Attendees Powered Up (and Warmed Up) at ITEX 201519 Mar, 2015 By: Sand Sinclair, ITEX Conference Director
True to form, Dealers, MSPs, Resellers, and more "Powered Up" at ITEX 2015. Professionals arrived from all over the country to attend the largest premier event in the channel. The event in sunny Florida drew an increase of both dealers and vendors from Latin America, as well as interest from parts of Europe, Asia, and Australia. The "national, annual mainstay for the office channel” percolated with new global interest due to geographic proximity.
Emphasizing imaging and office solutions, there were plenty of exhibitors spotlighting solutions options from such providers as ConnectWise, PaperCut Software International, AVG Technologies, Continuum, as well as N-able, MAXFocus by LogicNow, Ingram Micro, Laserfiche, MWAi, Square 9 Softworks, and good companies such as ECi Software Solutions, DocuWare, NewField IT, among many notable vendors found. Prominent manufacturers such as OKI Data Americas, Epson, HP, Lexmark, Fujitsu, Sindoh showcased new hardware amid solutions and services, and the list of supplies specialists was rounded out with Clover Technologies/MSE, LMI, ILG, with Supplies Network, PrintFleet, Printer Essentials and organizations who support the channel each including GreatAmerica Financial Services, MPSA, ASCII, CompTIA, and the newly co-located event Ignite 2015 with Intec and TriMega, bringing new solutions, peers, specialized services, strategies and more. Over 145 total associations and companies exhibited at ITEX 15. Good deal.
The event kicked off with a well-attended set of Executive Workshops on "forerunner" day, facilitated by InfoTrends analysts (with prominent dealer co-speakers) which held the audience's attention for a half day of credible, authentic strategies on "handling diversification" and what this entails to solidify your business model. Consecutively, a second workshop facilitated by CompTIA Faculty, brought actionable strategies on refining your business plan in key areas, with focus on IT deliverables. Attendees came away from both events loaded with the toolkit they needed to either lock down or turn around their businesses.
But what’s Florida without adding some “fun in the sun” mixed into your business agenda? Following the workshops, dealers and vendors alike headed to an ideal networking experience in Ft. Lauderdale, that of a sunset boat cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway with colleagues from all walks and markets. Vendors, mixed with dealers and professionals, found it relaxing to engage with peers outdoors on a warm, balmy evening after a full day of education, and where many had escaped snow-laden regions. The weather also helped fuel the crowded Epson/MPSA hosted cocktail reception at a trendy on-the-water restaurant the following evening across from the Convention Center where ITEX was held. Earlier, the show’s producers launched the official ITEX 15th Anniversary Reception right on the exhibit floor where it buzzed with numerous attendees mixing with vendors and OEMs who enjoyed refreshments while connecting with colleagues and friends.
The energy in the exhibit hall continued both days, as professionals sought after the latest trends, products and services met their partners as well as having the opportunity to visit with other vendor prospects to investigate new possibilities, before heading home.
Kicking off the first day of the general show was a Keynote delivered by Lawrence Walsh, CEO & Chief Analyst, The 2112 Group, whereby Walsh enthralled listeners with “Building Better Business in a Dynamic Channel.” HP kindly sponsored the Keynote Address.
The Conference Sessions were led by some of the channel's best industry experts, with many dealers co-presenting for "case study" peer–to-peer interest. The actual menu of topics was somewhat ambitious in number, but dealers and professionals could find information on most facets of their business. Topics focused on MPS, Managed IT, Cloud, Document Management & Workflow, Imaging Parts & Supplies, with other Sessions focusing on evolving trends, social media, sales & marketing strategies, and much more. Attendees found useable tools at their fingertips to take home and implement. Notably, a half-day workshop led by industry Veteran Paul Dippell, CEO, Service Leadership, was enjoyed by eager attendees wanting to learn more about “Light A Fire Under Your Managed IT Sales” which was sponsored by ITEX and GreatAmerica Financial Services.
Other notable events included the imageSource Perfect Image Award Breakfast Ceremony where outstanding dealers and providers are selected each year as “stand outs” for best performance and practices. Among the seven recipients of the PIAs, which included Impact Networking, Fisher's Technology, Des Plaines Office Equipment, Upstream Office Solutions, ImageQuest, and "trailblazer" Julie Italiano of Modern Office Methods, ProSource won Dealer of the Year. In addition, original Founder of ITEX, Marc Spring, received well-deserved recognition for creating the show fifteen years ago, prior to it being acquired by Questex LLC.
ITEX 2015 celebrated its 15th Anniversary this year. Quite a milestone. Its history is found in the March issue of imageSource Magazine at www.imagesourcemag.com. ITEX and the post show features can soon be found at www.itexshow.com. A full wrap up on the show with photos will also be found in the upcoming April issue of imageSource.
In closing, noted analyst of Industry Analysts, Inc. (The What’s Happenin’ Report), Lou Slawetsky, sums it up best in his informative and positive review of ITEX 2015 (www.industryanalysts.com), saying, "All in all, a good experience – one that more dealers should experience. This remains the only imaging systems dealer experiences held on a national scale. It continues to provide important help to all dealers.”