More than 100 vendors and nearly 1,000 attendees descended upon Hershey, Pa., late October for D&H Distributing Co.’s Mid-Atlantic Fall Technology Show. Vendors looked to make new connections and promote solutions while VARs and MSPs had their eyes open for deals, products, and trade advice.
Held inside the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center, the D&H Show featured a full show floor of vendor booths with product demonstrations. D&H also hosted several large sessions for general attendees as well as a number of invitation-only training and education sessions.
Somewhat new to the D&H Distributing team is Peter DiMarco, the distributor’s vice president of VAR sales. According to Mary Campbell, D&H’s vice president of marketing, DiMarco played an instrumental role in developing a host of training and certification opportunities for select attendees. “Working with Peter and vendors, we have had many great ideas to evolve the show,” Campbell says. “We have 109 booths this year and another 20 vendors with solutions booths. We have a training area. D&H has been hearing what our customers are saying.”
THE PRESENCE OF WINDOWS 10
Front and center at D&H’s fall show this year was Windows 10. Featuring a “Next Generation Computing” center aisle, the tradeshow floor was stocked with demonstrations and presentations underscoring the functionality of and improvements to the new Microsoft Windows 10 OS.
“We want one billion using Windows 10 in the next two to three years,” said Paul Morano, a U.S. OEM distributor partner sales executive with Microsoft during a presentation at the event. “Win10 launched the end of July. We’re up to 110 million users already.”
Intel’s 6th Generation processing microarchitecture (formerly Skylake) was also heavily featured.
HELPING SMBs TO MARKET
For DiMarco, a key value-add of the Mid-Atlantic show is training, especially as it relates to marketing. “At this event, we’re focused on engagement. We believe D&H is the best at helping VARs move up the market because of access to resources. Every VAR gets free solutions support—and we are evolving that further. Every customer is covered here in North America. It’s not outsourced, and that makes life easier.”
“As much as VARs today claim to be really good marketers,” DiMarco added, “they’re just not really good at it. Because we focus on the middle part of the market, we can provide a lot more attention to them.”
Select attendees of the Fall Mid-Atlantic Technology show were offered “marketing roundtables” and one-on-one sessions. “Two- to three-hour roundtable ‘bootcamps’ give partners the chance to walk away with a template for selling more servers,” DiMarco said.
In addition to marketing assistance, 40 attendees participated in a Cisco security pre-certification seminar.
GEOFFREY OLDMIXON is a Springfield, Mass.-based freelance writer and editor.