Catering To The Channel's Needs
VARs and integrators: check out the revamped Channel Connection event at the AIIM 2001 Conference and Exposition. The Channel Connection offers more of what you want.
If you've read Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, the infamous book by John Gray, you'd know there's a lot of miscommunication that exists between the sexes. A major source behind this communication problem is that a person "thinks" he/she knows another's "needs," but never really "asks" this individual. We're all guilty of this everyday - misperceiving the needs of others. And, this problem extends beyond male/female relationships into all types of interactions, including business.
Take our magazine, Business Solutions, for example. For over 10 years, we've catered our editorial to the needs of the channel (VARs and integrators). During this time, we've interviewed thousands of VAR companies and spoken candidly with these executives about their businesses. But for us to say, we know you - the reader - completely and all of your needs, would be a mistake. So, as a magazine, we need to be constantly asking, "What do you need?"
Tailoring An Event To The Needs Of The Channel
We recently sent out feelers to gain channel input on the Channel Connection, an event we coproduce with AIIM (the Association for Information and Image Management) International. Started five years ago, the Channel Connection was designed to cater to the special needs of VARs and integrators attending the annual AIIM Conference and Exposition. With channel companies comprising a large percent of the overall AIIM attendees, we wanted a free venue that provided extra value for VARs and integrators. Past Channel Connection events have included business seminars on topics such as better selling techniques, effective hiring practices, tailored marketing campaigns, and improved service strategies. Other Channel Connection events offered speakers who provided a future vision of the channel and the technologies they sell. Some of these efforts were received well, and others had mixed responses.
An Event Designed By You, For You
This year, based on discussions with past attendees, as well as informal surveys of the channel, the Channel Connection has been revamped to become a forum for the needs of VARs and integrators. Here's just a look at what you can expect:
- Kickoff event for AIIM Channel Connection Committee - Recognizing the growing importance of the channel, a Channel Connection committee has been created within AIIM. This committee will be responsible for planning the 2002 Channel Connection, as well as evaluating other separate events for VARs and integrators. The committee will also help design the criteria for a channel program guide to be published this year and evaluate the need for additional certification programs. Attendees of this year's Channel Connection will be able to nominate VARs/integrators, vendors, and distributors to sit on the committee.
- Private meeting with technology executives - The AIIM Web site is offering VARs and integrators the ability to schedule private meetings with the technology executive of their choice. Appointments are confirmed via e-mail and participants are directed to private meeting rooms connected to the Channel Connection lounge.
- Sales strategy luncheons - Michael Bosworth, author of Solution Selling, will present his insights on better sales strategies for VARs and integrators at free luncheons.
- Special lounge - Like many past Channel Connection events, a special room with free refreshments and comfortable seating has been designated for VARs and integrators overlooking the show floor.