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Wrapping up 2021 and kicking off 2022 with the SMB Alliance

January 07, 2022

Wrapping up 2021 and kicking off 2022 with the SMB Alliance
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In this special As the Gears Turn edition, Devaughn Bittle and Patrick Cash look back at what happened in the SMB Alliance in 2021 and look ahead at what’s to come in 2022.
To do that, they speak with Kellie Fox, senior business development executive, Kelly Sander, SMB sales director, and Darren Gottesmann, SMB executive sales director, all with Ingram Micro, about:
  • The history of the SMB Alliance
  • The events of 2021
  • What’s coming in 2022
  • Important information to keep in mind about the SMB Alliance

History of the SMB Alliance

When Darren met Devaughn at a go-kart event back in 2014, he knew he had met the future president of the SMB Alliance.
Since then, the entire alliance team has worked together to bring forth new ideas and positively impact alliance members—and with around 290 participant businesses, the impact has been extensive.

Events of 2021

You might assume that, with virtual events the norm, attendance would be lower. But in reality, attendance boomed.
Additionally, the circumstances allowed organizers to bypass the normal quarterly schedule and plan virtual events almost every month.
In 2021, these events ranged from learning how to make sushi to learning how to make ice cream and chocolate.
“It obviously wouldn’t be possible without our vendor sponsors and the membership,” Kellie says.

What’s coming in 2022

Because a hybrid approach attracted more participants, the SMB Alliance is looking to continue that approach into 2022. That being said, the alliance is also looking for opportunities to host face-to-face events as well.
Currently, the team is planning Unplugged. In response to feedback from the community, that event will feature more technical training and certifications.
The goal, according to Kelly, is to help enhance members’ businesses.

Things to keep in mind

SMB Alliance members enjoy many benefits. So, you want to make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the perks that are offered.
To that end, Kellie, Kelly and Darren offer a few things to keep in mind:
“Make sure you’re taking advantage of the access you have to the vendor sponsors,” Kellie says. “Not only are they there to sponsor the events, they really are there to business plan with you.”
“Take advantage of each other,” Kelly says. “We have so many success stories of members reaching out to other members and building business opportunities and sharing best practices.”
“Get serious about making goals for the year,” Darren says, “and share your business plan with us. There's never been a situation where any of our alliance partners have come to us and told us what they're looking to achieve that we haven't gone all out for them to make sure that it happens.”
Visit the SMB Alliance portal.
Sign up for the Lenovo Booster program today.
For more information, email Ron Corley or Alyssa Unterborn.
To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk
Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or tune in on our website.