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One way to recruit channel partners might be to offer them attractive discounts, solid protection from channel conflict and treat them well when they are looking for back-end support.

Another way would be to stand outside of your competitor’s partner conference and hand out partner recruitment marketing materials.

The latter approach is the one that Dell took during Hewlett-Packard’s partner conference in Las Vegas last week. Dell recounts the strategy in this company blog. According to the company’s report, it passed out 800 of the sample advertisements to HP partners, and was prevented from reaching all 1,100 attendees by security at Caesar’s Palace.

Were partners converted to the other side? You can bet there will be at least two versions of the story on that one.