Channel Partners Evolution is in fighting form, with a big new personality.

Lorna Garey

August 20, 2018

3 Min Read

A few years ago, we changed the name of our East Coast conference and expo from “Cloud Partners” to “Channel Partners Evolution.” We did so because cloud had become a fact of life for partners — it’s just the way IT was, and is, being delivered.

The fall show, if we’re being honest, looked a lot like a smaller version of spring. It’s fair to say that the “Evolution” moniker was aspirational.

Well, I’m officially declaring that #CPEvolution 2018, held Oct. 9 – 12 in Philadelphia, has shed its little-brother status and emerged with a big new personality that melds the best the combined channel has to offer. You’ll see some of that swagger in these pages. If you want to experience it yourself, here are three happenings that embody the show’s grown-up focus:

Our first MSP 501 Awards Reception: This is the capstone of months of hard work by MSP whisperer Kris Blackmon, who will deliver a well-earned toast to our winners. The evening will kick off at 6:30 with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner; presentation of special awards, including MSP of the Year; and an after party.

Fun fact: About one-third of our Channel Partners 360° winners are also on the MSP 501 list.

Two colocated trainings: Avant is bringing its intensive Special Forces Training to #CPEvolution on Tuesday, starting with a welcome lunch at noon and ending with a cocktail and networking reception. And on Wednesday, you can join Datto for a Cyber Security Summit, beginning at 8 a.m. and ending just in time for the expo hall opening at 4 p.m. Datto’s focus is on helping partners remove the security barriers that keep customers from pursuing new business opportunities. We’re thrilled to welcome Avant and Datto to our education lineup.

Channel Futures Theater: Partners who’ve attended one of our sister shows, such as IoT World or 5G World Summit, likely saw some great content at the show floor stages. We’re stealing the idea of using a central stage as a community gathering place, where all attendees can get access to smart content. (Heads up that our ThunderDome on RMM systems already has more than 100 RSVPs, so if that interests you, get there early to grab a seat up close.)

You’ll still find familiar sessions, including the Alliance of Channel Women networking reception; our Golf Invitational; three conference tracks — Business Strategy, Revenue & Supplier Portfolio and Marketing & Tech; thought-provoking keynotes; our veteran’s initiative with TrainOurTroops; and 100,000 or so square feet of exhibition space to explore.

Newbies to the show shouldn’t miss our First-Time Attendee Reception at the truly impressive Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, directly adjacent to the Convention Center. PAFA holds one of the premier collections of American art in the world, including both Charles Willson Peale’s portrait of George Washington at Princeton and Gilbert Stuart’s iconic Lansdowne Portrait of our first president. We’re pretty humbled at the opportunity to offer our attendees a private showing of this amazing collection, which blends old and new American masterpieces.

And finally, a shout-out to our Channel NX2Z group, which bridges Boomers, Gen X, millennials and Gen Z, whose oldest members are graduating college and entering the workforce. NX2Z is approaching 200 members and growing fast. You can meet up with them at our Business Innovation Hackathon on Tuesday, or at the Workforce of the Future Symposium they’re hosting on Wednesday evening. You can learn how to attract, retain and motivate recent grads. Younger channel pros will get career advice from established executives Tiffani Bova, Jason Bystrak and Hilary Gadda.

If you can’t make it to the show next month, the print issue of Channel Partners, coming the week of Sept. 10, will give you a feel for the new #CPEvolution. But I hope you will join me and some 3,500 of your peers. See you in Philly.

Lorna Garey is editor-in-chief of Channel Futures and Channel Partners. Follow her on Twitter at @lornagarey.

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