Bull`s Eye Awards: Channel Conference of the Year

  • By

    Lawrence Walsh




Cisco Systems’ Partner Velocity Marketing Conference
There were many fine channel conferences produced by vendors and distributors in 2009, but only one stood out as unique in its intent and superior quality. That conference is the Cisco Partner Velocity Marketing Conference, which set a new standard for partner enablement.

Hosted in Miami, Velocity broke from the traditional partner conference models that focus on a vendor’s technology and partner programs. Instead, this conference was all about exposing Cisco partners to marketing concepts and best practices. The intent was to get partners thinking about how they differentiate and convey their value to the marketplace. Cisco believes this will translate into partners capturing net-new customers and expanding their sales. Consequently, they will see Cisco unit sales increase. That’s forward thinking, since most vendors are focused only on the immediate impact of their partner enablement programs.

Velocity hosted all of the usual suspects you’d expect to see at a Cisco event—U.S. channel chief Wendy Bahr, channel guru Edison Peres and channel marketing maven Luanne Tierney. But it also featured such high-profile speakers as marketing sage Seth Goodin and motivational speaker Daniel Pink (author of "A Whole New Mind") to empower partners with concepts to better position and convey their value proposition to customers and prospects.

Cisco partners that attended Velocity couldn’t say enough about the quality of the conference. Here are a few of their thoughts.

"I’ve attended dozens of partner and industry conferences in the past 25 years, and Cisco’s Velocity Summit is the best. The entire event is dedicated to helping channel partners become better marketers and business people. Analogous to the industry that we’re in, Velocity was jam packed with great information, fast paced and delivered by energetic industry experts. The information was very relevant in these challenging economic times."

 "I've been in this industry a long time, and I've been to many Partner Conferences, and what I value about the Velocity conference is that it is not a commercial for the OEM; it is completely focused on helping improve my business."

"Cisco has identified an area of need in the marketing world and has built a conference that showcases the best in marketing, social media and branding. Through their efforts, Cisco has brought world leaders to their partners in a way that is accessible, meaningful and easily translated into their everyday business."

Cisco’s Partner Velocity Conference sets the standard for enabling partners with real-world business and marketing best practices that aren’t directly technology by definitely pay dividends when applied to solution providers’ go-to-market efforts. For breaking from the channel norm and producing a unique enablement event, Cisco’s velocity conference has earned the Channel Insider Champion Bull’s Eye Award for Channel Conference of the Year.

>> Return to Bull's Eye Winners Page

Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.
This article was originally published on 2009-12-18