IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Baltimore Welcomes ChannelPro's SMB Forum

With a 2018 theme of “Roadmap to Profits Tour,” the second of four events this year featured presentations from industry experts and some of the top SMB resellers and managed service providers in the country. By Colleen Frye

It was a full house at the ChannelPro SMB Forum in Baltimore, where channel experts, top vendors, and IT solution providers gathered on May 7 and 8 to discuss business strategies that channel pros can implement immediately to get on the road to higher profits. It is the second of four events this calendar year presented by ChannelPro-SMB, the premier source of IT and business insights for SMB solution providers.

With a 2018 theme of “Roadmap to Profits Tour,” these live events deliver the service, sales, marketing, and operational insights to succeed in today’s fast-paced, competitive business environment.

The full-day program for channel resellers, integrators, consultants, and cloud and managed service providers offered interactive, in-depth conversations with channel pros and industry experts who have pioneered growth-oriented and highly profitable businesses. A showcase of SMB vendor solutions provided additional learning opportunities and enabled channel pros to get one-on-one advice on employing new technologies and services to better serve their clients and their own businesses.

New this year are two pre-day Business Builder Workshops: Managed services expert Karl Palachuk’s SMB Roadshow Workshop - The Killer Combo: Cloud Services and Managed Services; and Marketopia’s 4u2Grow Roadshow Workshop, presented by Marketopia CEO Terry Hedden.

“We’re always looking for new ways to help our readers be even more successful," says Michael Siggins, ChannelPro publisher and vice president. "Our Business Builder Workshops offer them an opportunity to get in-depth guidance on profitable new services and effective sales and marketing techniques from two of the industry’s top experts on those topics.”

In the evening, there was a welcome cocktail reception for vendors, speakers, and attendees.

On Tuesday, May 8, event sessions presented by well-known channel experts included:

  • Peer to Peer: Moving Up the Value Stack, in which a panel of experienced channel pros offered advice on moving from IT basics to specialized offerings to pull in real money
  • MSP Talk: Operational Efficiency Pro Tips, in which managed services consultants Karl and Manuel Palachuk provided battle-tested advice on selecting tools, hiring techs, managing tickets, and more
  • Secrets to Pricing Success, in which SPC International's Erick Simpson offered an interactive workshop to take the mystery out of price setting
  • Tech Trends TV Game Show, in which ChannelPro Technical Editor Matt Whitlock guided attendees through the latest hardware trends and profit opportunities, game show style
  • Building a Lead-Generation Process, in which Marketopia's Terry Hedden led a learn-by-doing workshop on creating a process that consistently produces fresh sales prospects
  • ChannelPro Quick Hits Bonus Sessions, in which channel pros covered security tips and tricks, getting started with the Internet of Things, and revenue-boosting security services add-ons

“Our SMB Forum events focus on the issues channel pros care about, which is why we included hands-on workshops this year about setting optimal prices and generating sales leads, along with sessions on operational efficiency, cybersecurity, the Internet of Things, and more,” says Rich Freeman, ChannelPro's executive editor.

At the sponsor showcase, attendees discussed the latest solutions for their SMB clients with leading vendors, as well as networked with their peers.

Platinum sponsor The 20 delivered the morning keynote. Gold sponsor presentations were given by Avast Business, CARVIR, Cytracom LLC, Datto Inc., Eaton Corp., Ingram Micro Inc., Secure Now!, SherWeb, SYNNEX Corp., Tech Data Corp., and Webroot Inc.

Silver sponsors for the Dallas event included The ASCII Group Inc., ASI Corp., AXIS Communications, Buffalo Americas Inc., Choice CyberSecurity, Collabrance LLC, CompTIA Inc., eFolder, Epson America Inc., Manual Palachuk International, Marketopia, Mindmatrix, Ninja MSP, RapidFire Tools Inc., Scale Computing, Small Biz Thoughts, SMB TechFest, SOCSoter, SolarWinds MSP, and SPC International Online Inc.

The event concluded with attendees honoring vendor sponsors with the following awards:

  • Best in Show - The 20
  • Best Hardware Solution - Buffalo and Eaton (tie)
  • Best Software Solution - Webroot
  • Best New Solution - Secure Now!
  • Best Solution Presentation (Gold/Platinum) - SYNNEX and Datto (tie)
  • Best Solution Presentation (Silver) - RapidFire Tools and Epson (tie)
  • Best Add-On Product - Eaton
  • Best Distributor - SYNNEX
  • Best Cloud Solution - SherWeb
  • Most Innovative Solution - CARVIR
  • Best Revenue Booster - CARVIR and Datto (tie)
  • Best Silver Selfie Video - Collabrance
  • Best On-Stage Presentation - The 20
  • Best Partner Community - SYNNEX

Next up on the Roadmap to Profits Tour is Boston on September 5 and 6.

Interested parties should register immediately here.

Interested sponsors should contact Joel Zaidspiner at 561-422-5119 or Lisa Sherman at 917-388-9531. More sponsorship info can be found here.

About the Author

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

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