BlueStar, the global distributor of ADC, Mobility, Point-of-Sale, RFID, Digital Signage, and Security technology solutions, recently completed its annual Vartech US/LatAm educational and trade show event for the first time aboard a Carnival cruise ship, as attendees travelled to Nassau in the Bahamas for a three-day cruise.
"This year's Vartech was the first-ever mobile Vartech," explained Mark Fraker, BlueStar's Vice President of Marketing. "Not only did we develop a fully-integrated mobile app for attendees to use throughout the conference, but the entire event itself was mobile as well in an unprecedented experience for our partners." Mobile Vartech 2012 broke a number of records; It was the first event of its kind hosted aboard a chartered Carnival Cruise ship, and exhibitors brought nearly 25 tons of product on 80 skids of freight for the CodeZone show floor, the most amount of product shown ever at a Vartech event.
"Vartech was a great experience all the way around," said Mike Higgins, President of Technology Training Associates, one of BlueStar's Value-Added Reseller partners. "It was nice to meet the professionals from BlueStar who obviously did a tremendous amount of work to put on a great show. The CodeZone was a great opportunity to meet with vendors we currently work with as well as identify potential new products to add to our offerings...All in all the best channel event ever."
Attendees from across the channel, including manufacturers, value-added resellers, and independent software vendors, had the unique opportunity to connect with one another all weekend long, from the Keynote speeches delivered by Mike Rayburn at the Friday Night Embarkation Show and Scott Burrows on Saturday morning, to the vertically-aligned workshops designed to showcase the best and brightest technology solutions. "We had a number of excellent meetings with new, old and prospective partners both big and small, and saw an increased level of executives who attended," said Alex Welker, HP Distribution Manager for BlueStar. "I would say that this was the best Vartech that I have attend in the last five years."
The Vartech US/LatAm 2012 Bahamas Cruise departed from Miami, Florida, on Friday, 5 October for a weekend of advanced educational workshops, exclusive business intelligence from top manufacturers, and unparalleled networking opportunities. For 2012, Vartech US/LatAm featured unique new Solutions Showcases, where Value-Added Resellers received hands-on demonstrations and in-depth insight on the latest technology and trends.
"The 2012 Vartech was by far the best event to date," said Susan King, Sales Director for CDO Technologies, another BlueStar VAR partner. "Not only did I have a chance to see new technology products in a 'hands-on' environment and reconnect with many familiar business associates, but I also had the chance to meet some new potential business partners that will allow CDO to continue to expand...The sessions were a great mix of presentations by suppliers and consultants–both with a unique perspective on the marketplace."
BlueStar has produced the Vartech series of trades how and educational events for more than a decade, and it has quickly grown to be one of the most highly anticipated and widely attended events in the technology solutions channel. Recent Vartechs have previously been held in Miami, Florida; Toronto, Canada; Berlin, Germany; and Birmingham, UK. Other events in the Vartech Educational series include BlueStar's popular What's Brewing events, hosted at craft breweries across North America, the Raise the Bar series featuring solutions and cocktails at local cigar lounges, and the Game On! summer baseball events held at Major League Baseball games across the country.
"This was my first BlueStar Vartech event, and I must say that I was truly impressed," said Lino Contestabile, Chief Technology Officer at BlueStar VAR Partner L-Tron Corporation. "We had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with manufacturers and software vendors. It was very important to make those connections and discuss the mutual benefits of partnering...All in all, it was a great opportunity to further promote and expand our business, and it was a lot of fun."
Manufacturers and VAR partners alike were able to see significant return on investment in their attendance at Mobile Vartech 2012, with popular networking and business development opportunities throughout the weekend, including extended CodeZone show floor sessions, parties ashore in Nassau, and the Closing Reception aboard the ship. "This year's Vartech was once again a success for Epson," said Nancy Lanese, Channel Account Manager for Epson America, Inc . "CodeZone was well attended, and we had resellers in our booth non-stop. It provided us with a great opportunity to network with our most loyal VARs. Once again, BlueStar hosted an engaging, successful event that resellers and vendors alike seemed to enjoy and benefit from."
"Our goal is to help our partners grow their business in 2012 and beyond, and BlueStar firmly believes that the right education and training can make all the difference," Fraker concluded. "That's why we created Vartech, and why it has grown into the premiere channel event it is today."