Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 9-12, in Las Vegas, will offer solid strategic plans for channel business success.

Kris Blackmon, Head of Channel Communities

November 25, 2019

4 Min Read

We’ve been saying it for years: The pace of change in the technology channel is increasing every day, and those who don’t stay ahead of the curve are destined for obsolescence.

The problem is, we’ve heard that so many times, on so many subjects, we’ve become deaf to the warnings. And most of what we hear is at such a high level that it becomes irrelevant to most channel partners’ businesses. Do these sound familiar?

  • Resale is dead, and if you haven’t made the switch to an MRR model, you’re doomed.

  • Cybersecurity is the next hot thing. If you haven’t begun to incorporate advanced security into your offerings, you’re doomed.

  • In days of yore, referrals and networking were enough to gain new clients. But the buyer’s journey is different now. If you’re not social selling, you’re doomed.

  • You can’t just talk to the IT guy anymore. You have to learn how to talk to the C-suite, or you’re doomed.

Congratulations, partners. There’s an awful lot of doom in store for the channel. Best of luck to you on executing these pivots. You’ve heard the warnings. Go forth and conquer.

You hear this message at every conference, in every story from the media, from every corner of the analyst and consultant space. Usually, these messages are chock full of meaningless buzzwords like leading provider; change agent; future-proof; IoT and cloud and AI (all without specific definitions); business outcomes; trusted adviser.

Throughout the course of 2019, Channel Partners has made it a strategic imperative to move away from vague warnings and focus on partner education that actually means something. We feature regular case studies on successful partners. We deep dive into vendor partner programs. We provide structured education with assets such as worksheets, PowerPoint slides and infographics in our Educational Series. And at next year’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo, we’ve issued a challenge to every speaker: Include a specific action plan with your talk, or you’re doomed. (With us, anyway.)

We have a fall conference, Channel Partners Evolution, that focuses more on emerging technology, trends and business models. Channel Partners Conference & Expo, on the other hand, is dedicated to the issues partners are facing in their businesses today.

In 2020, we’re placing a bigger emphasis on education than ever before. You won’t hear a Digital Transformation and You-type talk. We’ll drill down into what these 30,000-foot view topics really mean in practice and provide you with specific action plans you can go home and implement immediately. We’ve got tracks on marketing, business best practices, technology and — for the first time — a dedicated security track.

In addition, for this year’s pre-con Business Success Workshop: Planning for the Future, we have a slew of experts who will walk attendees through business planning concepts such as how to calculate your valuation, what investors are looking for on your balance sheets and how to scale in…

…order to outpace your competition. Don’t expect all buzzwords and trend talks. We’ll be providing a detailed workbook to walk you through each concept and give you specific, step-by-step action items.

We’ve also created high-energy sessions that break from your typical educational breakouts to get attendees laughing, hollering and engaging. We’ve got old-fashioned debates, improv sessions and a keynote that will blow your socks off. We love it when partners get a little rowdy and excited, so bring your candor and energy to Vegas in March.

You want sales advice? We’ve got plenty of it, from how to sell security to how to prospect to how to compensate your reps during a business pivot. It’s no surprise that partners —operations in just about every vertical, really — want to learn how to upsell their existing client base and gain net new customers. We’ve got you covered.

Held in the gorgeous Venetian in Las Vegas March 9-12, Channel Partners Conference & Expo is part conference and part seminar that will engage partners of every flavor: telco agents, MSPs, VARs, system integrators and consultants. No attendee will leave without a tangible takeaway they can begin to implement immediately. If networking is more your thing, we’ve got plenty of opportunities. Our annual First-Timers Reception gives you a chance to hobnob with other newbie attendees and sponsors; the 501er Community meetup will provide peer dialogue and opportunities for intimate vendor conversations; and the Alliance of Channel Women event gives men and women alike a chance to engage with an under-represented, yet fast-growing, segment of the channel.

If you’re concerned about cost, then act fast to take advantage of our early-bird specials. Entering the code “KRIS” when you register will get channel partners a $99 Expo Pass, a $149 Conference Pass or a $399 All-Access Pass. See? We’ve learned from you about overcoming objections, channel sales gurus.

We are extremely excited about this event, as well as meeting and truly educating all the partners we can. Join us in Vegas next spring for a rockin’ good time and the chance to learn how to become business and sales savvy from some of the brightest minds in the tech channel. In short, dive into this year’s theme: Champions Made Here.

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About the Author(s)

Kris Blackmon

Head of Channel Communities, Zift Solutions

Kris Blackmon is head of channel communities at Zift Solutions. She previously worked as chief channel officer at JS Group, and as senior content director at Informa Tech and project director of the MSP 501er Community. Blackmon is chair of CompTIA's Channel Development Advisory Council and operates KB Consulting. You may follow her on LinkedIn and @zift on X.

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