North Shore Showcase draws in crowds
The 11th annual Ingram Micro Showcase kicked off on Tuesday, attracting a big crowd despite lower vendor numbers than last year.
Vendor numbers were down by ten from 2005’s showcase, when 53 vendors attended.
Scott Cowen, marketing manager with Ingram, said the foot traffic seemed to have picked up this year.
“Last year we held the event at the Greenlane showgounds and we know people had problems getting through traffic to get there. It was also a fairly cold venue, which prompted us to change to the North Shore Event Centre. Even though vendor numbers are down we still have all the most important ones here.”
Cowen says Wellington has traditionally had the upper hand on Auckland when it comes to numbers, but expects that Auckland will give the windy city a run for its money this year.
Microsoft became the centre of attention early in the morning with its seminar on Vista, which quickly only offered standing room for the many interested.
Olivia Thomas, responsible for channel sales at Symantec, says the event is a great way of meeting resellers.
“There are hundreds of resellers here and it is a great opportunity for us to talk to the smaller guys out there. We always get leads and follow-ups from these showcases.”
AutoCAD specialist Autodesk used the Ingram Micro showcase to try to expand its channel, which it says has previously been limited to eight specialist resellers. Business manager Shane Beaman says it is making available its flagship AutoCAD product and others adapted for specific verticals.
“We’ve had AutoCAD available but there have been restrictions on who can sell that range,” Beaman says.
“We play in the manufacturing market, the architectural market, the infrastructure market and the platform area, which is the AutoCAD space.”
He says AutoCAD is a niche area and awareness and understanding of the products has traditionally been limited.
Ingram Micro has represented Australian-based Autodesk for over four years. This is the first time it has exhibited at the showcase.
Kyocera Mita is one exhibitor to drop off last year’s list. National sales manager Brett Hjorth says his company is still very committed to working with Ingram Micro but explains “there are other areas we are putting our energies into at the moment”.
Sander Dales, channels director with Juniper Networks, says the event is extremely important for resellers and vendors, especially in a place like New Zealand.
“We have only been here a few hours and we have already had interest from resellers. It is a fantastic forum for us to meet potential and existing resellers.”
Vodafone is looking towards the ICT space with its stand this year, promoting 3G routers and laptops and the mobile workforce.
Logan Ringland, business marketing manager for IT channels with Vodafone, says they are excited about the showcase and the possibilities it brings with it.
“We have had a lot of interest and this is a great way for us to expose the company to IT resellers. They can get hands-on with our newest IT technology.”
First-time visitor to the event Scott Kennedy, who works as a reseller with Konica Minolta, says he is impressed and will be definitely be returning next year.
“This is great for us — we can see a lot of new products from the contacts we already have, as well as seeing what the competition does. It is a lot better than just being handed a brochure with the products in it.”