What’s Happenin’ at ITEX 2018

ITEX 2018 was this week from May 16 – 18 held at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. I stopped in for a bit to see What’s Happenin’ at the industry’s biggest national conference for dealers.

The show had taken a downturn in past years and last year it’s founder, Marc Spring took back the reigns to try to rekindle what was once a massive event. Last year was a nice start. This year was a big step forward.

Booths were bigger and more elaborate and there seemed to be far more exhibiters. While the traffic seemed light for the first half hour or so after the doors opened, the hall quickly filled up as attendees began piling in. I think the distance of the convention center from the hotel was much farther than people thought and many got there later than they had planned.

Lots of great companies on hand again this year, including big names like HP, Xerox, OKI and others to name a few. Solutions and services companies like DocuWare, BEI, ESP, Clover, LD Products and many more were there as well.

Even companies that didn’t have a booth were there in force, like GreatAmerica, Polek & Polek, umango, and IBPI to name a few.

The logo for this year’s show was a puzzle piece, building on the theme “Own the Office Piece By Piece,” a great concept as they brought 5 different areas under one roof for dealers.

The new piece to this is telephony, which seems to be one of the more opportunistic areas in IT at the moment. Technology has moved ahead very quickly in this industry, giving its resellers a reasonably easy time with upgrades. In an age where people want to connect to their office from wherever they are, on whatever they’re using, the new telephony systems offer customers the ability to stay connected and do things their current phone systems just can’t do. The Cloud strikes again!

Marc saw the success ITEX had last year with a single vendor showing products like these and quickly partnered with another association that caters to this industry. I will edit this and mention the association’s name, but I can’t remember it at the moment. These guys brought several exhibitors to ITEX, providing no less than six vendors showcasing telephony. I think it may have been MSPEXPO.

This strategy of building ITEX in conjunction with other industry events and meetings is what makes this work. It’s hard to get dealers to come to shows these days; there are just so many. But, allowing them to hit two or three events at once makes attending much more productive.

This year, SDG and Visual Edge Technologies both held events in Las Vegas around the ITEX conference and that clearly brought out some big names. I’m on The Ride for Jillian industry charity event starting today, so unfortunately I can’t get all my pictures posted for a bit, but I promise I will get them all up as soon as I’m back. You’ll see lots of familiar faces!

ITEX had a great number of educational sessions this year, ranging from marketing and lead generation to MPS and Print to security and more. Great content for people in our world. 

This year’s venue was actually VERY nice! Last year was…let’s just say rough. Conference rooms were built in the back of the exhibit hall and they weren’t fully enclosed. Every time someone would speak on the loud speaker, it would interrupt the presentations. It wasn’t the best set up. This year’s show was much better, with presentations being given in their own rooms outside of the conference hall. The constant loudspeaker announcements were also gone.

The MGM Grand has gone through a serious upgrade since I last went to this hotel and I was really impressed by how nice it was. This conference didn’t look anything like last year’s; a great choice on venue and significant upgrade to the ITEX experience for both vendors and attendees.

I was only there a short time, but it was well worth it. Another big step forward for ITEX. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to stick around longer. I’ll definitely be heading back next year. Well done ITEX!!!

Andy Slawetsky