IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Channel Partners Conference and Expo Kicks Off

More than 6,000 agents, MSPs, VARs, consultants, integrators, service providers gather for three days of education and networking in Las Vegas. By Joel Zaidspiner

The Channel Partners Conference and Expo is taking place this week at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas. The event, running April 9 to 12, brings together more than 6,000 agents, MSPs, VARs, consultants, integrators, and service providers for educational sessions and networking aimed at driving business forward.

Educational tracks this year include business strategy, marketing and technology, revenue and supplier portfolio, and “fastball” vendor presentations. The three-day expo hall features 275-plus leading suppliers, along with the Channel Partners Studio, MSP Pavilion, Cloud Pavilion, and more.

Today, after opening remarks, Art Wittmann, SVP, content, at Informa’s U.S. technology brands, delivered a keynote focusing on updates in the channel.

Art Wittmann

Other keynote programming on Wednesday includes: Janet Schijns, CEO of JS Group and a former C-suite Fortune 500 executive, on “Can You Double Your Business In 2019?”; Sara Straley, AVP – sales and marketing, AT&T Partner Exchange, on “3 Technology Trends Shaping the Channel”; Jo Peterson, vice president of cloud services for Clarify360, on “3 Cutting-Edge Techs That Bleed Green”; Jay McBain, principal analyst, global channels, Forrester, on “70 Percent of Your Peers Want Out. Why?”; Kris Blackmon, content director at Channel Futures, on “Beyond Fire Drills: Why MSPs Must Embrace Proactive Security”; and Nick Heddy, chief revenue officer, Pax8, and Jed Kenzy, managing partner, Innovative Business Solutions, on “Small Customers and BIG Profits. Build a better bundle with Microsoft CSP.”

The business strategy track on Wednesday covers topics such as preparing for an M&A, keeping rising stars, ousting a competitor, and cybersecurity. Marketing track topics include reaching the hidden IT buyer, capturing the customer’s attention, and customer loyalty. Revenue and supplier portfolio track sessions include IoT in a box and hyperscale public clouds.

The afternoon also features a panel discussion on UcaaS, led by leading suppliers.

At the day’s conclusion, there is a reception honoring Digi Award recipients and 2019 Channel Influencers.

Educational sessions and keynote programming continue on Thursday, with a Millennial Meetup at the end of the day for attendees 35 and under, as well as the Circle of Excellence Awards Dinner (invite only) recognizing IT and telecom channel leaders who are helping their partners create business value for customers.

The event concludes with a half-day expo and MSP Pavilion on Friday.

Opening image: Drew Lydecker, president and co-founder of AVANT

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