IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ChannelPro SMB Forum Wraps Up 2020 with a Virtual West Coast Swing

ChannelPro’s final of five planned regional events offered a full day of content and networking geared at helping MSPs and IT solution providers continue to thrive in our new normal and prepare for emerging opportunities in the year ahead. By Colleen Frye

The latest ChannelPro SMB Forum event, originally slated to take place in the Los Angeles area on November 5, took place instead as a virtual gathering with specially created content aimed at helping MSPs and IT solution providers continue to navigate the fast-changing business climate and the ongoing impact of COVID-19, as well as prepare for the opportunities in the year ahead.

“2020 has been a year like no other that’s forced our readers to change business strategies and service offerings fast,” said ChannelPro President and Publisher Michael Siggins. “Just as they’ve pivoted in response to new conditions, so too has ChannelPro by creating a state-of-the-art virtual event experience featuring all-new content about navigating these unpredictable times and preparing for the bright future ahead.”

The full-day event included live, interactive sessions delivered by industry experts who provided strategies for running an MSP business now as well as making adjustments as the economy re-opens at different stages throughout the country. In addition, there were panel discussions on the latest technology trends and solutions, and a virtual expo hall where attendees could browse sponsor booths and interact live in videoconference sessions.

The educational sessions included:

Weathering the COVID-19 Storm: A Survival Guide—Expert managed services consultants Rayanne Buchianico and Manuel Palachuk outlined the financial and operational moves channel pros must make to navigate continued uncertainty while maximizing profit.

Peer to Peer: Best Practices for Big Challenges—MSPs and IT business owners Seana Fippin, Charles Henson, Bruce McCully, and Joanna Sobran discussed how they are tackling the challenging issues of keeping sales flowing, hiring and retaining employees, and developing a vertical focus.

Securing Clients, Securing Your Future—Managed security experts Scott Beck, Robert Boles, Angela Hogaboom, Joshua Liberman, and Rory Sanchez took a frank look at best practices for keeping customers safe now and building the security practice SMBs will need when conditions start returning to normal.

Coronavirus and the Cloud—Leading-edge cloud service providers Malik Kahn, Ro Kolakowski, Eric Long, and Chris Ploessel shared insights on keeping clients connected from home today and capitalizing on exploding demand for cloud solutions tomorrow.

“ChannelPro SMB Forum events are known for their insightful, engaging presentations and panel discussions,” said Rich Freeman, ChannelPro executive editor. “Our latest virtual SMB Forum met that same high standard, offering our audience the concrete sales, marketing, technical, and operational advice they need to tackle short-term challenges and capitalize on long-term opportunities.”

Thanks to our Diamond sponsor SolarWinds MSP, Platinum sponsor Dell Technologies/Dell Expert Network, Sapphire sponsor Datto, Premier Gold sponsor The 20, and Gold sponsors ConnectWise, Cytracom, D&H, Ingram Micro, Splashtop, Tech Data Security Solutions, and Webroot.

And thanks to our Silver sponsors ABC Solutions, ASCII Group, audIT, Buffalo Americas, bvoip, Eaton, ErickSimpson.com, Liongard, Manuel Palachuk International, Marketopia, Ooma, SMB Nation, SMB TechFest, SYNNEX, Tech Data Cloud Solutions, and US Signal; and Bronze sponsor Augmentt.

Be sure to join ChannelPro in 2021 for six regional hybrid ChannelPro SMB Forum events. All shows will be presented to an in-person audience and live streamed through our online event platform to people who prefer a virtual experience.

“We can’t wait to get together with our readers again face to face next year, but are excited to continue sharing insights and inspiration with our online audience as well,” Siggins said. “How you attend is up to you, but the return on your time investment is high either way.”

The event concluded with attendees voting to honor vendor sponsors with the following awards:

  • Best in Show - Buffalo Americas
  • Best Cloud Solution – Tech Data Cloud Solutions
  • Best Hardware Solution – Dell Expert Network
  • Best IoT Solutions – D&H Distributing
  • Best New Solution – Splashtop
  • Best Partner Community – Datto
  • Best Revenue Booster –  Datto
  • Best Software Solution – ConnectWise
  • Best Product /Technical Support – Datto
  • Most Innovative Solution – Cytracom
  • Best Add-On Product –  audIT, Webroot, and Eaton (3-way tie)
  • Best (Virtual) On-Stage Presentation – Buffalo Americas and Datto (tie)
  • Best (Virtual) Booth Presentation (Premier Sponsor) – Dell
  • Best (Virtual) Booth Presentation (Silver Sponsor) – Buffalo
  • Best Distributor – Ingram Micro
  • Best Selfie Video – Liongard

The dates for next year’s regional ChannelPro SMB Forum events are:

  • May 6, 2021 Midwest - Chicago, Ill.
  • June 9, 2021 Southwest - Houston, Texas
  • July 8, 2021 Mid-Atlantic - Raleigh, N.C.
  • September 2, 2021 New England - Boston, Mass.
  • October 6, 2021 Southeast - Atlanta, Ga.
  • November 4, 2021 West - Los Angeles, Calif.

ChannelPro also has an upcoming Cloud and Managed Services Online Summit on December 2, 2020. Details are here.

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