Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th April 2017, saw nearly 300 of the country's leading independent computer retail experts, its national partners and also our platinum partners, Ingram Micro, Lenovo and Microsoft, gather for the annual Leading Edge Computers conference and tradeshow.
With the annual conference tradeshow alternating each year between the states of Victoria and Queensland, the Gold Coast this year host to almost 300 Leading Edge Computers members and product supplier executives. The four day event was showcased at Australia's leading theme water park, Sea World Resort, at the Broadwater.
With welcome drinks and canapes a-plenty, the opening night was set below ground in the spectacular Shark Bay exhibit. Throughout the evening, guests mingled with VIP show off, BJ the Sea lion, whilst all the time viewing marine residents such as sharks, sting-ray, turtles, barracuda and other fish from behind underwater viewing windows.
Along with the two day tradeshow of which approximately 50 suppliers showcased the latest in technology, the conference presented an outstanding assortment of interactive panel sessions between the members and educational keynotes. With 25 years of retail experience, Karen Lurati, was able to share her depth of knowledge in merchandise buying, retail & digital marketing with the large audience. This was followed by a passionate presentation from our 2016 Store of the Year winners, Guy & Julie Porter from CompuPort, Ulladulla, on the up’s and down’s of growing their business.
Friday afternoon was filled with informative sessions, beginning with another keynote delivered by Brad Howarth, journalist and writer. Engaging the entire audience, Brad managed to bundle a Zombie Apocalypse survival plan into a thought provoking and entertaining presentation on dealing with disruption in the present day.
The Member’s panel provided an open discussion for members to reach out on how they have handled store upgrades, put in place succession planning and prepared a business for sale. The day was topped off with a fun, relaxed dinner at the Sea World Plaza, where attendees were able to also enjoy live entertainment, rides and games.
SEA WORLD PLAZA - RELAXED FUN DINNER
It was back to learning on Saturday with a presentation from Finlease and HP on new products & services, solutions & technologies and the opening of the national Tradeshow.
2017 LEADING EDGE COMPUTERS TRADESHOW
The final evening was the highly anticipated Gala Awards dinner held at Movie World’s “Star Pavilion”. Leading Edge Computers provided an opportunity for delegates and suppliers to don their most alluring masks at the masquerade themed Gala Awards dinner. After an informative couple of days, the evening was filled with well-deserved laughter, good wine and a wonderful dinner.
The night, hosted by emcee Keith Rowe, recognised the Leading Edge Computers members and their preferred vendors who had made outstanding achievements and contributions to its business during the past year. The criteria for judging was designed to acknowledge those individuals, stores and vendors which demonstrated a strong customer service focus, passion for the business and a commitment to the Leading Edge Computers Group.
MOVIE WORLD - GALA AWARDS MASQUERADE DINNER
Fifteen store recipients were also admitted into the Leading Edge Computers 2017 Million Dollar Club, and Awards were taken out by Leading Edge Computers Griffith (Leading Edge Computers Store of the Year), Another Computer Store Launceston (Business of the Year), Dynamic Supplies (Leading Edge Computers Supplier of the Year), OKI (Leading Edge Computers Brand of the Year), Carmel D’Angelo from Leader Computers (Leading Edge Computers Account Manager of the Year), with Bill Brown from Leading Edge Computers Charters Towers (Local Hero of the Year).
With training sessions continuing over the weekend with select stores, the conference officially concluded Sunday afternoon and it is now back to business to apply some of the valuable advice and tips learnt over the past few days.
2017 LEADING EDGE COMPUTERS NATIONAL TRADESHOW CONFERENCE GALA AWARDS
LEADING EDGE COMPUTERS OUTSTANDING ACCOUNT MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Chris Richardson – Ingram Micro
Carmel D’Angelo – Leader Computers
Michael John Nutman – Lenovo
Daniel Goffredo – Microsoft
Israel Sage-Pickin – Sprout
LEADING EDGE COMPUTERS BRAND OF THE YEAR AWARD
LEADING EDGE COMPUTERS SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR AWARD
LOCAL HERO AWARD
Bill Brown - Leading Edge Computers Charters Towers
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD
Another Computer Store – Launceston TAS
Manage IT Australia – Dubbo, Orange, Bathurst NSW
Grangeburn IT – Hamilton VIC
Intuit Technologies – Hobart TAS
Smile IT – Caloundra QLD
LEADING EDGE COMPUTERS STORE OF THE YEAR AWARD
Country IT – Casino NSW
Leading Edge Computers – Ballarat VIC
Leading Edge Computers – Griffith NSW
Colmac Computers – Toowoomba QLD
iSeek Computing – Littlehampton SA