The Technology Channels Association (TCA) has declared its recent annual Conference and Exhibition a success after the event attracted a record number of delegates and exceptionally positive feedback from channel players who attended.
Held at the Walker stadium in Leicester last week, over 120 senior executives from reseller, distributor and vendor organisations from all over the UK attended. The TCA used the event to launch a consultation paper on The Reseller Academy, a new initiative that aims to consolidate training and accreditation in the channel.
The conference also featured a meeting of The Reseller Forum which is giving a fresh voice to the broad reseller community in the UK. A further innovation at the conference was a panel session featuring resellers who were able to express their views and concerns to vendors and distributors.
The TCA is now planning to step up its event programme for the rest of the year and has already made provisional arrangements for a networking dinner at Channel Expo in May and an extra-special Channel Golf Day event, which will be staged in July. Further events will also be organised for later in the year, providing members with additional opportunities to share their views, concerns and experiences about current issues and developments in the UK channel.
Commenting on the success of last week's event, Robert French, chairman of the TCA, said: "We're delighted with the excellent attendance and positive response we received at the Conference. The success of this important gathering shows just how much of a need there is for a trade association that can bring the industry together and chart a way forward for the channel."
Post-event feedback from resellers was extremely positive. Phil Stilliard, Managing Director of Computability (Richmond), said: "It was an excellent event and I have taken away several action points to improve my business". David Thornton, Managing Director of DRT Technologies, said that it had been "a great day for networking and meeting key vendors and distributors."
As well as being a prime networking opportunity, the event also gave delegates the opportunity to hear a keynote presentation on the future of the channel from Matthew Poyiadgi, EMEA VP of CompTIA, and an audience with David Atherton, founder of dabs.com and one of the channel's most successful entrepreneurs.
French stated: "The TCA is coming of age, as is our industry. The responsible players, whether they are resellers, distributors, vendors or services providers, see clear benefit in being part of their trade association. This is the most effective event we have run and I'm now looking forward to continuing that momentum at Channel Expo."
The TCA will have a major presence at Channel Expo, which this year takes place in London Olympia's National Hall on 12th and 13th May. As part of its large stand, the TCA will feature a special Members Lounge and will be hosting a Channel Networking Dinner on the first night of the show. It will also use the occasion to hold the next meeting of The Reseller Forum group.
Keith Warburton, TCA President, expects the event to be a busy one for the association. "We see Channel Expo as the ideal opportunity for our members to meet and share their views, and for resellers and other channel players to come along and find out more about the benefits of becoming a member of the TCA. We are expecting it to be busy but the more the merrier as far as we are concerned. We have real momentum behind the organisation now and we're planning to keep that going at Channel Expo."
The TCA is still on the look-out for sponsors for some elements of its activities, he noted. "Channel Expo is the largest annual gathering of the UK channel and with the switch to London this year we are expecting it to be even bigger. The TCA will be one of the main focal points for resellers and we'd be delighted to hear from any potential sponsors who want to take advantage of the massive exposure that will give them at this key event in the calendar."