IBM's PartnerWorld is back on the channel's agenda for 2011 after a two-year hiatus but the event is by invitation only to keep out the riff-raff.
Business partners that received the golden ticket from Big Blue are in the process of enrolling for the shindig in Orlando on 15 and 16 February, with 4,000 individuals invited globally.
In the past, any Business Partner could enrol for the event but Jacqui Davey, IBM vice president of the Business Partner Organisation and midmarket for the UK and Ireland, confirmed it was being more selective about attendees.
"We are focused on getting some good attendance across the whole portfolio - services, hardware and software - to get partners up to speed on our strategy," she told MicroScope.
Big Blue pulled the plug on PartnerWorld in 2009 as the recession wreaked havoc on the industry and the recovery was not sufficient to warrant its reintroduction last year, with IBM running webinars and local events in its place.
Davey said it withdrew the conference based on partner feedback and had now heeded calls for its return, noting that "the market has got to a point where it can sustain a global event".
The event is to be hosted by Rich Hume, Global GM of Business Partners, and the agenda includes IBM's Smarter Planet initiative, business analytics, cloud computing and the mid-market.
The cost to register for the event remains at $1,700 (£1,068) but attendees also have to stump up the costs of travel, accommodation, beer money and time out of the office.
Tom Kelly, managing director at Logicalis, voiced high expectations of the event: "The partners will be of better quality to drive an interactive discussion."
The networking potential with European counterparts and interest in the cloud were the major reasons for attending PartnerWorld 2011, said Chris Wilson, commercial director at Celerity.
The turnout from the UK was expected to be strong, said Rob Tomlin, business unit director at IBM distributor ISI.