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Evolution 2019: Unimpeachable Content Comes to Washington

Robin Robins, Google's channel boss and channel chief awards! A lot coming to Channel Partners Evolution.

Lorna Garey

June 3, 2019

6 Min Read
Channel Partners Evolution logo

One thing we couldn’t predict a few years ago when we chose the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in the heart of our nation’s capital, to host Channel Partners Evolution 2019, is the current crazy political climate. But we did know that our 3,200 Evolution attendees and 175+ exhibitors want two things from a venue: an exciting location in the heart of a great city and a setup that enables them to pack in the maximum amount of peer networking, meetings, learning and fun.

This venue delivers both. It’s an easy walk to shops and restaurants at posh CityCenterDC as well as funky venues tucked down Blagden Alley. And the unique layout of our expo space means that, for the first time, we can embed conference session rooms right in with our exhibitors — and deliver expanded hours for you to explore the show floor. Many of the suppliers, masters and distributors you want to sit down with will have their meeting rooms right on the floor, too.

We know it takes time and money to travel to shows; in return, we promise to help you to maximize that investment. All Channel Partners events are independent and encompass the full channel ecosystem. You can compare notes with peers in MSP, agent, VAR, consultant and SI or CSP businesses. Attendees create their own agendas: Maybe you want to pack in meetings with suppliers, masters and distributors, take advantage of an all-day expo hall, sit in on our show-floor stage and recording studio sessions, attend a Thunderdome (we’re bringing back the RMM battle) or choose from a preshow workshop and six conference tracks with sessions presented by independent experts. You decide.

This is our second Evolution show since we added the MSP 501 awards ceremony, and we’ve made a few tweaks and additions. Here are just a few new features for Channel Partners Evolution 2019:

Robin Robins in the house: In a first for a Channel Partners event, IT marketing consultant, sales trainer and author Robin Robins will present a half-day boot camp. The topic: How MSPs can double or triple their number of quality clients in 12 months. Robin has helped more than 8,000 partners using her “4 Foundational Pillars” of all great IT services marketing plans, and we’re pleased to welcome her to our community. To attend, you’ll just need an All Access pass, which will then get you into our full slate of educational and networking events.

Extended expo floor hours: Our attendees asked for more time to walk the floor and meet with exhibitors, so we’ve expanded the number of hours the expo hall is open. By a lot. Last year, you could meet with our exhibitors for about nine hours over three days. In D.C., our floor is open from 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday, 8:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. on Wednesday and from 10 a.m.-noon on Thursday. If you have an invitation from an exhibitor, and weren’t out too late partying Wednesday night, you can take advantage of extended hours on Thursday starting at 8:30 a.m. They might even have some bacon for you.

Alliance Makers: At Channel Partners Evolution, we love our supplier attendees. Building on the success of our “Channel Partners Studio Unplugged” sessions at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, we’re expanding our content to help vendors of all sizes and stages more effectively engage the full spectrum of partner business types. And we’re not waiting until we land in D.C.: Advice will start rolling out in June under our new Alliance Makers program. Hear from experts including Janet Schijns, CEO of JS Group; Kathryn Rose, founder of wiseHer and member, ERG Leadership Alliance; Erick Simpson, author, consultant and creator of the MSP Mastered Methodology; Tina Gravel, SVP, global channels, at Cyxtera; Mike Sapien, Ovum VP & chief analyst U.S, enterprise services; Angela Leavitt, founder and CEO of Mojo Marketing, and more. On site, we’ll have learning …

… ops for vendor-side channel professionals at all stages of their careers, delivered online, in small-group roundtables, in a limited number of one-on-one consulting sessions and on our Evolution Stage.

Evolution Shark Stage: On Thursday morning, our Evolution Stage will heat up as six innovative vendors looking for relationships with distributors and master agents make their best pitches to our Channel Sharks. Decision-makers from Ingram Micro, MicroCorp and other top masters and disties, along with our audience, make the call: Is this vendor, and its channel program, line-card material? (Want one of those six spots? Watch for your chance to enter beginning in early June.)

Exciting education in partnership with our sister sites: We’re pleased to welcome Phil Harvey, U.S. news editor for Light Reading, and Tim Wilson, editor in chief of Dark Reading, as guest track chairs focusing on 5G and security, respectively. Channel NX2Z group is collaborating on our first careers track, and our popular CEO Roundtable will feature insights from top business leaders including Jason Magee of ConnectWise.

Oh, and education is a no-pitch zone. Guaranteed.

Two exciting awards programs: Channel Partners Evolution is where we celebrate the premier MSP industry recognition program, the Channel Futures MSP 501, with a gala dinner and awards reception. On the 501 list and want to attend? You’ll hear from our VIP team soon about a full pass that includes not just the reception and our conference programming, but access to Robin Robins’ preconference workshop.

New for 2019, we’re launching our “Top Gun 51” list of the top 51 channel chiefs in the industry. This is not a popularity contest, and execs can’t buy their way into this club. Instead we invited those who know the channel chiefs best – distributors, master agents and industry analysts – to each nominate 10 chiefs who are doing right by their partners and customers based on three metrics:

  • Advocacy of the channel model: Minimal or no house or named accounts. Product or service has “channel friendly” features and meets advertised claims for end user functionality. Few operational roadblocks to success within partner program.

  • Is committed to partners’ business success: Has increased the percentage of revenue coming through partners during tenure. Can show data to support innovative programs for, for example, use of MDF funds, training and certifications. Provides effective enablement.

  • Works to earn trust: Considered ethical and honest by partners. Is transparent about direction of company and limitations of product or service. Minimizes risk of engagement.

We will recognize the #TopGun51 along with special award winners, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, Rising Star (chief in the role less than two years) and Partners’ Choice. We will invite these winners to the keynote stage for a panel discussion. Speaking of keynotes, don’t miss compelling speakers including Google channel chief Carolee Gearhart and Andi Mann, Splunk chief evangelist.

Registration is open now, and there are a range of hotels within easy walking distance of the convention center. Some of our special events fill up fast, and prices go up as the show gets closer, so don’t wait. Make plans to join us now. And if there’s a way we can help you make the most out of your time in D.C., drop me a line. After all, the channel is about doing. We’ll leave the pay to play and gridlock to the politicians.

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