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It started off with a bang: a sea lion bounding onto the stage, the promise of intellectually stimulating panel discussions, and evening networking celebrations unlike anything else.
VARTECH 2016, hosted by BlueStar, welcomed nearly 1,500 attendees to the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The first global VARTECH, the event offered educational sessions focused on key channel issues alongside networking events to further connections and professional relationships. Running from Sept. 11 to Sept. 14, VARTECH events varied in length and subject.
First on the agenda was keynote speaker, Jeff Havens, who kicked VARTECH off with a discussion about age gaps within the professional world. Merging generations together within the same office environment without witnessing a culture clash is rare; Havens provided a clear perspective on how these different age groups should regard, respect and learn from one another to improve their companies as a whole. Attendees were given actionable ideas empowering them to strengthen their teams and foster inner-generational comradery.
From there, attendees were released to attend a variety of Solutions Sessions over the two days of main events. These sessions provided attendees with critical insights into the channel’s functionality, issues and potential for future growth. Covering a vast amount of topics to interest attendees in many diverse verticals, these sessions provided panel-format discussions that provided new perspectives, conversations and insights. From discussing an inevitable and tricky OS migration on the horizon to highlighting new technology trends in mPOS, experts converged on these sessions to learn from one another about how to best adapt their businesses in a changing professional climate.
For example, the session covering the hottest trending topic in the channel, Internet of Things (IoT), was a highly attended panel at VARTECH. The Internet of Things has exploded into a conversation topic in workplaces around the world and provides a wealth of opportunities for many businesses. Attendees discussed how VARs can leverage opportunities in IoT, learned about impeding challenges associated with the technology, and where the golden nuggets of opportunity within IoT lie for businesses. Other sessions helped to cover best practices for day-to-day operations, such as how to retain and hire talent in today’s changing marketplace. These sessions allowed attendees to explore new ideas such as company culture and its affect on attracting and retaining talent.
In addition to the educational Solutions Sessions, attendees flooded the CodeZone floor to engage with and learn about the latest technologies and services available. Vendors, ISVs and resellers alike were able to discuss and exchange ideas about products and programs available within the channel. As a result, attendees were able to take the new ideas imparted throughout the solutions sessions and see them come to life on the CodeZone floor in the form of real experiences, which better their technical understanding.
VARTECH continues to be the Channel’s no. 1 event for collaboration, education and networking. The show would not be made possible if it weren’t for the more than 100 sponsors who invest to make VARTECH a reality. Next year’s show is sure to continue the tradition in Orlando, Fla., in mid-September.