I have some data to back it up so I feel comfortable saying that, for most types of IT-related sales, doing a customer event (however you want to define that) is going to be one of the best ways to generate new business.
Of course, you need to do the event right (see remarkable)
If you've never read Joel on Software, it's a great blog.
Now, he's writing articles for Inc. magazine and his most recent one (attached in scanned PDF, hope you like my green paper copy) is on the ROI from his event strategy.
He did events around the world in 34 different cities for $4800 per event. Good stat to have for when partners ask me for money! 🙂