IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

The 2017 ChannelPro SMB Forum Breezes into the Windy City

The second of four “Fast Lane to Success Tour” live events convened a full house of channel resellers, integrators, consultants, and MSPs in the Chicago area to deliver business growth strategies in key segments.

By Colleen Frye

ChannelPro-SMB, the premier source of IT and business insights for SMB solution providers, gathered channel experts, top vendors, and IT solution providers on May 1 and 2 in the Chicago metro area to discuss business strategies that can be implemented immediately to get channel partners on the quickest road to business success. It is ChannelPro-SMB’s second of four events in this calendar year.

With a 2017 theme of “Fast Lane to Success Tour,” these live events deliver the financial, sales, marketing, and operational insights to succeed in today’s fast-paced, competitive business environment.

See our full gallery of photos here.

Audience at ChannelPro SMB Forum in ChicagoThe full-day event for channel resellers, integrators, consultants, and cloud and managed service providers offered interactive, in-depth conversations with some of the industry’s top 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.

The event got underway on Monday, May 1, with a half-day workshop by SolarWinds MSP on key industry trends and highlights of the company’s on-premises and cloud-based solutions, followed by a welcome cocktail reception for vendors, speakers, and attendees.

On Tuesday, May 2, event sessions presented by well-known channel experts included:

  • Profiting from Channel Convergence, on the convergence of the IT, telco, and print channels and how it can help attendees grow their businesses.
  • Valuation-Boosting Business Management Secrets, in which experienced M&A consultants explained how businesses are valuated and the steps to take now to maximize your selling price when you’re ready to cash out.
  • Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know about Customers … but Were Afraid to Ask, which delved into what clients really think of their IT providers’ advice and sales presentation skills and what can be done to gain more of their trust—and business.
  • Specializing in Security, an exploration of the risks and rewards of creating a specialized security practice and tips on the technologies to employ.
  • And a unique hardware-oriented game show that enabled attendees to showcase their knowledge of the current and near-future hardware market.

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

The 20, the event’s Premier Gold sponsor, presented the morning keynote. Gold sponsors for the event were AVG Business by Avast, Clover Imaging Group, Cytracom LLC, Data Deposit Box Inc., Datto Inc., Eaton Corp., Ingram Micro Inc., SolarWinds MSP, SYNNEX Corp., and Webroot Inc.

Silver sponsors included Autotask Corp., Axis Communications, Buffalo Americas Inc., Carvir InfoSec, Choice CyberSecurity, CompTIA Inc., eDist Business Wholesale Distributor, Egenera Inc., ELO Digital Office Corp., Manuel Palachuk International, Marketopia, The Neat Co., Ninja MSP, PC Matic Pro, RapidFire Tools, Secure Infrastructure & Services, SellMyMSP, SherWeb, Small Biz Thoughts, SMB Nation, SMB TechFest, SPC International Online Inc., Steadfast, Tech Data Corp., Vertical Axion, and VIPRE.

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

  • Best Selfie Video: ELO Digital Office Corp.
  • Best Solution Presentation, Gold: Data Deposit Box Inc. & The 20
  • Best Solution Presentation, Silver: Axis Communications
  • Best On-Stage Presentation, Gold: The 20
  • Best Add-on Product: Datto Inc.
  • Best New Solution: Carvir InfoSec
  • Best Revenue Booster: Rapidfire Tools
  • Best Software Solution: Autotask Corp. & SolarWinds MSP
  • Best Hardware Solution: Datto Inc. & Eaton Corp.
  • Most Innovative Solution: The 20
  • Best Cloud Solution: SolarWinds MSP
  • Best Partner Community: SYNNEX Corp.
  • Best Distributor: SYNNEX Corp.
  • Best in Show: The 20

Some Sponsor Award winners are pictured in gallery below.

The next ChannelPro SMB Forum event is heading west to Long Beach, Calif., on September 13, 2017. To ensure that everyone at the ChannelPro SMB Forums can freely participate in the conversation, seating at each event has been limited. Interested parties should register immediately at

“Attendees from across the channel ecosystem have a unique opportunity at our forum events to learn the business-building secrets of successful MSPs and VARs who have paved the way for their success,” said Michael Siggins, vice president and publisher of ChannelPro-SMB. “They also can learn about innovative solutions from SMB-focused vendors in the two-hour showcase to help meet the growing IT needs of their clients and prospects.”

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

Photography by Vic Melecio 


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