VARTrends UK
London, December 7th, 2017
6th Annual Channel Manager Summit
Toronto, February 1st, 2018
2017 Reseller Choice Awards
Toronto, February 1st, 2018
ChannelNext East 2018
April 9, 10, 2018
ChannelNext Central 2018
June 4,5, 2018
Fall 2018
ChannelNext West 2018
BC, October 22-23, 2018
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Free Post Event Guide

Apple Reseller Summit Overview

As expected, it was a heated discussion as Apple Resellers vented their concerns in doing business within the current Apple channel. After the dust settled, the group moved on to exchanging some great ideas on how to grow their businesses regardless of the current challenges.

"Apple Resellers have legitimate business concerns and in some ways PC Resellers seem to be in a better situation than their Apple counterparts. The level of direct competition that the Apple Resellers face is extraordinary, but that said, it is not something that prevents them from growing their business. They just need to get past the frustration and focus on building their own value-add to grow their business." Comments Julian Lee, President of TechnoPlanet, the organizers of the event.

The panel discussion featured Nicholas Gauthier from an Apple Reseller who formerly worked for an Apple Retail location, Tibor Shanto of VARCoach, an expert in building value and sales processes for companies, and Sean Costello another Apple reseller who has since successful migrated to Managed Services/Cloud (something which currently dominates the PC reseller channel).

While the Apple Retail stores generate a great buzz and can efficiently help consumers, they may not be adequate for demanding business users and complicated solutions. Apple Resellers can actually leverage the Apple Retail outlets in many ways by delivering expert advice to attract clients instead of pushing hardware sales. Apple Resellers need to focus on their value-add and go well beyond the value of Apple itself. If they only sell the value of Apple, then why should end-users buy from them?

The group explored over 15 ways in which an Apple Reseller can actually leverage the powerful Apple branding and expand their business. To start, they must defocus their business model on retail and refocus on businesses. It is simply quite difficult to compete with the Apple retail machine with over 325 mega outlets and state-of-the-art shopping experience.

Resellers showed how they are already reaching out to new markets like health with devices such as the iPad. Resellers are partnering with solution developers to offer customized solutions and Apps to business users.
They are developing partnerships with specialized distributors to expand deeper solution sales on verticals like POS. The more you look, the more you see greater potential for Apple Resellers. With over 50% of the buyers of Macs coming from Apple Retail stores being first-time Mac-Buyers, there is a sea of new opportunity from Apple as well as PC resellers to service the need.

As Apple makes deeper in-roads with tablets and smart phones and computers, the reseller community stands to be the big winners, if they play it right. Let Apple bulldoze the path to growth and increase market share. Coming from near extinction in the mid nineties to a global leader with such amazing market growth today is simply fantastic. This is a good thing for all resellers. Sure there is not much to be made in selling the actual Apple box, but is there much more profits in selling PC boxes? It was always about the value-add that the reseller can bring to the table.

So what is the magic formula for being the best Apple Reseller today? Well, there is no one perfect business model. Each Apple Reseller needs to build the right business model that is right them and do it well.
Here are a few things that successful Apple Resellers are already doing:

1. De-focus on retail-type customers and re-focus on businesses.
2. Develop some verticals, master them and market well to the target audience every day.
3. Improve your service and training offerings. Expand into Managed services and cloud.
4. Build and sell your value-add beyond the Apple brand.
5. Diversify to meet the total needs of your clients. Get even closer to your clients and become their business advisors.
6. Explore how you can work with and leverage your local Apple Retail. Provide expert and training services in return for referrals.
7. Get the proper professional skills development help on an on-going basis. Every investment you make in improving your team will pay back in more sustainable profitability for your company.
8. Use social media to reach out and become thought-leaders.
9. Work more closely with vendors to co-market and grow business
10. Leverage e-commerce to promote and sell "everything other than Apple hardware" to your customers, diversify, streamline e-procurement with suppliers and generate e-quotations with your clients in real-time.

