PCR asks director and co-founder Farouk Hemraj what delegates can expect this year and why it’s a must-attend event

All you need to know about Distree EMEA 2014

Distree EMEA says it’s ‘far removed’ from a traditional IT and consumer electronics trade show.

It has built a solid reputation for its mix of pre-arranged one-on-one meetings between distributors and vendors, keynote presentations, workshop sessions, awards and networking opportunities, offering attendees the chance to open up new routes to market, sign deals and grow their businesses.

Organisers expect a rise in the number of brands present this year (up from 140 in 2013). And although it attracts senior IT and consumer electronics buyers from some 80 countries and 1,000 delegates overall across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and CIS, with more than 6,000 meetings, it says that strong numbers aren’t the crucial factor.

“It is the quality of the visitors, not just the quantity that matters most at a Distree event – I can’t stress that enough,” Distree Events director and co-founder Farouk Hemraj tells PCR.

“For distributors, this is now a ‘must attend’ event for identifying new suppliers and learning more about emerging product categories that have the potential to reshape consumer demand patterns. No one wants to miss out on the next big thing.

And if you’re a start-up, we offer priceless access to the channel partners that can turbocharge your business development across EMEA.

“It has also become a must attend event for vendors. If a brand wants to optimise its EMEA channels, open up new routes-to-market, increase its understanding of the competitive landscape, develop effective multichannel models and meet face-to-face with the continent’s top product buyers, they should definitely attend Distree EMEA.

“If they just want to hand out balloons, pens and catalogues to thousands of people off the street that will have no influence on their business success, there are other events that they might find more suited to their requirements.”

Distree also has channel experts in each territory who are tasked with recruiting genuine buyers and new distributors, and sending out information to delegates well in advance.

Hemraj says Distree is introducing more flexibility into the conference programme this year, allowing delegates to pick and choose sessions and topics that are most relevant to their business.

It will also be running four summits in addition to the main Distree EMEA conference programme. These are: The Emerging Markets Channel Summit, the Retail to Business (R2B) Summit hosted by Context, the EMEA Distributor Summit and a Wearable & New Technologies Summit.

This is on top of the usual programme featuring input from GfK, tech showcase sessions and workshops focusing on specific geographic markets, as well as the ’60 Seconds to Convince’ hearings, where vendors deliver a brief pitch on stage to distributors and retailers, who vote electronically for the winners. Keynote speakers other than GfK and Context will be announced closer to the event.

So, what key advice does Hemraj have for attendees?

“Bring twice as many business cards as you think you will need. Get plenty of rest the week before and be ready for an action-packed event,” he says.

“If you’ve got the stamina to do three months’ worth of meetings in just three days, Distree EMEA is the right event for you.

“Some of the CEOs of the region’s largest distributors and retailers attend Distree EMEA year in year out, but you won’t see them at a vendor channel conference. The reason is they understand the efficiency Distree offers them – a unique ability to meet dozens of different vendors in just a few days.

“That has to be better for them than having to attend a dozen different vendor conferences.”

When: February 11th to 14th
Where: Fairmont Hotel, Monaco
Nearest airport: Nice Co?te d’Azur Airport (NCE), France
Website: www.distree-emea.com
How to apply: backoffice.distree- emea.com/app/register.asp

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