Speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and partner attendees are descending on Philadelphia Monday ahead of Channel Partners’ annual fall trade show, Channel Partners Evolution.
The event, whose theme is “Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Profit,” starts Tuesday with a full slate of preconference activities, including the second annual Evolution Golf Invitational. New to precon day is the Business Innovation Hackathon, sponsored by Office Depot and iMarket2. It brings together entrepreneurs, technologists, marketing and sales experts, HR specialists and other facilitators from the channel community for a series of workshops designed to help partners transform their businesses.
Also new on preconference day is the colocated Avant Special Forces training. The master agent and technology distributor will give its partners a crash course in selling today’s hottest IT solutions, including SD-WAN, UCaaS, IaaS and colocation.
Tuesday concludes with the traditional Alliance of Channel Women networking event and the First-Time Attendee Reception, sponsored by Verizon.
Wednesday starts strong with the day-long, colocated Datto Cyber Security Summit, in which the backup and disaster-recovery provider will help to guide partners through the constantly shifting security landscape. Two days of powerful keynotes also kick off Wednesday, highlighted by Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova, who returns to the Evolution keynote stage for the first time in a while. She will explain the basis for a “growth IQ,” putting a spotlight on best practices that can make or break a business. Channel Partners Evolution’s title sponsor, AT&T, will be represented on stage by Robert Boyanovsky, vice president of enterprise mobility, who will discuss the exciting opportunity presented by coming 5G technology.
Other keynote presentations over the course of the event include “Winning the Next-Gen Customer,” “Healthy Paranoia: How Successful MSPs Hire,” “Gross Margin: Why It Matters and How to Maximize It,” and the “2018 Evolution Masters & Distributors Panel.”
The conference education sessions will feature three tracks – business strategy, marketing and technology, and revenue and supplier portfolio – sponsored by Cyxtera. Topics run the gamut, from good public-relations practices and cloud compensation, to security, SD-WAN and building a talent pipeline.
Another pair of new “attractions” are expected to draw attendees in droves. One is the Channel Futures Theater in the expo hall. That stage will host a series of “Thunderdome” sessions where rival vendor representatives will go head-to-head and explain to the audience why they think their solution is the best. Topics include unified communications as a service (UCaaS); remote monitoring and management tools; and software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN).
The other big addition to this year’s show is the MSP 501 Awards Dinner, presented by Channel Futures. A large contingent of the top managed service providers from around the world will step up and accept their awards Wednesday on what should be an epic night.
Overall, Channel Partners Evolution will feature more than 100 speakers, 150 exhibitors and 3,000 supplier and partner attendees. It concludes on Friday.