There's a lot new to take in at this year's Channel Partners and MSP Summit.

Robert DeMarzo, VP of Content

March 8, 2024

8 Min Read
The Channel United CP Expo/MSP Summit 2024

Under a theme of “The Channel United,” the biggest channel event of the year – the Channel Partners Conference & Expo and MSP Summit − will kick off in Las Vegas, Monday March 11, with an agenda packed with tech titans, industry experts, AI-focused content and workshops designed for every partner business model across the IT and communications spectrum. 

We’re expecting a record-breaking crowd of more than 8,000 MSPs, agents, technology advisors and new partners who sell AI, IT and connectivity solutions. They’ll be side by side with senior leaders from the vendor community who will jam the Venetian Conference & Expo Center forming new relationships and rekindling old ones, all with the goal of maintaining and spurring the industry’s growth. In speaking with dozens of presenters in the weeks coming up to the event, one of the most pressing issues facing all channel leaders is how to capitalize on the incredible opportunity around AI. It’s dominating every conversation among partners, customers and suppliers. Second is the thirst all industry players have to maintain the channel’s momentum. Coming off a strong fourth quarter, partner optimism is running very high, with a breakaway group of agents, MSPs, and communications and technology providers expecting sales to grow in excess of 20%. The latest polling data from leading channel media brand Channel Futures shows 60% of MSPs expecting growth of 11% or more this year, with 66% of agents/technology advisors surveyed expecting their consulting and professional services to grow by at least 11%.

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While AI might be dominating the conversation, the vendors and partners who will spend March 11-14 together in Las Vegas are keenly aware they need to sell solutions that pay the bills — or keep the lights on as they say. For that reason, partners will hunker down with suppliers that deliver cybersecurity solutions, cloud-based services, connectivity, collaboration and communications services. Everyone will discuss ways to grow recurring revenue streams from their services and offerings. 

The Channel Partners Conference and Expo, owned and operated by Informa, features an opening day for managed service providers under The MSP Summit brand, before opening the doors to the entire channel as part of a conference and expo designed for all sellers of technology and communications services. Highlighting this year’s event and testament to the attractiveness of the channel are nearly 80 first-time sponsors and exhibitors – a number that includes those that are returning for the first time in at least three years − who want to leverage the size, scope and scale of the channel. The entire event − from keynotes to expo hall to conference breakouts − will be covered by the Informa-owned Channel Futures media team lead by a group of award-winning journalists. They include Craig Galbraith, Edward Gately, James Anderson and Buffy Naylor. Our Channel Futures digital newsroom will operating around the clock, supported by a group of contributing writers who will cover the event as the first attendee lands in Las Vegas until the show floor in the Venetian is torn down. Don’t miss a second of all this important news and analysis to be featured on Channel Futures and in our daily newsletters

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The event is for channel partners by channel partners to discuss the business of the channel. The Channel Futures and Channel Partners Conference & Expo Advisory Boards played a huge role in development of content for the show. Over the year course of the past year, three boards made up of thought leaders − MSPs, agents, vendors, distributors, telecom and cable suppliers − came together to review speaker proposals, topics, the attendee experience and every facet of the event.

As a result of the boards’ work, the Channel Partners Conference & Expo and MSP Summit has completely revamped its agenda and content flow to provide an even better attendee and customer experience. Infused into the event are several new features, including an AI Symposium, and faster-paced sessions with industry leaders called Channel Futures Newsmakers and Channel Futures Conversations. In addition, we will host interviews with Channel Futures leaders of the year that include AT&T’s Christopher Jones — who captured one of the two coveted Channel Futures Influencer of the Year awards. Also new is a segment called Hot Data, which features an industry analyst or thought leader who − in 10 minutes − breaks down some of the market’s most impactful research or data. Canalys, now part of the greater Informa company via our Omdia research organization, a tier one provider, will feature two leading analysts – Jay McBain and Alastair Edwards − on the main stage to discuss Hot Data.

The event’s pace is reflective of the breakneck speed of tech and communications, with no session exceeding 20 minutes. Keynotes, one-on-one interviews, panels and vendor updates require all speakers to be succinct with clear takeaways for attendees. As one speaker said, “This event is going to be a rollercoaster, so attendees better buckle up.” 

