Channel Partners Conference Preview: Our Editors Pick 12 Must-Attend Sessions

Get ready for moments that matter in the channel.

Robert DeMarzo, VP of Content

April 28, 2023

7 Slides

The Channel Partners Conference & Expo and MSP Summit kick off this coming Monday, May 1, on a high note for the industry’s largest independent gathering of channel partners. The event will boast record-setting attendance and the largest number of sponsors in our history. Building on the momentum established after a return to live channel gatherings following the COVID-19 disruption, the Informa-operated event also features the largest and most industry-diverse group of speakers ever assembled to address the entire channel.

This year’s theme of “Elevate: Your Time to Shine” reflects the upbeat sentiment of partners who want their brands to resonate at the highest levels with customers of all kinds and sizes. They will hear tips on marketing, leadership and strategy to help them lift their organizations to new heights. A special keynote by the one and only Capt. Scott Kelly, the most accomplished astronaut of all time, will certainly help every attendee reach new heights. If that doesn’t inspire, nothing will.

Network, Compare Notes at Channel Partners Conference & Expo

As of press time, more than 7,000 IT and communications industry professionals are registered to attend the event, with the majority coming from the MSP and agent/technology advisor communities. These channel partners bridge both sides of the indirect sales channel; that’s what makes this event so special. These partners are looking to meet with peers to share best practices and compare notes on how to grow their businesses while connecting with a wide array of technology suppliers and vendors who leverage the channel to bring their products to market.

Join the more than 150 channel visionaries and experts speaking at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo. The event also features more than 375 ICT companies sponsoring or exhibiting in the massive expo hall. Register now for the world’s largest independent channel event, May 1-4, at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

The exhibitor guide features some 344 technology suppliers that will be on the huge Expo show floor at the Venetian Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Las Vegas. That includes more than 125 first-timers who are descending on Sin City in hopes of recruiting new partners or solidifying relationships with those already selling their products and services. The list of channel leaders from the industry’s largest vendors, along with the midsized and emerging players, reads like a Who’s Who list of the most prominent and influential executives ever assembled including AT&T, Cisco, Dell Expert Network, HPE, Intelisys, T-Mobile and Verizon, among many others.

An Event for the Entire Channel

The event’s enduring popularity stems from its roots in the telecommunications industry back when it was the dominant venue for agents (fondly nicknamed “circuit slingers) to gather. Since those days, it has evolved into the premier gathering for channel partners whose business models vary from MSP to MSSP and on to VAR, SI, IT consultant and cloud service provider. That pivot was driven by the strategic advice provided by four separate advisory boards and the continued investment by Informa’s technology division which oversees brands that include Black Hat, Enterprise Connect, Big 5G, IoT World and London Tech Week. Today, channel partners are coming together to understand how generative AI via ChatGPT is changing the technology landscape, the impact of M&A across the industry and where future recurring revenue streams can be found within the confines of cloud, security, and communications and collaboration.

A big shout-out to ThreatLocker, Title Sponsor of the MSP Summit, and T-Mobile for Business, Title Sponsor of the Channel Partners Expo.

The Channel Partners Conference & Expo and MSP Summit is three packed days of keynotes, meetings, receptions, closed-door roundtables, entertainment and, of course, an Expo Hall overflowing with the innovations of today’s top technology and communication providers. You can view the entire agenda here.

Editors’ Choice for Channel Partners Conference & Expo

And here are our editors’ picks for can’t miss sessions and event highlights. (The vendor and sponsor sessions were reported on separately and so are not included in this article.)

  1. The MSP Summit kicks off on Monday, May 1, with keynotes from Informa Tech Channel General Manager and Vice President of Channel Kelly Danziger and Content Vice President Bob DeMarzo on the state of the market. From there, the focus moves to covering the new realities of M&A followed by Channel Futures MSP 501 executives sharing best practices in a panel moderated by our new senior news editor Jeff O’Heir. Monday afternoon features a group of experts discussing future workforce development and how to use the current economic climate to your advantage.

  2. MSP guru Len DiCostanzo hosts a special three-part MSP Mentor workshop, “Accelerate Your MSP Business” that features some of the most prominent members of the MSP community helping partners with sales pipelines, financial management and MSP business platforms.

  3. Fun has always been at the heart of this event so on Monday evening attendees will gather at TAO Beach Dayclub at a reception sponsored by a group of blue-chip vendors and technology suppliers.

  4. Channel Partners Conference & Expo kicks off the first converged day of partner engagement on Tuesday with “The Many Faces of Today’s Channel Partner,” a special presentation featuring six prominent channel partners sharing their personal stories and passion for why they do what they do.

  5. The amazing and brilliant Joe Batista (who has delivered more keynotes to technology leaders than almost anyone else in the industry), hits the big stage at CP Expo for the first time. His “The Changing Geometry of IT” will alert partners to the big opportunities among today’s IT buyers.

  6. Speaking of IT buyers, Channel Futures Technology Advisor Advisory Board member David Wright, CEO of Disruptive Innovations, is hosting an amazing panel of CIOs from some of the world’s largest buyers of tech. Hear advice straight from today’s largest and most influential enterprise customers.

  7. MSP consultant Sam Ruggeri and Alvaka’s Kevin McDonald will host our first-ever MSP Cybersecurity Peer Group. Partners focused on managed security services will get together with no agenda other than hearing from their peers on how they are meeting head-on the biggest challenges of the day. The peer group will come together throughout the year as well.

  8. The heart of this event is its vendor- and platform-neutral setting so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that a panel of channel leaders from T-Mobile, HPE, IBM, Verizon and Vonage will convene to discuss their views on how partners can grow and how they are innovating. This is the kind of content you can’t get at any other channel event.

  9. Agents, many of whom now call themselves technology advisors, will shine in a panel discussion led by senior news editor James Anderson on how their organizations can scale and pivot in a time of flux. Anderson will no doubt demonstrate his signature “Let’s go!” jog when he takes the stage.

  10. Another can’t-miss session puts the spotlight on what Intelisys President John DeLozier describes as next-generation leadership. DeLozier and Channel Futures Editorial Director Craig Galbraith host a discussion featuring Channel Futures 2023 Channel Influencers on what it takes to lead in the industry today and going forward. Every single channel partner has influence, so use it wisely.

  11. If we were to highlight a few of the many conference sessions, we would no doubt get into trouble with someone who was left out. So, suffice it to say these sessions, the backbone of the event, span marketing, UCaaS, leadership, security, cloud, 5G, IoT, SMB, cloud, M&A and much more. So many sessions, so little time. While you’ll only have time to attend a select few sessions, remember that Channel Futures, one of the fastest-growing websites in the tech market today, will actively cover numerous sessions via blog, gallery and video throughout the event, providing the full channel with the full range of event content.

  12. Two other very special events must be highlighted. The first is the debut of the Channel Futures Technology Advisor 101 Awards Reception honoring the industry’s top-performing channel partners focused on communications services. The second is the DE&I Luncheon & Networking Event featuring industry luminaries Kelli McMillan of Five9 and Xposure Inclusion & Diversity Council, Anthony Graziano of Logitech and Byron Woodward of Informa Tech and moderated by marketing and communications consultant Raquel Wiley. They will speak on how to recession-proof your DE&I initiatives.

But don’t take our word for what should be the best Channel Partners Conference & Expo ever. See our slideshow above for thoughts from some channel industry titans on the value of the event.

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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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