I do a fair amount of travel to partner conferences. Not as much as The VAR Guy, but a healthy amount nonetheless. And a goodly amount of that travel is to Las Vegas—a venue I have grown less fond of each time I go there, yet a location for more partner conferences than really should be allowed by law.
So when a partner conference occurs that is not in Las Vegas, my immediate reaction is one of joy. Then, for some locations, I become curious why that location was chosen. Some are obvious:
- Cancun: It’s Mexico. Lots of sunshine. Besides, what can go wrong?
- San Francisco/Silicon Valley: Travel costs are low or nil for the hosting company, and they experience less downtime/time away from HQ. And there's Ghiradelli.
- Scottsdale/Phoenix/Tucson: Again, lots of sunshine. Low humidity, beautiful resorts and, if you’re there in the off-season (May-September) it can be cheap. But, of course, there’s a high probability your face will melt (being an Arizona native I can make those jokes).
- New York: Greatest city in the world. Great cache for any company. But be prepared to blow your travel budget for the year (and probably a few years after).
- Orlando: Why not host your partner conference at the Happiest Place on Earth?
Others, however, are not so obvious. Take, for example, Ft. Myers, Fla., where the 2013 Enterasys North American Partner Conference is being held. Sure, it’s south Florida in October—the temperature is mild, folks here are laid back, and there’s a slight Jimmy Buffet undertone to the whole place. But why Ft. Myers, specifically?
It was a question I was thinking about maybe a little too hard when it hit me: Enterasys is based in the Boston area. The Boston Red Sox do their Spring Training in Ft. Myers. The Boston Red Sox are in the World Series. Enterasys wants to hit the conference out of the park for its partners. Hence, Ft. Myers.
Enterasys is looking for a little of the Red Sox mojo to rub off on it.
As a Yankees fan, I feel a lot better cheering on Enterasys than the Red Sox. And, of course, this is all speculation on my part. But I have noticed quite a few Red Sox caps poolside. Conscious or not, I’m sure the Red Sox connection was made by someone at Enterasys.
It will be interesting to see where the new Extreme Networks hosts its channel partner conference next year. Let’s just hope it’s not Vegas.