Some key highlights of the event are as follows: 

  • The industry’s largest and most important multibillion-dollar players with deep channels will descend upon the event. They include T-Mobile, the event’s title sponsor; AT&T; Comcast; Verizon; Cisco; Google Cloud; Microsoft; MongoDB and many others who will take the stage. In all, there are 323 sponsors and exhibitors putting down a stake at CP Expo/MSP Summit this year.

  • Industry Experts: We will feature more than 150 thought leaders, partners, vendors and analysts on the main stage as part of keynotes and breakouts ranging from industry debates to panels, solo presentations and one-on-one interviews. 

  • AI Symposium: Never has the channel witnessed a radical new technology move from experimental phase to consumer and business adoption as quickly and on such a scale as AI. Everyone in the industry is trying to make sense of it all and to understand AI’s impact on the direction of their businesses. We’ve assembled a panel of experts who will offer their views on just how AI is creating opportunities for their partner networks across a wide spectrum of tech solutions. They’ll also discuss how their organizations are supporting AI. Attendees will learn about best practices and gain insights on how vendors are changing partner programs to support AI and using it themselves to better serve their channel partners.  

  • Agent Sales Workshop: In collaboration with Avant Communications, we have assembled a four-part sales workshop to help partners sharpen their enterprise sales skills, grow their security sales and learn from high-performance peers. The new workshop, “Sales Training for Agents & Tech Advisors: Master Today’s New Selling Techniques,” is for sales and business leaders at agent and technology advisor businesses who want to drive organic growth and demand generation. At the Channel Partners Sales Workshop, executives will gain actionable insights, practical tools and innovative guidance to help drive their organizations to new heights. Channel partners need to stay abreast of the latest sales techniques and best practices to maintain high-performance sales teams that deliver customer-led growth. Avant is collaborating with the Channel Partners Conference & Expo to help partners build future-ready sales skills. 

  • MSP Mentor Workshops, led by Len DiCostanzo, CEO and founder of MSP Toolkit, will focus on a range of topics to help partners build sustainable managed services practices. The multi-part series includes insight on how to build a substantial business and continue to deliver solutions and outcomes to meet evolving client needs. MSPs must always be planning to grow, or they will die. Key to that mission is to build a sales-growth plan that will serve as the foundation of MSP success. To help partners succeed, we have designed the MSP Mentor Workshop series to help partners advance their businesses by leveraging best practices. Attendees will hear from a select group of invited sales and growth experts who will share their experiences building sales-growth plans, executing on those strategies and making adjustments along the way. This is must-attend content for anyone entering or expanding their roles in the managed services market.

  • The big keynote stage will feature speakers from Canalys, including Jay McBain and Alastair Edwards, as well as leaders from T-Mobile, Cisco, HPE, MongoDB, ThreatLocker, SonicWall, Pax8, Microsoft Teams, Kaseya, Google, Crossbeam, Verizon, Bridgepoint, Avant, Telarus, ScanSource, Vonage, Ingram Micro, MetTel, Granite and many more. 

  • We will celebrate greatness in the agent and technology advisor community with the Channel Futures Technology Advisor (TA) 101 awards gala and keynote presentation. The session will honor the TA 101 leaders selected by Channel Futures editors and an esteemed group of fellow partners who are making a difference in the communications industry. As part of the awards ceremony, we will give a special honor to one individual from the agent/technology advisor community for lifetime achievement and we will single out one organization as this year’s rising star. 

  • The heart and soul of the Channel Partners Conference & Expo is the vast exposition and the conference breakouts. On the expo show floor, hundreds of vendors will demonstrate their solutions, services and innovations while they huddle with partners on how to bring those offerings to market. Partners will jam the expo center and hallways, while also attending dozens of conference breakouts as part of a dual track focused on technology opportunities and business growth.

About the Author(s)

Robert DeMarzo

VP of Content, Channel Futures

Robert DeMarzo is the vice president of content for Informa Tech Channels.

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