The Retail Solution Providers Association is hosting its annual tradeshow July 25th to 27th in Nashville , at the Gaylord Opryland. Typically, this event draws about 2000 technology solution providers, so VARs, MSPs, software, developers, vendors, distributors, no end users, this is all a channel event, with about 160 exhibitors. RSPA is excited to announce that this year’s event will be hosting a track focusing on the Cannatech vertical market. This track was built to appeal to folks who really don’t know anything about the cannabis market or just exploring it, to those who are fully emerged and doing business. Join Jim and Harry as they chat about the upcoming conference, and what you can learn.
Harry Brelsford 0:03 Hey 420 MSP Harry here we’re going into cue to all signs are pointing towards better times ahead, but we got something really special in q3. Right after the start of q3 Jim take at Retail Now what’s the story when, where? Who, what, why, how
Jim Roddy 0:22 to Harry, always great to be here with it. Yeah, so the retail solution providers association is having its annual tradeshow July 25th through 27th. in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland. And so I always say, you know, with an asterisk annual because 2020, nothing is annual, but all the years before that, it was an annual event. And so we usually draw about 2000 technology solution providers, so VARs, MSPs, software, developers, vendors, distributors, no end users, this is all a channel event, and we get about 160 exhibitors, as well. And everything we’re hearing right now is a lot of pent up demand, because there hasn’t been an industry wide event in the retail restaurant or grocery it channel since like 18 months, if not longer.
Harry Brelsford 1:10 Yeah, and you know, I’ve had this talk with you. I’ve certainly had it with a lot of people. We are involved in a show. In the retail dispensary space in early November, that show at one point was April, and it was May than it was June than it was I think September. But But Jim, we only know what we know at the time. This is before the vaccination started to accelerate, right. And now the vaccinations are ahead of plan. So I actually think in early q3, you, you are going to have a window of opportunity. I wasn’t sure about that. To be honest, but I don’t know what your feelings are on that. But you know, we’re ahead of plan 3 million vaccines a day as I’m speaking to you is what I heard last night. We’re and my second shot is this upcoming Friday. So you know, ready to rock man? Yeah, that’s,
Jim Roddy 2:02 I agree. And also, my second shot is tomorrow as we’re recording this, and, you know, the feedback that we’ve had. So obviously, you know, folks have asked us earlier in the year, even late last year planning the event, like, Is it 100%. And I’m like, if you haven’t learned anything the past 12 months, like nothing is 100% by any means. But we’ve been doing a survey of our members, again, these virus software developers and vendors and asking them, what are your plans? We’ve asked them essentially, yes, no, or maybe. Right. And so when we ask them, maybe when someone gives that answer, we say, why is it almost every single one of those are based upon if I’m vaccinated if I’m vaccinated, I’m a definite yes. And so the ratio of yeses and maybes to the nose is running like nine to 110 to one at this point. And the only people who are the nose are like, well, I work for a giant vendor, and they have a travel restriction. So I don’t think I’m going to go, we’re starting to hear that some of those larger vendors are actually easing up before they said, No travel in 2021. But just like you said, the vaccines or the vaccines are the gating factor, all the marketing that we can do for every event, you know, it’s important to do, but having everybody get a shot in their arm, like there is nothing better than that, quite frankly, making people confident that they can travel, making them confident they engage with other folks. So, um, with everything q3 is going to be, I would say, 100% back to normal. And our event is going to look different from past ones to make sure that we play it ultra safe. But I think we’re seeing the confidence level soar. We’re seeing people starting to hit the road again, and certainly planning to do that in q3.
Harry Brelsford 3:34 Yeah. What are some interesting topics for in particular, the 420MSP audience, so you have a track? Maybe you want to speak towards that? Sure,
Jim Roddy 3:45 I will say a little bit of history from an RSP standpoint. You know, you didn’t talk about cannabis, you didn’t talk about marijuana, it was one of the things that maybe somebody whispered about. And I can tell you, we have multiple members in our RSP membership, who I didn’t know, up until last year had been playing in this vertical for years. They just didn’t want anybody to know. But now we’re realizing the opportunity that’s presenting itself with all the you know, recreational and medical legalization just keeps moving and moving. We’re actually having a separate track that’s going to have four separate sessions, focusing on the Cannatech, vertical market, this is in our emerging vertical track. And so the way that we’re taking is we want to appeal to folks who really don’t know anything about the cannabis market or just exploring it. But if anybody has been playing in it or started to go down that path, we’re going to make sure we have education for them. So our 100 level course is the cannabis market and Canada tech overview and Harry we’re definitely going to be leaning on you for that and your Cannatech ecosystem overview. Our 200 level talks about entering the cannabis vertical, like where should VARs even start and then we have two 300 level courses. One is the seven elements of a successful cannabis VAR like studying our current members and what makes them successful. And the other 300 level course is going to be mistakes cannabis VARs and ISVs these can’t afford to make, as you know very well, and our members have taught us, there are ways that you can do this wrong. It’s not just like jumping into another vertical with your left hand, you’ve really got to focus on on what you’re doing. So those are the four breakout sessions we’re going to have.
