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The Journey to the Channel Partners Conference & Expo

It's finally here. Welcome to the Channel Partners Conference & Expo and co-located MSP Summit!

October 31, 2021

5 Min Read
CP Expo logo 2021

By Bobby DeMarzo

After what seemed like an eternity in the live events business, the Channel Partners Conference and Expo returns this wee  with an in-person event, Nov. 1-4, in Las Vegas. The conference, which has traditionally taken place twice a year in the spring and fall, had been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. Its return is welcomed across the entire channel spectrum of direct-selling agents, managed service providers, solution providers, and IT consultants and their vendor partners.

With COVID-19 infection rates declining in recent weeks and positive news on the delta variant’s retreat, registration and sponsorships surged to near-record levels for one of the industry’s most important and longest-running channel conferences and expositions. Registration numbers showed not only strong interest from direct-selling agents of telecom and cable services, but from MSPs who are anxious to participate in the debut of the MSP Summit, which focuses on the future of the channel business and new ways of building recurring revenue.

The event would not have been possible were it not for the strategic guidance of the Channel Futures/Channel Partners advisory board, which is made up of industry thought leaders representing every sector of the industry. The board helped carefully guide the Informa Tech Channels Group through the worst of the pandemic by helping to navigate the turbulence and launch innovative digital connections for an audience of senior channel leaders. That work kept leaders connected until it was safe to bring attendees back to an in-person event, which will exceed 5,000 channel participants. Along the way, board members challenged the Channel Partners team to redefine the event experience and provide more value to attendees. The result — keynotes, breakouts and other presentations that are more interactive than in the past. We have content customized to the individual needs of our attendees. No doubt, we were able to reshape the event platform.

The Channel Partners Conference & Expo also leveraged the wisdom, operational excellence and resources of the world’s largest conference and exposition company, Informa. Just weeks before the launch of this event, Informa’s Black Hat Conference was held in Las Vegas, playing host to more than 6,000 security-focused professionals. The Black Hat operations team was able to pass along best practices for safety protocols, how to manage overall attendee safety efforts, implement mask requirements, provide on-site COVID-19 testing and execute on sanitizing initiatives that would make all attendees feel comfortable in meetings, receptions, expo halls and in all other activities.

The event brings together the industry’s most powerful channel leaders who will address the most-pressing issues of the day with a focus on security, 5G, UCaaS, RMM, recurring revenue, mobility, cloud and hybrid work in keynotes and breakout sessions. There is something for everyone. Leaders from AT&T, Datto, T-Mobile, Comcast, Check Point, Nextiva, Intelisys, Pax8, Verizon, Vonage and many more will speak on stage as part of an agenda that includes 100 industry experts. Not only will leading voices from the vendor and tech supplier community be represented, but a record number of sessions will feature perspectives from leading MSPs and direct-selling agents who will engage in town-hall like sessions, sharing best practices. Among them will be Insight, which was No. 1 on this year’s MSP 501. The industry’s leading consultants, researchers and analysts will also be on hand, including Tiffani Bova, author and Salesforce customer evangelist; Janet Schijns of the JS Group; and Jay McBain of Forrester.

Leading MSPs will be honored at this year’s MSP 501 Gala Awards ceremony, which will include the executive of the year, lifetime achievement award winner and individual MSP achievements for outstanding business performance. We will not only honor the 2021 inductees but pay special tribute to last year’s winners.

Attendees will also be treated to a special keynote session by motivational speaker Kevin Brown. He will share insight from his latest book and observations from his work on the Hero Effect, which has been the centerpiece of his work. Brown’s insight will help every leader in any organization have a greater appreciation for their teams and employees so that the customer experience can be taken to new heights. Many channel events forget that while it is important hear the voice of partners and vendors, the most important is that of the customer. Attendees will be treated this week to the voices of the senior-most IT leaders from Zoom, MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Raiders and Amerisure. The changing role of the CIO, along with what today’s buyers want from their partners, will be discussed in detail with those leading figures.

The Channel Partners Conference and Expo also believes its attendees should have fun and be entertained, especially given the stresses that all have encountered over the course of the past 20 months. So, attendees will be treated to special performances by The Blue Man Group and Penn & Teller.

After the conference sessions and keynotes have ended, attendees will take to the expo show floor where nearly 300 vendors and tech suppliers will show off their latest tech, solutions, services and offerings for partners.

For those who cannot attend this event in-person, the Channel Partners Conference & Expo is featuring a digital platform filled with exclusive content along with keynotes that will be streamed from the event. Many things have changed as a result of the pandemic and the business model of this event going forward will include digital content delivered online in a hybrid event format.

The journey to this event was one no one will ever forget and everyone is grateful to be together again at our homecoming-themed conference.

You can see our full agenda here. It’s not too late to register!

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