ITEX Takes Possession of a Big Win1 Apr, 2014 By: Sand Sinclair, Editor
True to form, ITEX 2014 was the dedicated game changer! The recent conference claimed the end zone with a BIG WIN! Day 1 kicked off with a well-attended Executive Leadership Workshop as well as co-located events (user groups; associations’ meetings), followed by winning touchdowns on the busy exhibit floor and conference halls on Days 2 & 3. Attendees found the playing field deep with business-altering solutions provided by the industry’s best power movers who called defensive plays from a collective channel pro playbook, delivered at ITEX.
Over a thousand office dealers, MSPs, VARs, system integrators, IT professionals and resellers created the buzz on the show floor, looking to invest in solutions and improve tools, technologies and processes while gathered at The Rio Las Vegas Hotel for the 14th annual ITEX Expo.
Stepping onto the field for the 3-day event to share information, education, product and services, leading industry experts included: performance & sales management consultants, peer-to-peer dealer executives, notable vendors and OEMs, industry association leaders, Managed Services and MPS professionals who networked, shared or “coached” hungry businesses looking for the latest implementable methods to grow, save, or expand their businesses or wallet share.
The conference opened with a comprehensive half-day Executive Leadership Workshop, where nearly 200 attendees eagerly listened and learned from in-depth discussions on Igniting Revenue & Profit in 2014. Led by an impressive panel, it included John Hey and Todd Johnson, Co-Partners, Strategic Business Associates, Tom Callinan, Principal, Strategy Development, Jeff Boate, President, Perry ProTech, Sally Brause, Director, Human Resources Consulting, PathShare HR Services/GreatAmerica, and social media expert Michael Brito, Group Director, Media & Engagement, WCG, a W20 Company.
The workshop panel provided in depth information on maximizing dealer performance; streamlining today’s business model; identifying, developing, hiring and retaining company leaders; structuring and measuring a sales force when you’re in multiple business models; and fully integrating marketing across all media platforms, including mobile. The workshop was followed by a well-attended VIP Reception where attendees dined, networked and enjoyed mixing with fellow peers and ITEX sponsors.
Callinan, who both presented and moderated the workshop said, “The feedback I got from attendees in the executive forum was outstanding.”
Rich Simons, president and pioneer of the relatively new company EDGE Business Systems, remarked, “This is our first year at ITEX. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet other people in our industry from a mentorship standpoint; from an education standpoint. And with all the rapid changes in technology, we’re happy to lean on the individuals who have been doing this for a long time to help rapidly grow our business.”
Track Power Plays
Throughout the general show the information found in dedicated conference tracks offered comprehensive education centered on selected topics that today’s providers could sink their teeth into. The roster of industry experts delivered presentations meant to revive or enhance an organization’s business model of operations, examining all areas.
Session Track monikers included Automate: Document & Workflow Solutions; Close: Sales Strategies; Converge: Managed Services & MPS Solutions; Deliver: Competitive Service & Supplies; Engage: Marketing Strategies; and Transform: Evolving Technology & Business Models. Education was plentiful in both “Power Hour” sessions as well as the comprehensive Strategy Forum, which featured key vendors and co-presenters that delivered MPS and Managed Services solutions that could be adopted and monetized.
One forum presenter, Michael Amiri, Continuum, voiced, “At ITEX, it was clear…this is the year the office equipment industry is embracing managed IT services.”
Active Expo Floor
The busy expo floor brought more than one hundred vendor companies together to showcase new products and services addressing markets that included cloud computing, document management & workflow, financing and leasing, imaging products & supplies, consumables, IT managed services, MPS, hardware and wireless devices, digital signage and much, much more. Featured exhibitors included Diamond Sponsor Continuum; Platinum Sponsors DocuWare, ECi e-Automate, ECi FMAudit, LEAF Commercial Capital, MSE, and OKI Data Americas. Other leading vendors broadened the scope of available product and services, enhancing the offerings for a well-rounded and solid exhibit floor.
“MSE is committed to providing the highest level of access and visibility to the US dealer community,” said Luke Goldberg, Senior Vice President, MSE. “ITEX is the ideal showcase to demonstrate our commitment to the channel from a technology and marketing standpoint. This is why we commit to Platinum level show sponsorship. Our continuing investment shows that MSE is excited about the future of a still-vibrant market, and we are poised to help dealers thrive for the foreseeable future.”
Like a good pro scout, ITEX realizes that today’s dealers and service providers are seeking to fully engage at shows that offer value along with strategies that produce good results. ITEX brings in the needed “tools” to suit up, train, learn the best defense, offense and proactive actions that are currently available to take home and implement, thus, to capitalize on. Attendees want to network with peers, find partners, product and people who can help them thrive – they want good leadership, information, companies, products, and service providers to engage them. This is the credible playbook that ITEX assembles and delivers each year.
“We’re here at ITEX having a fantastic show introducing our new A4 product line,” said James Buck of OKI Data Americas. “It’s been a fantastic show. A lot of dealers came in. It’s been a great show with a tremendous turnout.”
Many in the channel are aware of the innovative technologies emerging on the horizon, and the “trends” that may turn to profit when added to a growing portfolio. The necessity to revise a static business model is vital in order to remain competitive. Think Mobility, 3-D printing, Digital Signage among growing interests.
“We’re very excited to be a part of the ITEX event this year,” said Harold Baker, Toshiba America Business Solutions. “We’re showcasing a Digital Signage initiative that’s interactive, as well as Omni-Channel and it’s been well received. Traffic has been fantastic and we’re looking forward to continuing this messaging and introduction into a very exciting marketplace.” Baker added, “We’re looking forward to continuing this successful relationship with ITEX.”
In addition, Luis Gonzalez, president of SalesScoreKeeper thinks, “Digital Signage will have a dramatic effect in the near future, especially in the vertical markets of education, healthcare, even real estate.”
In addition to top loaded education tracks and vibrant exhibits, attendees enjoyed two welcome receptions by the host show ITEX, and a lively reception hosted by the BTA, as well as a members’ reception at the annual IBPI dealer meeting. Work or play, Vegas venues encourage entertainment, food, beverage and peer networking to round out the festivities for all involved.
Revealed at the show, imageSource magazine awarded seven dealers or businesses with the magazine’s 2014 Perfect Image Award, each for outstanding achievement. Independently judged by members of the ITEX/imageSource Advisory Council, industry peers and Questex Media, the national awards were presented by imageSource Editor-in-Chief and ITEX Conference Director, Sand Sinclair.
The outstanding Dealer of the Year was awarded to PERRY proTECH; Outstanding MPS Program to FlexPrint, Inc.; Outstanding Managed Services Program to Gordon Flesch Company; Outstanding Sales Program to Ray Morgan Company; and Outstanding Service Program to DEX Imaging, Inc. Two new awards were presented including Outstanding Trailblazer in the Channel to Ann McCann, Marco, Inc. and Office Technology Rising Star to EDGE Business Systems, with president Rich Simons picking up the award. Recognizing these outstanding organizations is a tribute to their hard work, best practices and tremendous efforts to remain successful in today’s environment.
With lots in the mix, ITEX delivered a terrific platform, spotlighting leaders in all walks within the imaging/office channel, who eagerly shared and supported the attendees at the show. Without question, when you have the right teams, the right diagrams to follow, you can confidently take possession of the ball and rush into the end zone for a “win.” View the 2014 Highlights Reel here.
Look for a rematch in 2015, back at the Rio, March 10-12. For information visit www.itexshow.com.