Yes, travel budgets are under extreme pressure for 2009. But if you plan carefully and book early, you can stretch your dollar and attend some worthwhile managed services summits.
For me, managed services summits are all about networking with top MSPs and spotting emerging industry trends. Here are eight managed services conferences -- listed in random order -- that might be worth your attention in 2009.
1. MSPAlliance Managed Services Summits: The MSPAlliance is expected to host two North American events in 2009.
When the association re-launched its Website recently, the MSPAlliance briefly listed an Orlando conference around April 22, 2009 and a Las Vegas summit around November 8, 2009. But those dates are no longer listed on the site, and I'm still waiting for date/location details from the association. Keep an eye on the MSPAlliance's Upcoming Events page for future date announcements.
2. MSP Revolution: Hosted by MSPSN, I attended the 2008 kick-off event in Chicago. I was impressed with MSP Revolution's workshop-oriented approach of the event. MSPSN CEO Amy Luby is formulating potential dates and locations for the 2009 events. Stay tuned.
3. Autotask Community Live!: Scheduled for March 29-31 in Nashville, Tenn. Autotask plans to re-create the energy, interaction and focus of its online community in a live setting. This is Autotask's first big, face-to-face customer conference.
4. CompTIA Managed Services Summit: I'm waiting on a date/location for this potential event. It's typically held in the spring, but CompTIA is pretty nimble these days. Stay tuned to www.CompTIA.org/events; that's where event details typically surface first.
5. N-able Partner Summit: The 2008 event was held Oct. 22-24 in Dallas. Watch for another late-year event in 2009, somewhere in the central United States. My bet: Chicago.
6. ConnectWise Partner Summit: Scheduled for Nov. 4-6 2009 in Orlando, Fla. For ConnectWise customers and MSPs that are still evaluating professional services automation tools. More than 700 MSPs attended the 2008 event.
7. Kaseya Connect: The 2008 Kaseya User Conference was June 1-3 at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas. I expect Kaseya to host the event at the same location, around the same date, in 2009.
8. CompTIA Breakaway: Scheduled for Aug. 4-6 at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. CompTIA Breakaway is one of North America's largest events for VARs and solutions providers. It's safe to expect a heavy managed services focus at the 2009 event.
Did I miss any major, regional or international managed services summits? If so, let me know.
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