Channel Partners Evolution: Welcome to Washington D.C.!

Appreciate both the fall's biggest channel event and the city for what they offer.

Craig Galbraith, Editorial Director

September 7, 2019

6 Min Read
CP Evolution logo 2019 web size

I was 15 the first time I visited Washington, D.C. It’s also the last time I’ve been to our nation’s capital.

Unless you were a lot more worldly as a teenager than I was, you don’t appreciate your surroundings as much as you do once you become an adult. Sure, I remember visiting the National Archives and seeing the Constitution. I recall strolling through the National Air & Space Museum and seeing some of our country’s most historic aircraft. Yes, I recollect walking through the Capitol rotunda and sitting in the balcony to watch a session of Congress. And I can call to mind the stroll through the various rooms in the White House that were accessible to public tours. My parents and I packed a lot into just a couple of hot, humid days in late July.

But the story my family tells to this day is how much I ate for lunch at the cafeteria inside one of the Smithsonian museums. (I think it was Natural History.) No doubt by now you get my point. If I get a chance to do any of that again while in D.C. next week for Channel Partners Evolution, Sept. 9-12, I’m going to soak it in like a sponge. I would encourage you to do the same.

I know what some of you are thinking. Wasn’t Evolution in Washington a couple of years ago? Well, close; it was in National Harbor, Maryland, but the hectic nature of a Channel Partners event kept me from getting into the city. This time we are right in the heart of downtown with many of our nation’s most famous landmarks a stone’s throw away.

I’ve lived my entire life in the western U.S. and wouldn’t trade it for a second. But it lacks history. Anytime I travel east, I take time to visit the unique places that many of you who live on the Eastern Seaboard might take for granted. That being said, they say a lot of people who live across the street from Disneyland have never been …

Of course, there will be plenty to keep you busy during the duration of the show. I won’t give you a rundown of the whole event; you can find that here. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out a few of the highlights that I think will make this the best Channel Partners Evolution we’ve ever had:

Robin Robins Marketing WorkshopA few weeks ago while a guest on the Coffee with Craig and Kevin podcast, Robin made fun of me for referring to her as a sales and marketing “guru,” but it’s not far from the truth. Founder of the Technology Marketing Toolkit, Robin has been helping partners – in particular VARs and MSPs – develop highly effective marketing and sales-generating systems tailored to their businesses. Partners get four hours of Robin’s specialized training, and all you need for admission is an all-access pass. If you’re not all-access, go back into your registration and sign up for one. Sponsored by Dell Expert Network, you’ll also get to learn what this brand-new Dell Technologies division is doing for MSPs and SMB customers. It all happens from 1-5 p.m. on Monday, part of our biggest preconference event ever.

Keynotes: We’ve got another great lineup of keynotes Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and afternoons. In addition to a crowd favorite, our masters and distributors panel, we’ll have presentations from AT&T and Verizon; a panel of MSP 501 winners on how they achieved success; 8×8’s channel chief talking collaboration; Splunk exec Andi Mann going “Inside the Mind of a Transformational CIO”; and more. The highlight might just be Google Cloud channel chief Carolee Gearhart offering advice on how partnerships can drive digital transformation. That session kicks off on …

… Wednesday at 12:20 p.m. All keynotes are open to all attendees.

Education: Our popular partner education sessions this year include security, careers, business strategy, marketing & technology, and 5G & Wi-Fi. You just need an all-access pass or conference & expo pass to attend these sessions that could make a huge difference in your business. Suppliers, we’re including you this year in education also! Our new Alliance Makers program features excellent content, including small group sessions and presentations on our Channel Futures Theater stage in the expo hall. Hard to get away from your booth for long periods of time? This is for you. It culminates with our Shark Stage on Thursday, where startup vendors will go in front of top masters and distributors with a shot at getting on their line cards. It’s a first-time event for Channel Partners, one we hope will be a staple for years to come.

Speaking of the expo hall, we answered your call for longer hours; in fact, it will be open nearly three times as long as usual. Stroll among the aisles and aisles of vendors as early as 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, instead of having to wait until the afternoon. Of course, we’ll still have our official opening reception at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, probably the best time to catch up with everyone you know as they fill the grand hall. In addition to all of the booths, we’ll have terrific programming on the Channel Futures Theater stage and the Channel Partners Studio. And don’t forget our popular Thunderdomes, held in the Lincoln Room, which can also be found within the confines of the expo hall. The hall itself, of course, is open to all attendees.

Evening Events. Even though they are invitation-only events, I have to mention the MSP 501 Awards dinner and our Top Gun 51 Awards Dinner, held on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, respectively. No one does awards like Channel Partners and Channel Futures. The MSP 501 recognizes the best managed service providers from around the world and our Top Gun 51 is an elite group of top channel execs chosen for their leadership, vision and innovation.

Don’t forget to tweet everywhere you go! Our hashtag is #CPEvolution. Let’s get it trending.

All of that barely scratches the surface. Again, please reference the full agenda to plan your days at the show. Our operations staff is already onsite getting everything ready. I can barely wait — so much so that I’ll be getting there Saturday, a full two days ahead of Evolution.

So, if you arrive in Washington early and see the sites, you might run into our video producer and me on Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial, on the National Mall or at the foot of the Capitol steps prepping the fun videos that run before the morning keynotes at the conference. What you’ll also see is the adult in me appreciating his surroundings, wishing the kid-in-me’s memories of staring up at the Washington Monument were as vivid as the smell of the fried chicken at that Smithsonian cafeteria. That being said, if we do happen to walk by there around noon …

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About the Author(s)

Craig Galbraith

Editorial Director, Channel Futures

Craig Galbraith is the editorial director for Channel Futures, joining the team in 2008. Before that, he spent more than 11 years as an anchor, reporter and managing editor in television newsrooms in North Dakota and Washington state. Craig is a proud Husky, having graduated from the University of Washington. He makes his home in the Phoenix area.

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