Where Were You During The Executive Marketing Summit?
(Chicago) - At this year's Executive Marketing Summit (March 11 to 12) there was one thing noticeably missing: attendees. Sure, there were reps there from some big AIDC (automatic identification and data collection) vendors like Symbol, Datamax, Texas Instruments, and PSC. But that's a smattering of the major players in this industry. The VAR contingent was also almost non-existent except for the presence of Brian Marcel, managing director of International Bar Code Systems, Ltd.; and Mike Lowry, president and CEO of Lowry Computer Products, Inc. Minus the event coordinators, sponsors, and research firm (ImageCare, Inc.), there were only 19 attendees.
Of course travel budgets have been slashed this year and the event's $2,700 price tag may have also scared off some participants. However, it's not like this year's Summit didn't have something tangible to offer. Every attendee received a copy of the "Cracking The Value Code" research report composed of survey results from 550 attendees (i.e. end users, channel members, and manufacturers) at the 2001 Frontline Solutions Expo. The report, while not intended to be a roadmap for industry renovation, did offer some tidbits of insight regarding what may be inhibiting sales for both VARs and vendors. Namely, end users don't want the "total solution" concept the channel and manufacturers have been advocating in recent years. In fact, no one seems to have a uniform definition of what a "total solution" really is. Couple that fact with the revelation that many end users don't even know what really encompasses AIDC technology, and you have an industry that's in need of a facelift. It's just a shame more industry people didn't attend the Summit. Maybe then we could have walked away with a formalized plan that would help vendors and VARs alike. Instead, most attendees simply walked away.