Ziff Davis Internet
News & Resources for the IT Reseller
NewsReviewsTech AnalysisCommentarySecurityLinux/Unix
My Account |  

Redmond Helps Partners Plan Successful Events
By John Hazard


Microsoft added a Partner Readiness Center this week to its Microsoft Partner Events site, to help partners plan and prepare to take advantage of events before, during and after.

ADVERTISEMENT

The center includes templates, timelines and checklists to guide VARs through the planning phase.

The full MPE site contains a content library of Microsoft marketing materials, PowerPoint demonstrations, white papers and 50 campaign examples, and a registration tool that allows partners to manage invitations, responses, reminders and follow-ups to event programs.

Many partners neglect planning when organizing events and fail to capitalize on the opportunity, said Michael Moore, program manager of MPE.

"It is designed to take the mystery out of planning so it's not so daunting," Moore said. "The biggest thing is planning up front. Things like targeting an audience topic and getting the word out."

Many companies, Moore said, plan too generic when they market events and fail to draw the right customers or resonate with those who attend.

Afraid to alienate one set of customers over another, they plan plain events that have little appeal.

"Would you be more interested in hearing a seminar about office solutions or about office solutions in the health care industry?" he asked.

"Business owners are more likely to go to events related to industry or job function focused on a particular audience, even if it's not their own. People will attend and relate the experience to their own if they can see real examples."

Since launching two years ago, MPE has assisted 2,800 partners organize and 6,600 events.

The site also serves to alert partners to the Microsoft aid available for events.

The Channel Insider: Solution Builder

Beyond templates and marketing materials, Microsoft provides space at dozens of Microsoft corporate offices nationwide, one-on-one coordination and the Microsoft Across America - Mobile Event Experience—a fleet of 42-foot-long trucks loaded with Microsoft and partner hardware and software, to provide solution demonstrations locally.

The online registration program, which allows partners to manage invitations, registration, reminders and follow-ups through a customer-facing Web site, clicktoattend.com, where customers may register for specific seminars add programs to their outlook calendar.

The application exceeds what partners could produce on their own, Moore said.

"The site is helpful in increasing registration in our classes, because it's so easy for customers to become a part of it," said Rob Lloyd, director of marketing at Synergy Business Solutions, Portland, Ore.

"They don't have to call or e-mail. They can just click on the 'register now' button and enter a little bit of information."

MPE also allows VARs to find and coordinate with complementary VARs to organize and manage events jointly to multiply resources and impact, Moore said.

The site and the program are a boon to VARs, many of whom have little experience with marketing issues, Moore added.

"A lot of partners are truly pure technologists," he said. "Now all of a sudden they have to worry about sales and marketing."

     
Email


TALKBACK

MICROSOFT RESOURCE CENTER
Help boost your sales with BONUS PACKS.
Let BONUS PACKS help you sell more PCs—with up to $1,200 in valuable products and services. Visit
Buy Local Partner site >>

Join the Microsoft Empower program for ISVs.
A relationship with Microsoft allows you to compete with the big dogs. Learn more about resources, tools and training. Get the documentation >>

Test your licensing I.Q. and get a smart offer.
Take Microsoft's brief Windows® Licensing Pop Quiz and receive a free Windows Licensing Kit - only five questions. Take the quiz now! >>
Free Hands-On Training Lab
Find out how key features of SBS 2003 can help you open up a new line of revenue. Register now >>


SBS 2003 Sales Reference Card
This handy reference card contains features at a glance, sales objection handling, pricing guidelines & more. Get it now >>


Microsoft Empower for ISVs rewards your big idea with big benefits and support.
Access key development tools at a low cost to help you develop that idea into an innovative application. Learn more >>




 
FREE WHITE PAPER
Changing Business for the Better: A Practical Guide to BPM


This paper provides an overview of the benefits of BPM technologies and identifies the characteristics of BPM solutions that lead to successful BPM process-centric integration projects.


Download this free white paper to learn more!


>> brought to you by IBM

Attention Microsoft Solution Providers!



Want to gain a competitive edge? Try Microsoft Watch – FREE!



Each week you receive:
  • Microsoft News and Insider Information
  • Expert Analysis
  • Code Names of Upcoming MS Products
  • Year-Ahead Calendar, updated monthly



    Click Here to sign up now for your FREE 14 Day Trial to Microsoft Watch.

  • POPULAR TOPICS
    SPECIAL REPORTS
    White Boxes
    MS vs. IBM
    Linux in the Channel
    Network
    CHANNEL RSS FEED
    Stay in the Zone
    Put The Channel Insider on your desktop.
    FREE NEWSLETTERS
    Subscribe to The Channel Insider: Channel News, Reviews, Resources and more.

    Make your selections below:


    Contract Watch

    The Channel Insider Update

    Preferred e-mail format:

    Enter your e-mail:


    view all newsletters >>
    Channel Insider Quick Links
    Ziff Davis Footer Logo