XChange Events, the events division of UBM Tech Channel, has made improvements to its annual Best of Breed channel thought leadership conference. In response to the needs of attendees, sponsors and the event's board of advisors, XChange Events will unite the Solution Provider 500 Conference and awards and the Channel Leadership Forum into this year's BoB Conference.
The moves significantly expand the event's footprint and will enhance the overall experience for attendees and sponsors. The BoB Conference is scheduled to be held Oct. 15-17 in Tampa, Fla., at the Grand Hyatt. The expanded format will allow industry-leading solution providers and top channel executives to come together under one roof to discuss the transformation of the solution provider business model and how vendors are responding from program, go-to-market and technology perspectives to support the channel's seismic shift.
The merged event platform will be branded under the BoB Conference and feature executives from CRN's list of the SP500, Tech Elite, Fast Growth and leading-edge solution providers. The decision will allow XChange Events to focus its content and recruitment efforts on large, leading-edge solution providers who want to gather with their peers and with today's top IT vendors to share best practices and gain a deeper understanding of customer trends, technology road maps and business models.
Attendees also will now be able to engage with more vendors given the limited number of available sponsorship opportunities for hardware, software and networking companies at each event. Having a larger event with more vendor participants will provide a more efficient platform for both attendees and sponsors.
The audiences for both conferences have been slowly merging over the past three years, with current market conditions accelerating the need to bring both communities together for a grander annual conference.
"This enhanced conference platform will provide a stronger ROI for our customers," said XChange Events Senior Vice President Lisa MacKenzie. "It will also eliminate any conflict or confusion in the marketplace over which conference and event to attend."
Findings from the recently released UBM Tech State of the Market survey support bringing both communities together at one conference. The State of the Market survey shows that 89 percent of today's solution providers define themselves as "Progressive" or "Transformative," focused on above-average growth through services, cloud, mobility and high-value applications and software solutions.
"When the BoB conference was launched, our goal was to provide content and speakers to help move the channel forward and set clear examples from peers who had successfully transformed their businesses," said Allison Cohen, XChange Events Program Manager. "There is no doubt that SP500 companies are on the forefront of business model innovation and should play a central and bigger role at the BoB Conference."
One single conference also will allow UBM Tech to build a stronger community for these organizations via our Web-based, newsletter and media platforms.
For our vendor sponsors, the combination of the two conferences will make it easier for them to reach this important community in a more efficient setting. Advisory board members said they were looking for ways to streamline event attendance and out-of-office time associated with numerous industry conferences, especially vendor-specific ones run by Cisco, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, VMWare and others.
Content at the combined conference will cover the following topics: midmarket, the selling to line-of-business customers, hybrid IT, advanced cloud computing, mobility, services-based revenue, business model transformation, actionable analytics, app-based initiatives and next-gen managed services.
Sponsors of the BoB Conference 2013 include CenturyLink, Condusiv Technologies, Eaton, IBM, Juniper Networks, Ruckus Wireless, ShoreTel Sky and VMWare.
PUBLISHED APRIL 2, 2013