If you're looking for an indication of the success of Reseller 96, held July 27Ð28 at Centrepoint, you're likely to receive a broad range of opinions. For some, the event was an unmitigated success; for others it proved disappointing.
Amidst some widely varying views of the event, Bijan Assaee, director of OEM sup-plier Lynx Technology, has an interesting stance. "I think you have to look at what the event cost and what it set out to do," he said. "I don't think there's any question there were problems with the layout and the venue and, especially on Sunday, with the attendance, but I think most exhibitors would've gone into it understanding it was a first-time event and something that was in many ways still taking shape," he said. "We had a lot of success as far as establishing relationships with other suppliers. So, for us, the event was worthwhile."
Staged by Pedlar Marketing, Reseller 96 was, according to Pedlar's Peter Davidson, "conceived and costed to offer opportunities for resellers, distributors and vendors to get together in an open forum, without the constrictions of a 'proprietary' event." Responding to comparisons to Merisel's Softeach event, Davidson told Australian Reseller News: "Among other things, Softeach was costed to provide meals and cocktail events for participants. Reseller wasn't. Exhibit space for Softeach was three or four times what it was for Reseller. This event was on a different scale."
Davidson says Pedlar undertook extensive marketing efforts to promote the event, including the distribution of 22,000 four-colour brochures, as well as telemarketing and direct mail campaigns. "We had more than 1,200 people pre-registered and, realistically speaking, we expected about 800 attendees. That didn't happen and Pedlar is currently undertaking market research to find out why some people didn't turn up," he said. "However, I can also tell you a lot of people were delighted with the show. On Sunday, which was a slow day, we actually signed up seven exhibitors for next year's event." Plans are under way to hold the '97 event at Darling Harbour Convention Centre.