This year, Channel Expo organiser Incisive Media is expanding the education aspect of the show, in a move to provide attendees with tangible advice from a range of experts on how to make the most of the market. Andrew Wooden takes a look?

Education, education, education

In a less than cuddly economic climate, most companies will be looking to cut costs wherever they can. This reaction has meant that large scale, flashy technology shows such as CeBIT registered less attendees and exhibitors this year compared to last. While still on a huge scale of course, the numbers were definitely in decline.

Similar things were reported from CES. Held in the flashiest city of all time, tightening budgets were felt there as well. For a show where the spectacle of the thing is half the point (you don’t go to the bother of renting huge amounts of space in Las Vegas for nothing), it is perhaps even more noticeable when things are slightly stripped down. Furthermore, the fact that exhibitors at big international shows often don’t know pricing and availability specifically for the UK market, its relevance is often called into question.

Home grown shows, such as Channel Expo, have always been much more tightly focused on the UK channel, and been noticeably devoid of the hugely expensive ubër-stands which ultimately don’t provide much tangible benefit to anyone.

Channel Expo organiser Incisive Media is planning on expanding this idea of infusing the trade show with the practical benefits of a bigger than ever education area to the 2009 show. The whole point being, if times are indeed going to be harder for the trade, then ramping up the amount of advice and discussion forums has to be a good idea. The CRN Education Theatre intends to do just that.

The eclectic mix of discussions will look at specific ways of combating reduced consumer spending, new technologies such as cloud computing and virtualisation, fraud and how to expand effectively.

Time Table for CRN Theatre

Day 1: Wednesday May 20th
10.30 – 11.00: Change, technology and people: the future is now with Matthew Poyiadgi, VP EMEA, CompTIA
11.00 – 11.30: Shift and adapt: the changing dynamics of the channel, services and profitability with Graham Palmer, head of Intel UK
11.30 – 12.00: Victory via Virtualisation with Marc Groetelaars, director for EMEA North Partner Organisation, VMware
12.00 – 13.00: Channel trends and opportunities: gaining competitive advantage with Tiffani Bova, VP Research, Indirect Channel Programs and Sales Strategies at Gartner
13.00 – 13.30: Seven keys to sales success with Steve Gilroy, international business development consultant, Reseller Business Academy & Biz
13.30– 14.00: Clouds on the horizon: the opportunities of cloud computing with Peter Lorant, head of EMEA partners at Google Enterprise
14.00 – 14.30: Seizing the upside of a downturn with Paul Harrison, Dell’s UK channel head
14.30 – 15.00: Un-crunching credit: three views from the channel with Euler Hermes, De Lage Landen and Derek Walton, finance director at Magirus
15.00 – 15.30: SAM – Do or die? With John Lovelock, chief executive at the federation against software theft

Day Two: Thursday May 21st
10.30 – 11.00: Best of British with Ben and Jos White, founders of Messagelabs
11.00 – 12.00: After the storm with David Smith, the Sunday Times’ economics editor and author
12.00 – 12.30: Conducting a business health check with Nitin Joshi, founder of ChannelMoney
12.30 – 13.00: Going global: taking your business abroad with Was Rahman, ICT strategy and technology advisor at UK Trade and Investment
13.00 – 13.30: What margin is there in green IT? With Jon Godfrey, director, Simms lifecycle services
13.30 – 14.00: New Models of engagement with Ian French, managing director of Siceo
14.00 – 14.30: Marketing techniques in the digital age: the key to engaging new customers with Justin Harling, managing director of CAE and Geoff Undrell, managing director of Xact Marketing
14.30 – 15.00: The fight against fraud with Martin Williams, chief executive of Graydon

List of exhibitors
AEG Power Solutions Ltd
Aserver NV
Backup Agent
CRN Reseller Business Academy
CSI Leasing UK Limited
Cables To Go
Cisco Euro Challenge
CensorNet Ltd
Computer Bookshops
Connect Business Continuity
Corporate Rewards
Datafort Ltd
Emerson Network Power
European Reseller
Exponential-e Limited
Gamma Telecom
Gen-X IT
Got IT
IASO Backup Technology
Ingram Micro
J&J Associates
Level Platforms
Meroncourt Europe Ltd
Norman Data
OKI Printing Solutions
PC Association
PC Retail
PSA Parts
Quiet PC
Redstone Mobile
Scanbar Technology Ltd
Seiko Instruments Inc.
Spitfire Network Services Ltd
Trustmarque Solutions
Uniworld Communications
Wasp Barcode Technologies
Correct as of going to press

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