This year, our team of experts provided valuable content on many areas to help Apple Resellers including – Building their value-add; Generating more sales opportunities in your pipeline; Motivating your team to perform and retain them; Improving your skills to better lead your team to success; And how to leverage social media to build your business. About 40 manufacturers showcased how they can work with Apple Resellers to grow business.

If the Apple Resellers who attended this event would apply what they have learnt then they will become successful beyond their expectations. The first step to learning how to grow your business is to speak to one of the VARCoaches who attended the event. Without the proper leadership to implement the change required to grow your business and motivate your team to follow-through, nothing will change.

If/how there will be an Apple Reseller Channel next year and how/if this Apple Reseller Summit will fit remains to be seen. The event has done all it can do to play a small role in helping Apple Resellers and vendors come together to grow their business in Canada. It is now up to the Apple channel and vendors to get the job done.

AppleExpo 2011

The AppleExpo (the end-user portion of the event that was held in parallel on the same day) was held to complement the Apple Reseller Summit by helping both resellers and vendors to generate some tangible end-user sales leads. "It was simply designed as a low-cost "add-on" option for both vendors and resellers to generate some end-user demand as well as publicity through our news media partners." Commented Gerlinda Ringe, AppleExpo Event Manager.

"We will be exploring this opportunity further with the vendors and Apple Resellers over the coming months to see how we can improve and how we can make it work better to help vendors and resellers generate more end-user sales demand and awareness." Adds Ringe.

This year about 20 seminars and workshops with about 40 vendor exhibitors were showcased at the event. It is small in comparison to the larger expo in the USA. That said, such a small event was actually the largest such exposition for Apple end-users ever held in Canada. See for more details and watch the videos on The few Apple Resellers who exhibited got a lot of sales leads.

We urge all Apple Resellers to explore the exhibiting vendors as they all stepped up to invest in developing the Canadian market. Without their support, there will be no end-user event such as AppleExpo to help jump-start some sales demand and awareness in Canada. Supporting these vendors will help you by encouraging them to invest further in developing the Canadian market in the future.

Is there a future for this or any Apple-related expo in the World?

Everyone knows that Apple itself is against all such end-user expo events around the World. An average Apple Retail store generates about 13,000 visitors a day. It is pretty simple math to see that events, even with 30,000 visitors (as MacWorld USA) translates to just a drop in the bucket. That said, there is a need for vendors and resellers and end-users to come together to network, exchange ideas, get feedback and build an independent community beyond the usual Apple-controlled environments.

In Canada, we have seen this need first-hand by the end-user community wanting to come together to meet the vendors and buy from resellers. Many end-users were not even aware of their local Apple Reseller or ever visited one. Most had never met a third-party vendor for Apple nor had ever attended an expo to see so many Apple products under one roof. Many enjoyed just talking with each other about how they use Apple products.

The big complaint that we got from most of the visitors is why is the event not ten times bigger. More choices. More products. More workshops. More resellers. More everything. A small grass-roots event such as the AppleExpo is just one small step in the right direction. However, the event must leverage this initial momentum and build a stronger and larger trade show for vendors, resellers and end-users. In the end, the support by third party vendors as well as the resellers will be the key to the future of such events.

Was the AppleExpo a success? It depends on how you look at it as it may be too early to say. Is this the start of something that will grow big in the future? Could it grow big enough to excite the Canadian Apple end-users? Can this be the once-a-year event where the industry gets together to build partnerships and relationships as it did back in the old days? Could this be a catalysis to help the Canadian news media advertise more vendors to more end-users? Will more Apple Resellers join to showcase their value add, host expert workshops and find more customers? Can this snowball into something significant that can benefit the entire Apple community in Canada? We will see…

As part of our services to help vendors and resellers to grow their Apple business in Canada, we offer the Apple Reseller Summit, the AppleExpo and an e-commerce solution. Our event is a once-a-year sales and marketing activity. Beyond this, we offer access to Apple end-users through our database to generate awareness and sales demand throughout the year. We encourage all vendors and resellers to contact us to explore how we can help grow their business.

Please review the messages below from the participating vendors and contact them directly to explore business opportunities, regardless if you attended the event or not. They are all ready to do business with you!