The 2016 edition of Tech Data Canada’s Business Builder Tour will have more stops that include end users. After adding the new component, whereby the distributor partners with a larger local solution provider and adds a morning of end-user content before the “usual” reseller seminars and tabletop sessions in the afternoon and evening, Tech Data Canada is running three this year.
It ran the end user segment in Quebec City last month, and will include it on stops in Ottawa and Calgary in the fall as well, part of a push to add more value for the distributor, for vendors on the tour, and for local solutions providers.
“It’s such a great opportunity, where we’ve got all these great brands of technology with us, to extend that out to the people buying the products,” said Irene Buchan, director of vendor marketing and product management at Tech Data Canada. “We worked with Micro Logic for the second year in a row, and they invited their end customers out for a two-hour tabletop networking vendor fair for about two hours in the morning, and a seminar by Micro Logic to their customers.”
Although the end user event is run in conjunction with and located with stops on the Business Builder Tour, the end user portion is not, in and of itself, a BBT stop. While it’s mostly run and staffed by Tech Data employees, the end user portion doesn’t carry either the BBT brand or the distributor’s own name, appearing instead to be run by the local solution provider.
Ultimately, Buchan said, the distributor would “love to do it in every city” that the Business Builder Tour hits over course of the year — traditionally Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. It’s halfway to that goal, and Buchan said it’s by design that the end user component is brought first to smaller markets where solution providers and end users alike don’t as frequently have access to top vendors. The distributor will also do an end-user component next month in Halifax at its LobsterFest event, which while not formally part of the Business Builder Tour, shares some common elements.
As always, the distributor continues to adjust the lineup and organization of the tour, adjusting for both market changes and reseller demand. In the past, the distributor ran its single-vendor seminars at the same time as its vendor fair, in the evening, but now it has moved to running the seminars before the vendor fair, in the afternoon, to ensure both solution providers can take in as much as they want, and what they want, and that the vendors involved get the most advantage out of their involvement. At a time when everyone’s as busy as ever or even moreso, Buchan said, solution providers make time to attend the show as a way of “working on their business” instead of “working in their business.”
“When you can deliver quality content that benefits their business, they’ll find time to seek that out,” she said. “Every once in a while, you have have to take a step back from the daily routine and make small investments in time and learning, finding new opportunities, and coming up with new initiatives. If we can help them do that, we’re happy to do it.”
The 2016 Business Builder Tour continues with a stop in Toronto on May 19, and then fall stops in Vancouver (September 20), Calgary (October 6), and Ottawa (November 17).