By Andy Slawetsky – ITEX celebrated its 19th show with their exhibit in Las Vegas April 24 – 25 and the imaging industry descended on the MGM Grand for several days of meetings and networking.
With nearly 1,200 industry professionals convening here for “co-location” events, there were certainly more people at this year’s conference than there have been at any in recent memory.
The “co” events were held by Collabrance, Visual Edge, IBPI, Evolved Office and MSP EXPO and they definitely contributed to the foot traffic at this year’s ITEX, a noticeable improvement.
There were a decent number of sponsors on the floor this year, including a large booth with Epson and ACDI/PaperCut. Epson is looking to make a big push into the BTA channel and ITEX was a great place to showcase their new team, including Joe Contreras who recently joined Epson from Toshiba.
HP was set up at the Synnex booth this year instead of taking their own space. Around the corner, BEI was sporting their new brand, logo and shirts (NEXERA). Ringdale was there too showing FollowMe at their booth near the exit to the seminar area.
LD Products had a nice space not far from the front where attendees could take their chance putting to win more great prizes from the supplies manufacturer. LD Products just finished a fun weekly national trivia contest where contestants won high end golf gear and Yeti brand coolers and accessories and yes, even a cruise!
DocuWare’s booth was busy most of the time too. Was it the espresso machine with the baristas or was it the presence of their new president Jim Roberts?
The sessions were mostly very well attended and some, like Sarah Henderson of Clover’s panel, had standing-room only. If you got there late, you literally couldn’t get in the room. I tried to go back to get a few pictures and couldn’t find a place to stand without being in someone’s way.
There was a great list of speakers and panel hosts at this year’s show, including Patricia Ames of The Imaging Channel, Eric Crump of Ringdale, Wes McArtor of NEXERA, Kim Louden from GreatAmerica, Greg VanDeWalker of Collabrance, West McDonald (TigerPaw), Ed McLaughlin, Chip Miceli (Pulse Technologies), Tawnya Stone (Greatamerica), John Eckstrom of CBE…the list was massive.
ITEX is one of the few independent annual shows left and while I think there was a time a few years back when it was on the verge of going away, it’s fighting its way back into relevance. There were far fewer supplies manufacturers from China than past shows and only one place where you could get a little cover-up or foundation, a more popular booth than you’d think as evidenced by All Covered biker Mike Stramaglio.
An interesting aspect of this year’s show was how much was going on around it. There were meetings and events at the MGM a day or two before ITEX even started as a lot of people came in early. I know a many people who were staying later into the week as well. And the evenings were a great opportunity for vendors and dealers to spend time with each other at restaurants at the MGM or offsite as we did on both nights.
This was Marc Spring’s 3rd show since he took it back and it’s taken another big step forward. As long as he keeps increasing the amount of dealers and foot traffic at these shows, it will continue to be important. I believe next year’s show is back in Orlando. Let’s hope they can keep the momentum moving forward!
The ITEX logo is a six different puzzle pieces, five of which hang off the central piece (ITEX) that holds the puzzle together. Reseller Automation, Managed IT/Security/Telecom, Managed Print, Smart Office and Document Management are all key areas that dealers focus on or are considering moving into. ITEX brought them all together under one roof and dealers that attended had an excellent opportunity to learn about new products and technologies that they may someday sell. Combine that with the seminars and panels where they could hear their peers say, “I did it and here’s how I’m making money with it.” There is no shortage of conferences and meetings for dealers to attend, but as an independent exhibition, ITEX has once again become one of the good ones.