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Get in the Know at Your Annual Partner Conference

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Here are four tips to consider to get the most out of your partner conference.

It’s that time of year when you look at your calendar to figure out which partner conference(s) you might attend.

These conferences are a smart way for you to get in the know on your vendor’s plans for the year ahead. You get up close and personal with key executives and channel managers; hear about the vendor’s new products and product roadmaps; get the lowdown on any partner program changes; get enabled; and have the opportunity to network with industry peers and create new opportunities.

Not Going to a Partner Conference? Why?
I’ve always struggled to understand why channel partners don’t attend their top vendors’ partner conferences. It’s more than just a good cocktail party. You’re missing out on a huge opportunity that has the potential to have a positive effect on your business.

And, remember: The partner conference is not just for the c-level executive. It’s also designed for your sales, technical and marketing staff. They can get tons of great information and exposure to key individuals at the vendor.

On the fence? Here are four tips to consider to get the most out of your partner conference:

  • Connect with the Vendor’s Channel Execs and Teams. Get valuable face-time with the channel chief and channel executives responsible for sales, policies and vision. Your meeting can be a simple meet-and-greet or a sit-down conversation on an important issue. This is the opportunity to shape your relationship with a key vendor.
  • Connect with the Partner Program Team. Got an issue with a partner program element that is just not working or want to leverage a new partnering opportunity? Connect with the partner program team, as they are responsible for creating the program. Remember, your feedback is important and they do listen.
  • Connect with the Marketing Team. Connect with your vendor’s marketing team to get clear on any marketing initiatives that you may not be leveraging. Make sure that your colleagues, who manage your marketing efforts, get face-time with your vendor’s marketing teams.
  • Connect with Industry Peers. Partner conferences are the best way for channel partners to connect with each other. I’ve seen countless successful, creative partnerships spring out of an introduction. Make sure you and your team mingle and make it known if you are looking to connect with partners with particular skill sets.

Currently, I can appreciate the intense focus that my fellow vendors are undergoing as they plan their partner conferences. My team is focused on our upcoming SAP Global Partner Summit set for May 15 in Orlando, Fla. At our Global Partner Summit we are providing executive keynotes, always-on networking, demo pods, and breakout sessions to boost knowledge and business growth. This day is all about our partners and taking their SAP business to new levels.

To get the best out of your partnership, make a commitment this year to attend the partner conferences of your go-to vendors. It’s a great way to get closer to your vendor and make sure you’re in the know on everything about your vendor’s business.

Ira Simon (follow me on Twitter - @IraASimon) is global vice president, Partner & SME Marketing at SAP. Learn more about partnership opportunities at: http://go.sap.com/partner.html.

Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.

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