Guest Column | October 15, 2019

3 Reasons To Accept Your Next Customer Conference Invite

By Wayne Monk, ASG Technologies

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Vendor user conferences are typically designed to celebrate customers and further educate attendees on a solution or suite of products. But, with a designated time to exchange stories and ideas in person, these events also can generate massive value for channel partners.

At ASG, we invite partners to attend our yearly user conference, EVOLVE, to learn from and interact with senior executives, customers and industry experts. ASG’s annual event, taking place this year from October 21-23 in Dallas, offers networking opportunities and knowledge-driven sessions where partners can gain valuable information.

Beyond the cocktail hours and the free dinners (which are beneficial networking opportunities, too), customer conferences expose partners to a slew of new and in-depth information to leverage in their sales strategies. So, why should you attend?

  1. Hear Directly From Customers And Prospects

Channel partners have many resources that enable them to keep their sales pitches relevant. But customer conferences provide an extra layer of valuable insights into current trends. From the theme of a conference – like EVOLVE19’s “See The Future” of digital transformation – to keynote presentations and breakout sessions, vendors and customers showcase the trends that matter at these events, and partners should listen in.

This year’s attendees at ASG’s annual conference, for example, can expect to hear about trends in digital transformation and stories of how customers have overcome challenges when embarking on their digital journey – like managing metadata, modernizing system infrastructures and adopting RPA technologies. By participating in discussions and attending presentations, partners can get a direct look at the relevant topics that matter now, and will matter in the future, to their prospects. Armed with this information, the channel sales team can better understand how various companies across different industries have overcome challenges with the vendor’s solution – and showcase those examples when selling solutions.

  1. Generate A Deeper Understanding Of The Product

At user conferences, vendors often offer sessions on how customers can best utilize the suite of products to meet their specific organizational needs. At ASG’s EVOLVE19, there will be more than 25 separate breakout sessions dedicated to educating attendees on various assets of the company’s Enterprise Data Intelligence, Content Services and Enterprise Systems Management solutions. Attending these sessions allows channel partners to receive reinforced, in-depth training on vendor solutions.

Vendors often save new product announcements for user conferences, too. Being the first to be in the know and learn about a product directly from the executive team is rare and provides partners with an extra layer of detail that wouldn’t otherwise be offered outside of the conference setting.

With this new level of detail, channel sales teams are better equipped to explain how exactly the product works to help customers meet their goals.

  1. Build Valuable Relationships Through Face-To-Face Meetings

In today’s digital age, meetings between partners and vendors often happen on the phone, via a video call or simply over email. Customer conferences offer the perfect opportunity for in-person conversations that generate more meaningful relationships with partners, customers and prospects.

Oftentimes, partner program managers will host specific meetups for those in the channel at vendor conferences. At this year’s EVOLVE conference, ASG’s Partner Advisory Council – the company’s formal group of internal executives and partners – will be having their second ever face-to-face meeting on October 21. At these meetings, channel members have the ability to directly influence ASG’s strategic product and program direction including investment decisions.

And, for a bonus benefit, partners should attend user conferences to have fun. These events allow for valuable time away from the office, while still being able to learn and network on behalf of an organization. With the information gained at customer conferences, selling the vendor’s product just got one step easier.

To learn more about ASG’s EVOLVE19 event or to register, please visit the event website and follow the company on Twitter for live updates from the event, using #ASGEVOLVE19. You also can check out ASG’s partnership page to learn more about the company’s global partner program or this application form for details on how to become an ASG partner today.

About The Author

Wayne Monk is Senior Vice President, Global Alliances and Channel Sales at ASG Technologies and is responsible for establishing strategic partnerships, indirect channels and other key routes to market. Wayne has 30 years of enterprise solution sales, marketing and channel management experience with high growth technology companies. Wayne has held many sales and channel management positions with Seamless Technologies (acquired by Avnet), HP Software, Mercury Interactive, CA, MainControl (acquired by MRO and then IBM), and NCR Corporation.