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HOME FEATURES › DISTREE Russia & CIS 2014: Q&A with Frederic Simard

DISTREE Russia & CIS 2014: Q&A with Frederic Simard

by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 24 June 2014

DISTREE Russia & CIS provides vendors and distributors of technology products and solutions with a unique opportunity to pre-schedule one-on-one meetings with the region’s leading channel partners. Ahead of this year’s eleventh annual event, Frederic Simard, Director & Co-Founder at DISTREE Events, took part in a Q&A session with Channel EMEA to discuss the format of the event and what new developments delegates will benefit from in 2014.

Q: DISTREE Russia & CIS is built on each delegate having a unique personal agenda. Why is this so important to the event’s success?

Frederic Simard (FS): DISTREE Russia & CIS is the most effective and efficient business platform for vendors and distributors looking to review, expand or launch routes-to-market for their products and solutions across the region. By allowing each vendor and channel partner to shape their own set of one-on-one meetings, every single delegate can create a personalised agenda that is relevant to their own precise business needs.

Q: Do you see much change in the event as the Russia & CIS markets develop and mature?

FS: The Russia & CIS channel has undergone a dynamic evolution and expansion during the last decade. Many new partners and routes-to-market have developed in this time. DISTREE Russia & CIS has been mapping the channel landscape in the region for more than a decade and has built long-term relationships with senior executives at leading channel partners. We bring the right audience together in one place at one time, to create business benefits for all attendees.

Q: Is DISTREE Russia & CIS 2014 an event for the consumer technology and electronics channel, or is it also focused on business-to-business channels?

FS: This year’s event will gather leading partners from the small and medium business (SMB) and business-to-consumer (B2C) channels, giving a greater variety of vendors the opportunity to attend and accelerate their business development in the Russia & CIS region. DISTREE Russia & CIS is also working hand-in-hand with the region’s largest distributors to bring a leading assortment of SMB-focused vendors to this year’s event. There are challenges in the Russian market at present, but there are also huge opportunities for vendors.

Q: How big is the market opportunity in the Russian market now?

FS: GfK’s latest analysis of the ICT, telecoms and consumer electronics market in Russia claims that the total market value rose 2.4% year-on-year in calendar 2013 to hit RUB1.4 trillion (US$38.1 billion). DISTREE Russia & CIS is the smartest way to meet partners that can drive your business forwards, understand how the channel operates and create a successful SMB or consumer channel strategy.

Q: What new developments can DISTREE Russia & CIS delegates expect on the content and conference programme side at this year’s event?

FS: The event’s conference programme includes a keynote speech from event partner GfK, which will bring delegates up to speed on the major trends in the Russia & CIS region – market size, form factor trends and emerging product categories for example. In addition, we will hold a series of Channel Academy workshop sessions and a Strategy Forum with a range of expert speakers from companies such as CONTEXT, Deloitte, GfK, Ocean Solutions and Wbird among others. Again, each delegate gets to build their own personal agenda in terms of which sessions they attend.

Q: What sort of topics will these sessions be focusing on?

FS: There is real variety in terms of what is covered in these sessions. If a delegate wants to learn more about the Internet of Things and M2M developments, there is a focused session to attend. If a retailer is ready to find out more about the wearables opportunity in Russia & CIS markets, there is a specific session on that too. We have sessions on the distribution market in Russia, the implications of anti-offshore policy for international Russian businesses and analysis of the top ten market trends impacting the region. There really is something for everyone at this year’s event.

Sony - Platinum Sponsor at this year’s event - will also hold workshops on new possibilities in the retail channel for IT, mobile and imaging products. The breadth of the topics covered in the conference programme reflects the growth of the overall event and its delegate base.

Q: How big is this year’s DISTREE Russia & CIS event?

FS: DISTREE Russia & CIS hosts more than 600 delegates each year, with 75% of the channel attendees coming from regions other than Moscow and St. Petersburg. Our local research team stays up to speed on changes in the regional channel. The success of the event is driven by the quality of the delegate base, which consists entirely of senior executives from the most influential resellers and retailers

More than 2,200 pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings took place at last year’s DISTREE Russia & CIS, with an even higher number forecast for this year’s event. The event also provides an on-site translator service helping to facilitate meetings between overseas vendors and local partners.

Q: Why do so many vendors, distributors, retailers and resellers attend? What sets DISTREE Russia & CIS apart from other events?

FS: Efficiency. Results. Return on investment (ROI). If you’re a vendor, we provide a platform that enables you to meet both potential and existing partners in one place at one time. If you’re a start-up, we offer priceless access to the channel partners that can turbocharge your business development across Russia & CIS. If you’re an established vendor, DISTREE Russia & CIS gives you access to the senior channel executives that don’t attend your own partner conferences.

Some of the CEOs of the region’s largest channel partners attend DISTREE Russia & CIS year in year out, but you won’t see them at a vendor channel conference. The reason is they understand the efficiency DISTREE Russia & CIS offers them – a unique ability to meet dozens of different vendors in just a few days. That’s better for them than attending a dozen different vendor conferences.

Q: Can you give us some more background on DISTREE Events?

FS: DISTREE Events is a Paris−based company that is now owned by Infopro Digital. We are fortunate to have a very strong parent company that provides us with an excellent platform to continue growing and developing our business around the world. An important part of this is our operations and events in the Russia & CIS region. We look forward to working hand-in-hand with vendors around the world and providing the right business platform to allow them to effectively connect and interact with the right channel partners from across the entire Russia & CIS region.

DISTREE Russia & CIS 2014

DISTREE Russia & CIS is the region’s premier annual channel event for vendors looking to manage, build or launch channels in this strategically important market. Leading retailers, resellers and distributors from across Russia & CIS attend the event, allowing vendors to accelerate their channel development and drive business success across Russia & CIS.

DISTREE Russia & CIS operates a unique business model based on an ‘invitation only’ event format, offering a compelling mix of pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings, keynotes, awards and networking opportunities for vendors and channel executives operating in the Russia & CIS region. For more information, visit

DISTREE Russia & CIS 2014 is scheduled to take place place at the Pulkovskaya Radisson Hotel in St. Petersburg from June 24th to 26th. Vendors wishing to attend the event should contact quoting code DRU14.


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