Harry Brelsford 5:15 Yeah, no, and I want to catch that last point. Yesterday on LinkedIn is, you know, as I emerged as a principal analyst and Cannatech and thank you for your help, by the way, a lot of people are helping me learn the space. And I’m the first to admit that probably six months away from being taken seriously.
Jim Roddy 5:35 Not very, you know, from a cannabis standpoint, you’re very close to being taken seriously. Maybe other things, you and I aren’t going to be taken too seriously.
Harry Brelsford 5:45 Yeah, well, certainly playing for Gonzaga in the NCAA finals. You’re a big basketball fan. I’m yeah, to be taken seriously. Oh, that game, that game hurt. Moving on . But the point is, if you’re not 100%, committed, I had a comment on my ecosystem chart up on LinkedIn. nice lady. And she was sincere. We looked at the space, we dabbled in it. We’re not sure. She’s a technology professional. And I replied back on LinkedIn in her comment. And I said, you know, here’s what I know. I mean, I’m a few I’m a few, some odd years into this. And if you’re not 100%, door, slamming foot stomp and serious about the Cannatech opportunity, let’s say let’s save us both time. Right? Don’t Don’t do it. Because the players that are now getting in and the emerging markets, we’ll talk about that another day, the new states. These are smart people Jim there, they’re not confused.
Jim Roddy 6:53 And they’re passionate. And that’s one of you know, the seven elements of a successful cannabis VAR. One thing that we’ve learned from our members is you need to have one person dedicated to the cannabis market. Now, does this mean your entire team has to only focus on cannabis? No, but you have one person who’s learning all the ins and outs? Who’s learning the language? Who’s learning the solutions? Who’s learning the pain points, who knows the regulation so when they walk in, they can actually be a trusted adviser to that end user and not be the reverse where they get completely stumped by the cannabis dispensary owner because that will just kick you out right away and you they won’t ever answer your calls. It’s hard enough to get them on the phone. They won’t ever answer your calls. If you don’t know what you’re doing. So yeah, you’re 100% right.
Harry Brelsford 7:35 Okay, and what were those dates again, I’m going to like Rachel Maddow, take notes off screen. What were the dates? Sure.
Jim Roddy 7:41 It’s July 25 through 27th. Retail Now, in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland. Really looking forward to it.
Harry Brelsford 7:52 Lovely time of year, I’ll be sure to wear my lighter fabric shirts. Let me tell you, brother, I’ve heard they get humidity.
Jim Roddy 7:58 Our event is always in late July or early August and we oftentimes have it in Las Vegas. And I remember the first time I ever went to an event there. I felt like I was sitting in my car in the summer with the heat turned on, right into blasting out so yeah, you don’t want to be outside. But that’s a good thing. You get dropped off. And if you’ve ever anybody’s ever been to a Gaylord, it’s like its own ecosystem. You get to live there for months and months. And that’s what we do.
Harry Brelsford 8:23 Yeah, it is. It is been a while since I’ve gotten to Nashville since a well known lady in our space with a sales and marketing kit has her annual convention in Nashville. I wish her the best. All right, Jim, I think we covered off on this topic. And next next month, we’ll we’ll find our footing and talk a little bit about the rapid acceleration of the legalization of states.
Jim Roddy 8:46 And you and I both be vaccinated when we talk next month. So double gay there.
Harry Brelsford 8:50 There we go. I’ll show my card. Although I read from a what a p i the privacy, you’re actually not supposed to put that card up on Facebook,
Jim Roddy 9:00 share your card, do not show your card, do not give everybody that’s a good this is a side note that I’ve learned from an RSP conference. Like even having your birthday. It’s great to have everybody on Facebook and LinkedIn knowing your birthday. But then that’s a personal identifier that you probably don’t want to. You don’t want to have out there. So yeah, that’s part of why you shouldn’t show that card. So show me your sticker. Don’t show me your actual card.
Harry Brelsford 9:21 All right, well, hey, but make sure you you take the following day off after shot number two. I certainly am. I’m playing it straight, my man. Thank you.
Jim Roddy 9:30 Thank you, Harry.