This year’s Auckland Ingram Micro showcase achieved a 40 percent boost in visitor numbers over last year, with a smaller, yet “high quality” crowd in Wellington, according to the distributor.
General manager of Ingram’s solutions group, Scott Cowen, says he is very happy with the overall turnout.
“The Christchurch show has gone well, with a steady flow right from the morning. We have always had strong support from South Island resellers and their customers.
“We have people coming from Dunedin, Otago, Queenstown, Nelson, Invercargill – a lot of regional resellers actually come and spend the day with us.”
Cowen says the Wellington attendance was affected by cold and rainy weather, but says exhibitors were happy with the calibre of participants. “It’s a smaller market, but there are quality people coming through. A lot of resellers bring corporate and government clients.”
He says Christchurch has been consistent over the years, with about 700-800 people.
Resellers at the Auckland event, which featured 50 exhibitors, were pleased with the visitor turnout. Acquire’s Simon Scott says the show is of prime importance for his company as it sells online.
“With us selling online we don’t really touch or see anything we sell, which happens to a lot of resellers. It’s your only opportunity to see what you’re selling and get excited about certain ranges and whether you should be selling it.”
Vendors were similarly enthusiastic.
Pip Heath, distribution account manager for Toshiba, says a new product helped draw interest. “For us, we are seeing more people because we have such a cool new product that hasn’t officially been launched yet. This is our main show, since we sell through the reseller channel.”
Tandberg Data’s Lim Cheng Chuan attended all three showcases and says the show was excellent. “Our objective was to catch up with customers and meet new customers and we have also launched some nice new products.”
Southern resellers appreciate local showcase
Ingram Micro’s Showcase 2007 event played well in Christchurch this year, as it generally does. While Auckland and Wellington are well served with IT shows, they are sparser in the South Island and thus draw an appreciative crowd. It gives resellers a chance to see what’s on offer in new technologies and gives the vendors a chance to better understand their southern customers.
“We come to the show because most of our clients are rural, so we are always looking for solutions for farmers,” says Greenwitch Vaudrey of Computer Servicing and Support. She and husband Jon run the Otago-based reseller. “Our customer base needs a lot of internet connectivity and power protection. We also have a few other businesses that we look after. The showcase has been great. We come every year. Compared to last year it has been more of the same, but with better figures and everything faster.”
Her comments are mirrored by others. “The show has been brilliant. It’s the highlight of the year for the IT industry,” says Austen Calder, director of Calder Electronics in Christchurch. “It has gone very well. I come here to gain a bit of insight on new products and new technologies; and to ask a few questions on products that we’ve got. I have come for the past four or five years. The show improves every year, with more and more vendors. This has been the busiest year [with] more vendors than ever before. Overall, it has been a very good experience.”
Craig Goodenough, of Flashnet Computers, Christchurch, also has seen growth, and he has found the seminars to be especially helpful. “Mainly we do IT for schools, where we also put in email and content filtering,” he says. “We come here to pick up ideas; it’s nice to come here and see the products. The seminars are also quite good. The event has been much bigger this year, with a lot of growth over past years. We got the information that we came for and will definitely come back next year.”
On the outskirts of Christchurch, Mark Jones runs Super Computer, a do-everything computer reseller serving a rural area. “It has been a good show,” he says. “You have to go through slowly because there is a lot of detail that you can miss. Because of work pressure, a lot of the time you don’t often get to find the nuts and bolts that can make the business a bit sweeter. We’re all chasing higher margins and you need to find the little bits and pieces of technology that might not appear in the general area of sales.”