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Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


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February 23, 2012 |

SMB Nation to Offer Its First MVP Nation Webcast

The conference, to be held at Microsoft’s Redmond campus on March 2 and 3, features an advanced curriculum with a deep dive on Windows 8, and will also be offered online for the first time.

The conference, to be held at Microsoft’s Redmond campus on March 2 and 3, features an advanced curriculum with a deep dive on Windows 8, and will also be offered online for the first time.

By Michael Siggins with Colleen Frye

Harry Brelsford is the CEO of SMB Nation, a publishing and events company targeted at the small and midsize business channel partner/reseller/consulting/VAR community, based in Bainbridge Island, Wash. He oversees the popular SMB Nation worldwide events including webinars, workshops, and multiday conferences. In this interview with ChannelPro-SMB Publisher Michael Siggins, he previews the upcoming MVP Nation, being held at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, which dovetails with Microsoft’s MVP Summit. Brelsford also announces that MVP Nation will be offered for the first time as a virtual conference as well.

ChannelPro-SMB: Can you give us an overview of the upcoming MVP Nation—what’s exciting, where it’s going to be, and who should be there?

Brelsford: Absolutely. So here’s the deal: Microsoft has the coveted and private MVP Summit in Redmond every late February/early March. There are 5,000 MVPs—they’re award winners in the tech community. There are 5,000 worldwide, with about 2,000 coming to Redmond, and they meet with their product groups. So they meet with SQL Server, Exchange, Azure, etc. What we’ve done for the second year in a row, with Microsoft’s permission and blessing and support, is attached a two-day public event called MVP Nation. And this year, there are a couple of changes.

Listen to the MVP Nation podcast here >>

First, it’s on the Microsoft campus, at the Microsoft Conference Center. We’ve had a lot of people in the SMB Nation tribe ask, ‘When are you coming back to Microsoft?’ And the answer is March 2nd and 3rd, 2012, with MVP Nation. Second, it’s also an advanced curriculum. So [if you] view SMB Nation as, say, the community college or the four-year college system, MVP Nation, by analogy, would be graduate school. So if you feel you’d come to SMB Nation [or] maybe graduated SMB Nation, MVP Nation is your next choice.

Third, and this is really cool, Microsoft is releasing its consumer preview of Windows 8 on February 29th in Barcelona, at the Mobile World Congress. And, 48 hours later, in Redmond, with MVP speakers, we have a two-day deep dive on Windows 8. So this is a single room, a single topic, deep dive on Windows 8. Windows 8 is, needless to say, a game-changer. It’s not your father’s upgrade, and folks should really [take some time to] learn a little bit more about the Windows 8 technology and the code base rewrite, and so on.

Finally, the Windows 8 opportunity over its lifetime is a billion desktops, [but] there are some people who just flat out cannot make it to Microsoft Redmond on March 2nd and 3rd. So today we are announcing a professional, high-def, online virtual conference [of MVP Nation] for $99. The good news is it’s cheaper than the in-person conference—same content, same speakers, real-time, professionally produced. I will warn people, the platform we’re using with our service provider is limited to 500 attendees. So they really should run quick and sign up for a $99 two-day. And that’s my pitch on MVP Nation.

ChannelPro-SMB: Where can people go to register to attend, either in-person or online?

Brelsford: I recommend [attending in person]. The in-person experience is much more than just the catering, and much more than just the content; it’s also the conversations that you have. So I encourage that. That’s $399 at And if, for whatever reason, you’re not able to travel, we’re going to save you a little money, and give you the same content experience, without the catering. And that’s $99 for a professionally produced, real-time webcast of the conference. And again, it’s at

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