PlanetOne Golf Event: In-Person Channel Networking Makes Big Comeback

CEO Ted Schuman said he's never seen this much enthusiasm in the channel for getting together.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

May 21, 2021

10 Slides

This week’s PlanetOne kickoff golf event in Scottsdale, Arizona, proved in-person channel networking and socializing are back in a big way.

The channel networking event took place at Gainey Ranch Golf Club. It drew more than 150 people, with 100 of them hitting the links. For many vendors, master agents and partners, this was the first opportunity to get together since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This summer, PlanetOne will launch Sentient, a new solution that remains shrouded in secrecy. Signs posted at the event said it will offer “amplified business intelligence” powered by PlanetOne.

Unprecedented Enthusiasm

Ted Schuman, PlanetOne’s CEO, said he hasn’t seen this much enthusiasm for getting together in the channel in 29 years.


PlanetOne’s Ted Schuman

“We have people reacquainted who haven’t seen each other in 18-20 months,” he said. “It’s the enthusiasm for getting the band back together. We ordinarily would run a contest and offer incentives to participate in an event like this. We just picked a date and threw it out on two emails. And 72 hours later we had a field of 100 golfers from all over the country flying in. I hope that’s a great indication of how Channel Partners Conference & Expo‘s attendance will be in November.”

PlanetOne has been 100% operational and reopened its Scottsdale office a month-and-a-half ago, Schuman said.

“It was so exciting to be reunited, to put the lightning back in the bottle that had been missing over the previous 14-15 months,” he said. “So as easy as this was to pull together, I think we need a PlanetOne golf tour around the country. I would expect more tournaments around the country to give people a reason to get out and have some fun, and rekindle the relationships that this industry was built on.”

Virtual No Substitute for In-Person

During the pandemic, PlanetOne and its partners “finally consumed and ate what we’ve been selling for years,” Schuman said.

“Just think of all the icons that are now in your lower toolbar that weren’t there a year ago,” he said. “And it’s all the collaborative platforms that we’re all using every day, whether it’s Teams or 8×8, or RingCentral or Zoom, or whatever your platform of choice is. But however good it is, it’s an average substitute for what you’re seeing right now. The channel was started on relationships and built on relationships, and continues to thrive and grow on the strength of those relationships. Here today, there are 20 year-plus relationships built on trust and respect. And needless to say they’re just a tad bit excited to get out.”

Schuman said everybody’s anxious to hit the road.

“The new norm is probably going to be some kind of hybrid version of what we used to do,” he said. “But as long as I’m the CEO of PlanetOne, these kinds of events will continue to happen.”

Scroll through our slideshow above for highlights from the event, and more comments from PlanetOne and its partners. We expect you’ll see a lot of people you know. And a special thanks to WhiteFox Marketing for supplying some of the pictures.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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