By: Chris Arnold, Marketing Manager at RSPA
Notable at RetailNOW 2019, held July 28-31 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX, were the number of new companies and new attendees who will play a key role in shaping our channel over the next decades. More than 30 new exhibitors participated in their first RetailNOW, and the show attracted nearly 300 first-time attendees.
This wasn’t by accident.
The RSPA team and community strive to make the association and RetailNOW inclusive and impactful for everyone, including those who haven’t been longtime members of the traditional retail IT channel. RSPA will continue to invest extra effort and time to ensure the new members of the association and first-time attendees at RetailNOW receive an experience that will truly be a rewarding one.
That’s why a few years ago the RSPA launched the New Member and First-Time Attendee Reception. The goal was to increase the opportunity for new attendees to engage with other RSPA members as well as RSPA staff and Board of Directors. It’s also a chance to talk with new members one-on-one about the benefits of an association membership and how to get the most out of RetailNOW. The New Member and First-Time Attendee Reception in San Antonio was as hot as the weather there; attendance at the event nearly doubled from 2018 in Nashville, and the reception was full of energy and comradery.
Don’t take our word for it: Read firsthand accounts of what some new attendees’ thought about RetailNOW 2019 and what they hope to gain from RSPA membership:
Andrew Villeneuve, Inside Sales and Support at VAR Armagh POS Solutions, in Hamilton, ON: “I didn’t know what to expect from the breakout education sessions, and all of the ones I attended were fantastic. A big takeaway was being more aware of some additional security threats and making sure our organization isn’t vulnerable. Someone accessing our data gives access to all of our customers, which is just as concerning as a breach of one of our customers.”
Brian Chapman, Owner of Smart Processing, an Asheville, NC-based ISO making the transition to the VAR business model: “I enjoyed the breakout educational sessions. I learned strategies related to sales, business strategy, partner relationships, and building value. The New Member Reception was helpful to learn more about offerings and establish relationships. I learned about the abundance of resources that RSPA offers members. We will definitely be utilizing these.”
Tony Rossi, the new Director of Business Development at VAR member Globe POS, located outside Toronto: “There was a good assortment of education sessions. We enjoyed the focus on innovation, networking with other VARs, and look forward to applying the digital marketing information learned in the sessions.”
Brian Edwards, CEO of VAR Everything But The Food in Bartlett, TN: “The expo floor was nice, but we got the most value from networking and education sessions. My biggest takeaway was to look for additional ways we can help our clients that may be ‘outside the box’ – extra services that we may not currently offer that they need. Network more with others in the industry.”
Jesse Parker, Owner of VAR JP Solutions in Newark, AR: “What I liked best about RetailNOW were the networking opportunities and the quality and number of vendors exhibiting. We made several important connections at the event and of course, we will follow-up with them.”
Gilles Beauchamp, President of VAR SIR Solutions in Montreal, said he had two key takeaways from the show: “We learned how to improve and adjust our compensation plan and put our XaaS (as-a-Service) sales model in place.”
Craig Potter, President of VAR West Coast Cash Register Systems in Spokane, WA: “I liked the opportunity to learn from industry experts. I appreciated the many classes offered. It was good to see the many vendors in the expo hall.”
Alexandre Depatie, Technical Sales Representative at ISV ACCEO Logivision in Montreal: “At the show, we formed partnerships with companies complementary to our own POS software and gave tips to our resellers on how to push more managed services with their POS sales.”
Farrell McKenna, General Manager of VAR STCR in Binghamton, NY: “The expo floor was a great opportunity to meet a variety of different types of vendors that can add value to my business. I’m hopeful about the new partnerships that may emerge from the conference. Another big takeaway for me was the resourcefulness of the RSPA. There seem to be a great deal of programs and opportunities to pursue through the RSPA that my organization can benefit from.”
McKenna is right about the programs and services. We asked these new members and first-time attendees which RSPA benefits they expect to take advantage of in the next 12 months. Receiving the greatest interest were:
- Legal Advisor Hotline
- Sales/Sales Management Advisor Hotline
- VAR/ISV Business Advisor Strategy Sessions
- Market Data Analysis (helping VARs quantify their market potential)
- Access to the RSPA Member Directory
- Access to RSPA Legal Documents
- Reading the RSPA Blog and Community IQ Content
Other benefits receiving strong consideration were:
- Security Advisor Hotline
- RSPA Academy On-Demand Education
- RSPA Academy Regional Workshops
- VAR/ISV Business Advisor Hotline
- QIR Exam Discount
- Customer Health Checkup merchant survey
- HR Services/Health Insurance offering
- Join an RSPA Committee or Community
Whether you’re a new member or RetailNOW veteran, the RSPA would like to help you better leverage your membership. To discuss these benefits or to have your questions answered, contact your RSPA Member Services Manager Ashley Naggy (ANaggy@GoRSPA.org) or Michael Millard (MMillard@GoRSPA.org).
We look forward to seeing you – and many more new exhibitors and new attendees – next year at RetailNOW 2020 in Las Vegas!
RetailNOW 2019 was held July 28-31 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. Known as “Where the Industry Meets,” RetailNOW annually brings together retail IT professionals, channel leaders, and innovators from around the globe. RetailNOW 2020 will be held at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas August 2-5. For more information, contact Events@GoRSPA.org.