On Friday 18 December HSC held its first annual conference and awards evening at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel for its VIP Mobile Club members.
Sponsored by BlackBerry, O2 and T-Mobile, the event attracted over 60 delegates despite the weather conditions. The event started with an O2 Approved seminar for HSC O2 Approved community of stockists. This incorporated a review of 2009 and a look forward to the O2 proposition in 2010 and the evolvement of the Approved benefits programme.
After lunch all HSC VIP dealers attended a presentation by HSC. Introduced by Bob Sweetlove, HSC’s business manager, the presentation gave an overview of HSC’s market positioning and its view on the important factors to consider trading in 2010; namely the impact of smartphones on customer purchase drivers and the emerging opportunities of convergence into fixed line and broadband services to enable unified communications for b2b dealers. Likewise a reference was made to Carphone’s focus on consumer electronics and entertainment hubs in its Wireless World stores as a good avenue for retailers to diversify and build on the traditional mobile portfolio.
Carlos Pestana, HSC’s sales manager, presented next covering the successes in 2009 for airtime, hardware and software with the main message being the increase in SIM free sales due to HSC’s supply chain via The Carphone Warehouse which enables them to offer the entire range of handsets across all manufacturers at leading prices and with half a million handsets available at any one time. Other key messages were the investment in their online presence and the support package behind the Mobile Club which centres on knowledge, service and relationships as key drivers based on a feedback HSC undertook with its dealers.
The evening started with a drinks reception and formal festive dinner with an Oscars theme, followed by the first annual awards ceremony pitched by Sweetlove, as the start of a regular awards event that is truly representative of the independent reseller channel.
The category winners were as follows: HSC Sales person of the year: Zoe Mole; HSC Support Person of the Year: Antony Board; HSC O2 Approved Stockist of the Year: Bluetone; HSC T-Mobile PROStockist of the Year: Rose Communications; Best Manufacturer: BlackBerry; Best Network: Orange; Convergence Reseller of the Year: USIC; HSC Employee of the Year: Zoe Mole; HSC dealer of the Year: Connect U.
HSC also organised a charity collection for Cancer Research which raised nearly £600. The charity had particular resonance for HSC after one of the sales team sadly contracted Non Hodgkinsons Disease (Lymphatic Cancer) recently.