September 5, 2020
When we decided to go virtual with the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, your reaction was probably like mine. “Well, I guess we have no other choice.”
But since then, I and our team have been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support from the channel community. And it’s not just support — it is genuine excitement for our first-of-its-kind channel event. We have seen a terrific number of partner registrations, and the enthusiasm from our sponsors has been stellar.
I guess it shouldn’t have been surprising; this is a tight-knit community that thrives on the education and networking opportunities at our shows. Lest you think there will be less to take in just because we’re virtual this year, take a gander at some of the incredible content we are offering.
Channel Partners Virtual Keynotes
The show kicks off Tuesday morning with channel favorite Tiffani Bova on our virtual stage. She will encourage partners to respond to the present and rethink the future, rather than dwell on what’s been a tough year.
Then, sit in on the first of our hot debates: Is convergence just hype or the future of the channel? The JS Group’s Janet Schijns will lead a panel of “yes men” and “naysayers” to help you decide which side will win out.
Our next debate asks “To MSSP or Not to MSSP“? This time, we’ll line up speakers from Malwarebytes, Sophos and more.
And those are just the day one keynotes. We’ll follow that up on Wednesday with a panel of channel “influencers,” featuring our Channel Influencer of the Year, 8×8’s John DeLozier; renowned industry speaker Will Harris telling you how to upsell and outsell on LinkedIn; and a third debate — this one on the future of distribution. It features execs from Ingram Micro, AppSmart, MicroCorp and Tech Data. Then DeLozier returns to the “main stage” to discuss the “Golden Era of Communicatons.”
Day three includes CompTIA’s Todd Thibodeaux presenting five ways to survive and thrive in the next year. That’s followed by a frank discussion on diversity in the channel. It will be led by international speaker Risha Grant, and feature a panel discussing how to achieve diversity and inclusion in your business.
Dozens of industry speakers who will “take the stage” at Channel Partners Virtual. Our online trade show is Sept. 8-10. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind event. It’s not too late to register!
Our traditional conference education is intact, with a handful of tracks dedicated to helping you grow your business. They are business of the channel, sales and marketing, technology stack and security.
Another recent Channel Partners tradition, SD-WAN and UCaaS “Thunderdomes,” are back and stronger than ever. They pit rival vendors against one another to help you decide whose solution is the best. For our SD-WAN event on Monday, we’ve lined up channel leaders from Bigleaf Networks, Fusion Connect, CBTS and Aryaka. The UCaaS version features Fuze, Granite Telecommunications, CallTower and CenturyLink.
You’ll also increase your brain power via our “Fastballs,” five-minute pitches from companies telling you about their latest products. And our “On Topic” sessions – brand-new to this year’s show – include such subjects as WAN optimization, the post-pandemic reimagined, and more.
Channel Partners Virtual Networking & Awards
Our surveys show that networking is the No. 1 reason you attend our channel events. Pretty tough in a virtual show, right? Wrong!
First, several dozen suppliers will …
… have virtual booths set up in our expo hall where you can drop by for a discussion. The hall is open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. ET on Tuesday; 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday; and 11 a.m.-4:15 p.m. on Thursday. There’s even a prize booth where you can sign up to win some of that swag you typically take home from our live shows.
We also have dedicated networking sessions — one for agents on Wednesday and another for MSPs on Thursday. It’s speed networking! We’ll break up attendees in small groups for eight-minute rounds of networking centered around a series of topics pertinent to your business.
There’s plenty of time to network, too, at our awards ceremonies. First up is the MSP 501 awards on Tuesday. Premier pass holders and MSP 501 winners will hear a short presentation from your esteemed MSP 501 leader, Kris Blackmon; then, the remaining part of the hour will be for chatting it up virtually with colleagues and friends. Then, on Wednesday, we’ll host our Excellence in Digital Services awards, where we honor partners helping customers achieve excellence business outcomes. As with the 501, we’ll have a short awards presentation – hosted by yours truly – followed by networking. It’s open to premier pass holders.
… and More
If all of that isn’t enough – and it’s far from all – check out our full agenda. You can also find it by downloading our Channel Partners Virtual mobile app; just search “CP Virtual” in the App Store or Google Play. There, you can get more details about the events I describe above, as well as other sessions of note. Take our Digital Deception Magic Hour, for instance, or the thrice-daily Mindful Meditation we set up. How about a Happy Hour Golf Clinic featuring a five-time PGA winner? We’ve got that too.
The bottom line: About all you’re missing from Channel Partners Virtual is meeting in person. We’re still just as jam-packed as we would be for a live event. With plenty to choose from, we hope you’ll take advantage of as much as you have time for in a busy week.
This isn’t a “because we had no other choice” event. It’s where the channel community comes together. It’s the virtual event for the modern channel. Can’t wait to see you there!
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