Tech Conferences: Why My 1,001st Event Will Be My Best

Datto VP of Business Development Rob Rae has been to a lot of technology conferences over the course of his 25-year career. And he's taken his lessons learned about what makes them great and put all that into Datto's upcoming event in Las Vegas.

May 15, 2014

3 Min Read
Tech Conferences: Why My 1,001st Event Will Be My Best

By Datto Guest Blog 2

I’ve attended a lot of events in my 25-year IT career — some great, some not so great. I bet you remember your favorites, and not so favorites.

Here are six criteria for me that help make an event great:

  1. Actionable content

  2. Thought leadership

  3. Peers to connect with

  4. Vendors to learn from

  5. Strong Return on Investment (ROI)

  6. And, I want to have fun

All six factors come into play as I work with the Datto team to put together this year’s 2014 Datto Partner Conference. Here’s a quick peek into what goes into putting together the must-attend Channel event this year.

1. Actionable Content.

The right content is a must for all attendees.  This year we have created both a Sales and Marketing Track and a Technical Track.  We decided to host two unique tracks to address the specific needs of business owners, sales teams, marketing, technicians and engineers.  To make this happen we have retained leading consultants in the respective fields, for example; Robin Robins and Ryan Morris to will provide results driven sales and marketing content.  And Datto’s top product and support leaders, Ian McChord and Victor Mathieu, will address technical issues that will improve the proficiency of technicians and engineers.

2. Thought Leadership

Every conference attendee wants at least one good Keynote that will motivate and inspire.  We have 5! 

  • Austin McChord, Founder and CEO, Datto

  • Paul Sagan, Former CEO, Akamai

  • Jeffrey Ma, Business Strategist and MIT Blackjack Kingpin

  • Robin Robins, President of Technology Marketing Toolkit

  • Datto Executive Team

3. Peers to connect with

I don’t care what business you’re in; peer connections are a valuable part of growing your knowledge and your business.  The Channel is a perfect example.  Datto is a member of multiple peer Channel peer groups, including ASCII and HTG.  In fact, Arlin Sorensen, founder and CEO or HTG Peer Groups, will be speaking at this year’s event about the power of peer groups.  His members see a 43% earnings (EBITDA) growth over two years.  And everyday I speak with Datto Partners who connected with other Datto Partners at our 2013 event and have maintained mutually beneficial relationships.

4. Vendors to Learn From

It’s important to get the most out of your valuable time at a Conference as possible.  This includes learning more from vendors you may know and being introduced to new vendors that can help you manage and grow your business.  The upcoming Datto Partner Conference will have more than 30 IT/Channel vendors onsite, with offerings that range from RMM, security and compliance, channel marketing, spam and virus filtering,

5. ROI

I live for a good ROI.  Every few months my team and I analyze events that we attended and determine the ROI.  If it didn’t provide value or make us money, odds are we won’t go the following year.  You should do the same.  We know that the average Datto Partner who attended the 2013 Conference has grown an average of 77%.  And, when a Datto Partner attends Technical Training they sell 4x more Datto. Now that is great ROI.

6. I Want to Have Fun

OK, it is a Conference, it is in Vegas, and it is Datto.  If you know me at all, you know that I’m planning something fun.  You deserve it after days of learning, connecting, building, and growing your business. 

After all the Conferences I’ve attended over my years in IT and the Channel, I’m guessing the 2014 Datto Partner Conference will be about my 1001st.  And I’m also betting that it will be my best one yet.  The challenge for you, however, is that I’ve given the sales team an allotted number of passes which they’re currently doling out to their Partners—REGISTER NOW so you don’t get shut out.

Rob Rae is VP of Business Development at Datto.

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