was addressed by James True of Cabinet NG (with Howard Gross, Pres., E-BizDocs) and the session “Selling ECM Software Leads to Profits” from Chris Wacker of Laserfiche, among many other successful presentations throughout the conference, and it was soon obvious that ITEX brought its “A game” to whet the appetites of attendees. 

Power HourOn Target MPS & Managed Services

Strategic “take away” value was evident from the quality line up of presenters in the MPS Strategy Forum and Managed Services Strategy Forum where vendors served up credible methods and practices for dealers to employ in effort to grow, thrive, and secure recurring income. Within the MPS forum, leading print and solution experts shared actionable formulas that would help dealers close more print management contracts as well as easily identify, sell, monitor, measure, train, apply, service, finance and leverage MPS for higher profits. The “take to the bank” strategies came from “A list” presenters of OKI Data, Parts Now, PrintFleet, Supplies Network, ECi, Compass Sales Solutions, Printer Essentials, DocuWare, GE Capital, and LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc.

According to Bob Smith, MIS, A&A Office Systems, “We are an independent copier dealer who has also gotten quite a bit into MPS. That is what has led me to the ITEX show in Vegas. I have gone to some really great conference sessions this morning and am looking forward to more tomorrow, while making some great networking connections on the Expo Floor.“

Exhibitor/Presenter Jim McMeel, Vice President of Sales, Compass Sales Solutions confirmed, “It’s been a tremendous show for us. A lot of great dealer activity; meeting a lot of the partners. We really appreciated the opportunity to participate in this year’s event. And will definitely be participating next year.”

A lot of inquiries for information on Managed Services was felt throughout the show, and ideally, today’s market represents a “right time, right place” opportunity to expand one’s business further. Many feel that several market factors have come together to make the timing a natural next-step process for many dealers & naturally, MSPs. The new Managed Services Strategy Forum had sponsors sharing on how, why and when to include the MS services in order to profit. The power line up included representatives from GreatAmerica Leasing Corp.; Growth Achievement Partners, InfoTrends, ECI Software Solutions, Digital Gateway, and Supplies Network.

David Concors, VP of Sales, Supplies Network added, “Great discussions at ITEX this week. MPS and Managed Services – so can the gap be bridged? We think so!”

In addition to the forum track, a new MS Pavilion was found in the exhibit hall where innovative IT/MS vendors illuminated the possibilities for inquiring attendees.
Jim Shulkin, Vice President, Agiliant expressed a sincere “Thanks to ITEX for a great event. Transformation to managed services was the hot topic and with good reason.”

Rewarding Workshops & Comments

The Pre-Conference workshop sessions the day prior the general show allowed attendees to deep dive into topics that included: How to Sell & Market Cloud Solutions: CompTIA Cloud Workshop;  2) The 12 Critical Steps to Evolve Your Sales Model to Meet Today’s Business Climate; and 3) New Trends in Technology: Moving Beyond MPS. 

According to Sahar Ash, Vice Director, Paralink Copiers International, “I attended the ‘12 Critical Steps to Evolve Your Sales Model to Meet Today’s Business Climate’ and found the overall content of the session to be very good. The presenters from GreatAmerica Corp., West Point Products, and Kingston Training Group were very engaging & focused, and provided information that will be useful to my business.”

Attendee John Meehan, Controller, A&A Office Systems concluded, “I thought it was very well-structured with regard to the agenda and show layout, and the advanced (pre-marketing) documentation as to what the session presentations were going to be about so that we could schedule our time appropriately. Very well-organized. Good content.”

Bill Gates, President, Epson America stated, “This is our third consecutive year to be part of the ITEX event. It’s been very exciting for us. Great interest in what we sell; the technology is growing a lot. There is a lot of enthusiasm with resellers coming by wanting to know what’s the latest in technology to help grow their business. A well-organized show. Well attended. We’ve already signed up for next year. Looking forward to it.”

Summing up a good “game on!” sentiment felt by many at ITEX 2012, Tage Johnson, President, Technical Duplicator Services expressed it this way:

“We were a founding member of the first ITEX show way back in the early 90s…and we are very pleased with ITEX 2012. I believe it was the best show I’ve ever attended or exhibited at. We liked the new show hours and flow. There was great international presence here from different customers all over the world. I think the ITEX staff did a wonderful job in making a beautiful venue. We’ll be back next year.”  Now on to 2013!"

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