Bizzone attracts new IT exhibitors, others stay away

Bizzone attracts new IT exhibitors, others stay away

IT companies exhibiting at this year’s Auckland Bizzone business expo were upbeat about economic prospects, citing increased sales. However some companies that have previously exhibited decided not to participate this year, choosing other events or citing low visitor numbers.

The event is aimed at small businesses and is held over three days in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in early June.

Microsoft small and medium business marketing manager Vikki O’Shannessey says the company put its marketing spend into its Road Warrior campaign, which selected five people to promote Office 2010, and the Office 2010 tour which took place nationally.

However, she says Microsoft wouldn’t rule out returning to Bizzone.

Express Data, which shared a stand with Sun Microsystems last year, also decided not to exhibit.

Sales and marketing manager Paul Plester says the feedback he received from staff on the stand was that they were “underwhelmed” with the attendance numbers. “They decided in short that it wasn’t a good spend of the money. It is a shame because there may have been other contributing factors (to attendance levels).”

HP also shared a stand with one of its partners, Acquire, in 2009. HP SMB marketing manager Jess Rangi says it sees value in supporting Bizzone, but says a lack of budget and time to put its stand together meant it didn’t exhibit.

“It wasn’t to do with the event as it is great for the SMB space,” says Rangi.

Dell SMB channel manager James Arnold says this year’s expo was an opportunity to promote Dell’s distributor Simms. “We’re showing off the company and its products at a major event for the first time since it has launched in New Zealand. We’ve got resellers coming in, such as Image Text, to spend some time on the stand which is great.

“The general feeling I get from customers is that they want to purchase. With the Budget out of the way, people are more confident about what is happening in the economy.”

Arnold adds infrastructure refreshes are being planned, along with new PC purchases.

Andrew Allen of Simms reseller ACIT says it has sold more product in the past three months than the last six months of 2009. “It has been a good start and the market has recovered since January,” he says.

GPS tracking company Snitch used the expo to launch Truepath Tracking. It measures live data from a GPS unit and broadcasts this to a remote monitor every 200 metres.

Account manager Drew Miller says it measures increases and decreases in speed and this helps track fuel efficiency.

Mistral Software managing director Megan Twentyman says it was promoting Nuance Software at the expo.

“We’re starting to see a pick up in the market, especially through April and May. I think that is because people are always looking for productivity applications through saving money.”

She adds that the key opportunity for Mistral is identifying different segments of the market.

“We do a lot of work in the retail market, but the Nuance range lends itself very well to the corporate or higher enterprise solutions, particularly Dragon Speech and PDF technologies.”

Marketing manager Chris Thorley from Comworth says it shared a stand with Corporate Consumables to promote Oki printers.

“For the guys from Corporate Consumables, if they only get half a dozen leads from the show then it is a good return on investment. On the first day they have already achieved that.”

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