ITEX’09 Makes Good On Its Promise15 May, 2009 By: Editorial Staff imageSource
ITEX’09 Makes Good On Its Promise
The leading “All Things Office” tradeshow, ITEX, had a solid and briskly paced turnout to its ninth annual forum held recently at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The show floor had plenty of qualified buyers consisting of dealer/resellers, VARs, ISVs, and office associations
and consultants in office technology and/or related services from all across the country. The show was filled with eager attendees seeking new strategies over the two-day expo, and it was apparent that regardless of companies watching their budgets, attendance to ITEX’09 remained
a priority for many in the channel.
While many businesses have been revising their business plans in order to capture and sustain profits, looking for ways to craft together a solid, workable, no-nonsense approach to address today’s climate, an effective tradeshow to spotlight the tools available becomes
paramount. One constant message heard? That office dealers should expand their reach, spreading out in new directions (with new offerings) in order to access new markets, thus finding more opportunities to enhance revenues.
Dealers know instinctively that to truly set themselves apart, they must maximize their product and service offerings. ITEX’09 helped them pinpoint which, and offered how.
ITEX has a history of premiering cutting edge technology and education while helping to foster profitable partnerships between dealers, vendors and their distribution partners, facilitating growth through key networking. As thousands of attendees circulated the exhibit hall of
nearly 200 vendors, which included manufacturers such as Oki Data (show’s partner sponsor), Samsung, Xerox, Canon USA, ECi, Muratec, Digital Gateway, and many more both in hardware and software solutions, as well as those addressing viable “niche markets,” the show percolated
with solid leads and business transactions getting done on site.
ITEX’09’s Power Hour Education Tracks which are created by consultants, analysts, dealers & the ITEX & imageSource staff put together the most comprehensive strategies for providers to capitalize on in order to remain profitable. Each of the Power Hour sessions were developed
within five distinctive tracks. Each of these contained five different sessions, totaling 25 power-packed presentations by industry experts; many were connected by concept for a thorough perspective and addressed the most significant issues that providers face today. Tracks
consisted of: Document Solutions, Sales & Marketing, Dealership 2.0, Emerging Technology, and Service. Practical information and new ground rules to play by were provided to fill in the blanks to important unanswered questions, with experts offering up successful methodologies
and benchmarks to help dealers find an increase in their gross profit margins.
Today’s dealers are beginning to understand that Wide Format printing opportunities are one of the best untapped markets in the imaging industry. Dealers that went looking for information and partners to penetrate this market found it at the Wide Format Pavilion (sponsored by
BERTL), whereby noteworthy vendors walked each attendee through the real benefits of adding WF to their portfolios. Exhibitors included Paradigm Imaging, Kip, Mutoh, and Promark Tech, which additionally spoke on WF at a scheduled education class. Based on current research, the
most sought out interest of growth for traditional office equipment dealers is Wide Format, so ITEX’09 spotlighted it BIG TIME.
Office Supplies are a natural revenue stream for office equipment providers to consider enhancing. A dedicated pavilion (sponsored by S.P. Richards) successfully showcased products, services and vendor partners to help dealers easily add office supplies and products to their
portfolio in order to maximize more profits! Execs with S.P. Richards guided dealers in what type product mix would best compliment their existing offerings.
Mailing Systems was spotlighted as another avenue to compliment a provider’s offerings to his customers. Franco Postalia and Neopost/Hasler provided the latest information pertaining to the mailing, shipping and office automation methods and devices used today, and the profit
opportunities found there.
MPS & Service Forums
As part of the ITEX line up, an exciting full-day forum entitled Improving Service Profitability, moderated by both BEI Pros and BEI Services’ top management, namely Jerry Newberry, Jeff Kelly, and Wes McArtor, respectively, was available to dealers the day before the exhibit
floor opened. The turn out was excellent. The forum provided a Field Service Action Plan to help maximize profits in Service and Operations. Among the many areas highlighted, the moderators provided tools, resources & information on how to achieve operational benchmarks to
achieving gross margins exceeding 52%+.
A second, in-depth forum on Managed Print Services with multi classes held over the two day show saw interested dealers walking away with valuable information and ideas to take home to implement. From competitive opportunities to business fundamentals, many dealers learned
that Managed Print Services is one of the most important initiatives to undertake to grow a document technology dealership today. ITEX brought together some of the industry’s best experts, including execs from Printfleet, to help drive classes that helped dealers plan, execute
and maintain a successful profit driven MPS program. The introductory “Essentials Track” defined the MPS opportunities and how to engage customers with MPS, the phases and tool set requirements, the investment needed, and how research indicates the largest opportunity in MPS is
within the mid-market/SMBs. The “Comprehensive Track” addressed where the real value lies in the MPS market, tips on coaching sales staff with critical strategies, even tips on speaking “I.T.” or how to sell business benefits vs. commodities. Without a doubt the “MPS boot camp”
had lots of attendees anxious to learn...and they did, taking home useable tools to launch or kick up proper MPS programs.
Concurrent Meetings, Awards & Kudos
Along with the expo activities, multiple manufacturers and associations held concurrent meetings while at the show, including DocuWare, IBPI, Xerox, and Printfleet, while the BTA partnered with imageSource magazine to hold a casual reception opening night whereby both
organizations honored selected dealers and manufacturers with prestigious industry awards. Ronelle Ingram, current BTA president, moderated their Channel’s Choice awards, and Marc Spring, ITEX founder and imageSource publisher, presented their 2009 Perfect Image Awards to
selected dealerships which included: Modern Office Methods for both Dealer of the Year and Most Outstanding Service Program; Thermocopy for Most Outstanding Sales Program, Impact Networking for Most Outstanding Marketing Campaign; E.O. Johnson for Most Outstanding Community
Service; Fishers Document Systems for Best Implementation of Technology Strategies, Cell Business Equipment for Best Use of Company Website, and Mr. Copy for Most Innovative Customer Retention Program.
In the Pink
Oki Printing Solutions, an ITEX Partner Sponsor, brought a festive air to the show floor, again parking their bright pink Cadillac in the hall complete with three female singers who “rocked the show floor” hourly. They had dealers lining up for onsite photographs of
themselves with the singers for a “take home” memento of the fun found at the show as well as a reminder of OKI’s excellent printing products.
All in all, the final tally for qualified attendance at ITEX’09 was nearly 2,700, just shy of last year’s numbers but with a solid overall turnout, impressing 79% of vendors to immediately re-sign ITEX booth contracts to exhibit again in 2010. With the declining economy, the
drop in percentage of traffic for other tradeshows has averaged 35%, and ITEX beat that ratio at 22%, meaning ITEX traffic was 13% higher than the current average.
Many vendors stated that they were pleased with the attendee turnout saying “solid, quality dealerships and qualified companies” were seriously seeking new partnerships. In addition, dealers were impressed with the multiple new products that were launched first at ITEX, along
with manufacturers who implemented new programs and product promotions to help dealers address the flat economy by providing them with some cost-saving ways to offset or grow their business.
Bottom line? With eager dealer attendees and name brand vendors, as well as the up and coming new innovators in office technology and solutions today, as well as a host of well attended education sessions and forums, the 2009 ITEX show made good on its promise to present
useable tools to be “All Things Office.”