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At BlueStar, we like to make sure that no two Vartechs are exactly alike – and this year was no exception. For 2018, we packed up and headed to Punta Cana, DR, to take over the Hard Rock Resort.
Despite weather complications both before and during the event (we almost lost our main stage!), Vartech 2018 kicked off without a hitch in the Woodstock Pavilion, with an energetic opening session no one in the resort could ignore. The BlueStar All-Star band gave its first global performance to a crowd of almost 1,500 attendees, opening things up for keynote speaker Randy Bachman. The Canadian musical legend took the stage to speak about the trials and tribulations of finding success, preserving it, and fighting to re-discover inspiration over and over in even the most unlikely of places. His lessons could be applied, not just to the music he created and wove stories about onstage, but to our very own channel’s need to keep innovating, never stay comfortable for too long, and to always keep an open mind.
Solution sessions and CodeZone networking events brought everyone at Vartech together, thanks to a star-studded red carpet entrance. Solution sessions offered high-level panelist discussions, presentations, and information on the channel’s top issues of today and tomorrow. From how to better market your small business with limited funding, to the new and challenging operating systems migration, to the newest trends and tricks hitting the POS and mPOS world, attendees had an opportunity to learn from the experts about nearly any topic imaginable.
After solution sessions concluded, and CodeZone was closed, however, the Vartech Hard Rock Bon Apetite event ensured everyone could conclude the evening with even more networking events, over dinner and drinks.
Each year, we look to change it up at Vartech, so for day two we planned something brand new. We planned a very special opening event to shake things up, and take Vartech into the next chapter of channel development, to show our attendees what we think is just around the corner: the importance of software to drive hardware sales.
At BlueStar, we’ve embraced this in the form of our new program, ISV Connect. ISV Connect is our independent software vendor database – a carefully compiled list of the top software vendors around the world who are seeking partnerships with resellers interested in selling their products, and hardware manufacturers whose technology complements their innovative designs.
To follow through on this initiative and educate our partners on the importance of software vendors across all verticals, we decided to mix things up a bit at this year’s Vartech. For the first year, but likely not the last, we presented the very first ISV Connect Live! event.
Kicking off day two of Vartech, we took to the stage at the Hard Rock Resort to bring ISV presentations to our reseller and vendor communities, displaying their software and partnership potential for all attendees.
Armed only with a single slide displayed on-screen, and 90 seconds to express why they were at Vartech and what kinds of partnerships they’re looking for, 24 ISVs took the stage to appeal to hundreds of Vartech attendees.
Throughout the second day opening event, each ISV had their time in the spotlight, to highlight their solutions and their opportunities for growth within the channel.
After that, attendees flooded to CodeZone for more networking, solutions, and success. After a few additional solution sessions, it was time to hit the pool party – featuring the BlueStar All-Star band as poolside entertainment. Attendees could grab a Dominican cigar, and sit poolside in comfort, or jump right in and enjoy the water and foam. Afterwards, we tied Vartech up with a back-by-popular-demand Afterglow party in the Oro nightclub.
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 as we return to the Atlantis, on Paradise Island, in mid-September.
WATCH THE VARTECH RECAP VIDEO BELOW: