Why are ITAD conferences so beneficial to business
Once upon a time, each industry seemed to have its own “conference season.” Companies were busy doing their jobs, but they set aside time and money to attend a limited number of conferences which were typically held outside of the industry’s “busy season.”
With our nation’s and world’s economies exploding, and the free market dictating that constant competition is fine, no industry can be contained to a season. There is no exception in the ITAD industry. Annually a variety of conferences are held throughout the world. Because electronic recycling and ITAD are no longer easy and straightforward industries with small scopes of operation, there are many conferences spread out over the course of a year. Leading recyclers and ITADs have increased their offerings in lockstep with technological advancements.
So, what is an industry IT specialist to do? Let’s explore some opportunities!
Granted, some conferences are better than others, not only in terms of the companies that attend, but also in terms of the venue, atmosphere, planned activities, and networking opportunities. I’ve attended a variety of conferences and have always come away happier for it, regardless of whether I had a booth to showcase my products and services, or whether the conference was unique to my industry or product. There’s always something new to learn and there’s also always someone new to get to know!
Even though no one at the Resellers’ Convention dealt with data sanitization, I presented an E-Scrap data destruction program and came away with a lot of leads and even some mates. Regardless of the conference’s business orientation, IT professionals often talk about different aspects of their organizations and their needs. That means a pleasant talk with “John” about the price of copper and the market for older generation server stacks resulted in a conversation with his CTO about a week later. In our next conference-related article, I’ll give you some great advice on how to make the most of networking opportunities like the one we just had.
Given my recent success at industry conferences, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of my favorite experiences, as well as how each can be used to expand whatever niche of the ITAD world you or your organization represents.
Let’s start with a conference centered solely on data centers. Data Center World draws over 2,000 attendees each year plus hundreds of sponsors and speakers. This is a fantastic conference to attend if you want to tap into a network of experts. You will have the opportunity to learn from, listen to, meet one-on-one with, and network with some of the top data center developers and specialists from the United States and beyond.
As a result of technological advancements for both vendors and managers, certain topics have become not only fashionable, but also essential for the evolving data storage industry. Cloud storage and computing, data protection, edge computing, co-location, and ever-increasing environmental and sustainability concerns are all issues that need to be addressed. Several noted and emerging topics are discussed by experts at Data Center World giving you the ability to learn from them, as well as discuss and strategize with them.
Due to the overwhelming amount of solicitations we receive via phone and email, we often overlook or reject vendors who could be extremely beneficial to us. Therefore, the opportunity to meet vendors face to face enables us to concentrate on the vendors and what they have to offer. Their details about goods and services can change the way we do our jobs…for the better.
Another excellent industry-specific conference that dealt with IT wealth management is ITAM IAITAM. As more businesses and companies adapt to rapidly evolving technological needs, this burgeoning sector has provided a slew of new services and employment.
The good news is that this conference aims to educate attendees on all facets of ITAM, including access to and updates on industry certifications. Since the conferences are organized by the association, they are focused on learning and serious networking, rather than sales. Conferences like this exist because they provide a welcome break from the glitz, glamour, and larger budgets required by some of the other events. It also allows you to broaden your networking approach.
Another big event attended by seemingly everybody in the ITAD industry is the BrokerBin Roadshow. The list of attendees is endless! Buyers, vendors, owners, suppliers, distribution, recyclers, certifiers… the list goes on and on! There are no industries or service types that are not included.
This is an excellent opportunity for our industry’s salespeople to reach dozens, if not hundreds, of potential new clients. The movement of equipment is the focus of this event. From data centers to workspaces to decommissioning, recycling, and reselling the equipment, we do it all.
Since the Roadshow is such a common attraction, it is likely to draw people from all levels of an organization. Here, we encountered small-town recyclers as well as executives from Fortune 500 firms (as well as hundreds who service them.)
As the name implies, The E-Scrap conference is mainly for recyclers and ITAD service providers. The specificity of this conference, like Data Center World, is perfect because the overall theme and emphasis on recycling and ITAD helps you optimize your networking and meeting time. It also encourages prospective clients to send representatives from their organizations that work directly with or need the services offered.
While it might seem that there isn’t much going on in the e-scrap industry as a whole, there are best practices, inventions, legislation, and even equipment and software creation to be discovered. We’ve met clients at E-scrap who thought they had everything they wanted before we showed them how they could save 50% on data destruction costs, or turn ERPs and save hundreds of man-hours and setbacks due to errors. Since this is one of the “smaller” series, enterprising companies have a higher chance of being on the speakers list, and sponsorship and physical appearance are less costly — yet yield no less of a return.
Another well-known name in the business conference circuit is the ITAD Summit. We have never missed this event in as many years as I can remember. This is the place to be if you want to meet and mingle with business leaders. As a result, customers are aware of this, and the event is packed with companies looking for ITAD and ITAM services.
The ITAD summit, like Broker Bin, attracts people from all industries and sizes. Some of the attendees have evolved from small businesses to national service companies with dozens, if not hundreds, of employees. We were able to communicate with CEOs, CIOs, and CTOs from major companies who would never answer a phone call or email under normal circumstances. But when people meet us face-to-face and see our product up close and personal, we usually end up with a variety of follow-up meetings that result in new clients and clients from bigger organizations.
Aside from the fantastic networking opportunities, the ITAD Summit is a fantastic place to learn. The speakers are usually business leaders and subject matter experts, and they discuss both emerging and cutting-edge issues and topics.
We present the E-Reuse Conference to demonstrate how many fields there are within our broader sector, and how some are so broad that they deserve their own conference. Though there will be a lot of overlap with recycling and scrapping, and many of the companies and vendors will have overlapping market share in many aspects of ITAD, the emphasis will be on technology repurposing.
As a result, it is a fantastic networking tool for industry professionals and, most importantly, this is the event to attend if you want to learn about field certifications, meet inspectors, and speak to other partners. There is always new technology in this market which is well-represented. I’ve always admired E-Reuse for addressing the extremely high level of competition in the field and attempting to provide ideas and resources for companies looking to diversify their service offerings, pursue niche markets, and attract clients.
Repairing, refurbishing, and reusing technology allows different sectors within our communities to participate in activities they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. In this sector, there are a number of Social Enterprises (for-profit organizations) who also service a specific population, i.e. ex-convicts, mentally or physically handicapped, etc).
These organizations have an excellent opportunity to contribute to our community. All of the great tools available here are also beneficial if you want to start your own Social Enterprise or even establish a Social Enterprise branch of your organization. This is also one of the industry’s most environmentally conscious divisions. This means you have a lot of chances to take advantage of government tax cuts and programs, as well as market your environmentally friendly activities to potential clients who are environmentally aware. Overall, this is yet another fantastic convention to attend!
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