I chatted with ITEX’s founder Marc Spring and discussed him taking back the ITEX show. A little background – At one time, ITEX was the must visit show of the year for the imaging industry. Most major manufacturers participated and thousands flocked to premium venues to walk the floor in a way we hadn’t done since BTA discontinued their national shows.
At it’s peak, it’s creator Marc Spring walked away, selling it to a company that thought they could take it to the next level, not realizing it was already AT the next level.
What happened after was a steady YoY decline. What was wrong with it? Too many toner manufacturers for one. Not enough dealer traffic was another issue. As the show evolved into a supplies show, dealers stopped coming and exhibitors were left wondering why they had signed up.
People questioned whether the show could make it. Well, one person thought it could. Marc Spring. Marc bought his baby back and is bringing it back to its roots, creating an independent national imaging show where dealers can learn about trends, technology and strategy in key areas that can make their dealerships money.
Here are some takeaways from our conversation that stood out…
QUESTION At one point in time, ITEX was one of the most successful shows in the print industry. What did you do differently back then that drew dealers and sponsors at such high levels?
ANSWER ITEX was always about bringing the industry together, but most importantly ITEX has been about what will be the next “big thing” that dealers need to focus on. We believe in keeping ourselves at the forefront of the industry to find out what is next and what dealers need to be selling.
What we did differently, is that our education was crafted for dealers and by dealers in the past. And we are still committed to that dealer-centered model – in fact, for this year not only will we uphold a certain standard of education we are also giving dealers the opportunity to regulate in real time. Stay tuned to find out how.
QUESTION Why should an independent dealer take the time to come to Las Vegas for this show? What can they expect to see and learn that they’re not going to get anywhere else?
ANSWER An independent dealer needs to be at ITEX for the vendor agnostic view. We provide a perspective like no other and a holistic assessment of the industry.
We are in it for the benefit of all dealers and their goals, whether your dealership is small or large, whether you want to improve your MPS offering or get into Managed IT. At ITEX you’ll find the dealer education to get you where you want to go.
QUESTION What was the first thing you did when you got the show back?
ANSWER Cried with joy! Seriously. Then the next thing I did was looked at the survey from both vendors and dealers to find areas for improvement.
Then we started to look for a host hotel that could accommodate all of our needs and chose Mandalay Bay. I called all of the leading vendors to discuss opportunities for them to host their events with ITEX.
I am excited to report that we will have (5) co-location events that will take place at ITEX next year!
QUESTION What are you most looking forward to at the next ITEX?
Answer Looking forward to a great show! It is no secret that there is a steady decline in business print and the most successful business solution providers have started to add managed IT, cloud, disaster & recovery, 3D and other solutions to their portfolio.
Once again, our industry is changing and dealers need to adapt to survive! We partnered with leading organization in the IT space such as Comptia and ChannelPro to help us with this transition.