Ascii's Chicago event came to a close Thursday, bringing two days of partner training and informational sessions to a close.
Pre-day sessions focused on panel discussions, round-tables, and short sessions on topics like cloud services and business models. Afterwards, partners gathered at a late evening welcome reception full of mingling, socializing, and networking aided by food and an open bar.
The main event kicked off with a full breakfast, peer exchange, and presentations on the Ascii community itself. Content topics covered a wide bredth of topics, though managed services were (of course) a focus, but touched on things like successful sales tactics and service as the next generation of IT. However, the session on selling to the unconcious mind was definitely a crowd favorite, as few had ever seen a live map of one's brain activity when watching a Passat commercial with Darth Vader. Most sessions lasted around a half-hour, and generally zipped by keeping the pace of event upbeat and interesting.
Vendors were on their game as well, offering up valuable insight to partners looking to expand their knowledge of available solutions. Intel McAfee and AVG brought security insights for SMB customers, HP talked about the next wave of hardware innovation, and LogMeIn had the crowd mesmerized by their slick AppGuru solution. Other presenters included StorageCraft, Datto, GFI Max, and Jet Stream.
The event concluded with giveaways being showered on lucky attendees, as well as vendor awards for a variety of product and service categories. Best in Show went to GFI Max, while HP, LogMeIn, and Datto took home two awards each. To be fair, LogMeIn's Ted Roller had to share the spotlight with StorageCraft for Best Software Solution, but got it all to himself as Best Cloud Solution. He's still a happy guy though!
The full winners list is below.
- Best Software Solution: TIE - LogMeIn, StorageCraft
- Best Hardware Solution: HP
- Best New Product: Jet Stream
- Best Cloud Solution: LogMeIn
- Best Revenue Generator: GFI Max
- Best Channel Incentives: StorageCraft
- Best Channel Program: HP
- Best Partner Commitment: Datto
- Best Customer Support: AVG
- Best Distribution Sales Support: Pax8
- Special Recognition: Datto
- Best Pre-Day Workshop: Intellisys
- Best in Show: GFI Max
Don't forget to check out some photos from the event in the gallery below.