DISTREE APAC 2014 gave technology and consumer electronics (CE) vendors from around the world an opportunity to pre-schedule one-on-one meetings with senior channel executives and buyers. The three-days event — between 8th and 10th October 2014– gathered together leading channel partners from 20 -plus countries across the region, with a total of more than 400 delegates participating.
DISTREE APAC 2014 was supported by Platinum Sponsors HP and Microsoft; Gold Sponsors Intel, Manhattan and Strontium; plus Silver Sponsors Energy Sistem, Mercantile and Valore.
This year’s event Partners were GfK, IE Singapore and Alibaba.com,with HP and Strontium as Technical Partners.
Ashish Kapahi, Regional Director for DISTREE APAC, said: “This year’s event set a new record with more than 1,7 00 pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings between vendors and channel partners. Many new distribution deals and retail agreements will be facilitated as a result of meetings that took place at DISTREE APAC 2014.”
“By bringing all of the key channel stakeholders together in one place at one time, DISTREE APAC provides the most efficient channel development platform for all vendors –whether they are new to the region or a leading player with established channels. As an independent event platform, DISTREE APAC provides an unrivalled opportunity to discuss the key issues impacting the market,” he added.
More than 200 companies were represented at DISTREE APAC 2014. The delegate list included 90 retailer and e-tailer executives, 80 distributor executives, 140 -plus vendor executives, as well as influential speakers, Industry experts and media partners.
The number of vendors and channel partners participating at DISTREE APAC increased significantly year -on-year. DISTREE APAC 2014 also included an extensive conference programme, including workshop sessions and summits run by Content Partners GfK and CONTEXT, ICT research provider.
Keynote speeches from GfK, HP and Microsoft, plus presentations from Intel, Energy Sistem, Valore, Logitech and InnJoo brought delegates up to speed on market trends and specific vendor strategies within the APAC region.
Debut events at DISTREE APAC 2014
The popular ‘60 Seconds to Convince’ awards also formed part of the event agenda, giving dozens of vendors an opportunity to deliver a one -minute elevator pitch for their latest product on stage.
Promate picked up the Best Design Award for its Cloud Floating Speaker, securing 48% of the final live vote . The IRISCan Pro 3 WiFi won the Best Design Award while Strontium collected the Best Presentation Award. DISTREE APAC 2014 played host to the ‘Asia Pacific (APAC) Channel Academy: 2014 Awards’. The second annual awards ceremony recognized ICT and CE channel excellence. Hundreds of top retailers and distributors will vote live at a Gala Dinner on October 9th to identify overall vendor winners across 15 separate categories.
The first dedicated GfK Summit was held at DISTREE APAC 2014,focused on market and category trends and also providing information on its new GfK Supply Chain Management (SCM) Insights service.
A new session, entitled ‘Smart Channels: Retailing Connected Devices, Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT)’, also made its debut at DISTREE APAC 2014. DISTREE Events has partnered with CONTEXT to deliver the Smart Channels Summit series.
Farouk Hemraj, Co-Founder & Director at DISTREE Events, said: “Planning is already underway for DISTREE APAC 2015. The initial feedback from vendors and channel partners has been extremely positive and we look forward to welcoming even more delegates to next year’s event.
What added a unique touch to this chapter of DISTREE 2014 was the fact that a number of small and medium enterprises participated and showed keen interest in expanding their footprints in the Asian continent. According to a Delhi based technology distributor who preferred to remain anonymous pointed out it with a note of disappointment that “ Although the event has an air of optimism in it with many SMEs showing high enthusiasm about Indian and parallel markets yet there is remarkable absence of established names . Apart from Microsoft, HP and Intel, there are hardly any names with whom I can think of doing business.”
To focus on the other side of the coin, that is, on the part of vendors voices a slightly different perception. Bernard de Fabribeckers, Ww, Sales Director, I.R.I.S who had attended the event to showcase scanners that are not only mobile due to their small size but also comes at a never- seen- before affordable rate. “The dealers and distributors from Indian subcontinent show keen interest in knowing about technology and the change it can bring in peoples’ lives but when it comes to expanding it to doing serious business, they show hesitance and wants to think twice. We feel that the business ecosystem in India is risk averse and hence we have to find out ways to convince them about the product and the potential it carries so that the partners find it a profitable venture to deal with.”
Whether events like this only serve as knowledge platforms or end up attracting profitable business is open to debate. However, attending an event, conference or exhibition definitely offers businesses the chance to connect with both customers and prospects. It gives opportunity to market one’s business face to face, talk to as many people as possible, take time to learn about competitors’ businesses for post event analysis and better insight into one’s products and offerings.
Beyond and More
No doubt, DISTREE has almost become a brand where participation is itself considered a worthwhile recognition. Held at Singapore’s pristine Sentosa island’s Shangri-La Resort, the event successfully blended the brand building efforts of vendors to generate sales leads post- event along with the beaches, forests and the waterfalls as a welcome relief.