… Red Square during our annual First Time Attendee Reception, sponsored by Verizon.
We’ve got two packed keynote blocks and a dozen conference sessions queued up for Wednesday. T.C. and I will emcee the morning keynotes (yes, we have bacon, thanks to meal sponsor AT&T), while Kris and security maven and news editor Ed Gately will be your hosts for lunch, which comes courtesy of Innovative Business Solutions.
Among the speakers we’ll introduce are our Channel Partners 2019 Influencer of the Year Janet Schijns, Forrester’s Jay McBain, Clarify360’s Jo Peterson and AT&T Cybersecurity channel lead Mike LaPeters, who will sit down with Kris for a first look at some exclusive research on whether partners are delivering proactive security.
You’ll find T.C., Lynn and James in our conference track rooms. Because I shaped these sessions, it’s tough to play favorites. But a perennial partner pick is our annual Channel Chief Roundtable, where top execs will weigh in on the best technologies to add to your line card this year. I’m also stopping by a panel on the five best ways to capture customers’ attention featuring Ira Feuerstein, VP of strategic partnerships for our 2019 Conference Sponsor, Nextiva.
Our afternoon block features our new Founders Forum, moderated by our friend Quy “Q” Nguyen, founder and CEO of partner firm Allyance. Where else but #CPExpo can you find Rick Dellar of Intelisys, MicroCorp’s Karin Fields, Ted Schuman of PlanetOne, TBI’s Geoffrey Shepstone and Vince Bradley of WTG together in one room? Nowhere. Make sure you have a Conference & Expo badge if you want in to hear from the five industry pioneers who launched this event 22 years ago as they look back at how far we’ve come as a community and engage in a frank discussion of where the channel overall, and the master agent business model specifically, are headed.
Also of note on Wednesday: Our expo hall opens with 275 exhibitors, almost 90 of them new to our show, covering some 67,186 square feet of space. Bring comfortable shoes. If you want to skip the opening crush, come by our UCaaS Thunderdome, where execs from 8×8, Fuze, Ingram Micro and Mitel will fight it out under the tough questioning of TBI’s Bryan Reynolds and his band of Inquisitors. Inside the hall, our own Coffee with Craig & Kevin podcast team will launch a packed Channel Partners Studio lineup. The snacks and drinks are brought to you by AT&T.
One noteworthy addition to #CPExpo 2019 is our first-ever Excellence in Digital Services & Channel Influencer Networking Awards Reception, aka the Digi Awards, after our Coffee with Craig & Kevin mascot, DigiBot. Bottom line, the CP360 Business Value award program was showing its age. So for 2019 we revamped the way we recognize our most innovative partner attendees. Here’s the 411 on the overall program. The full edit team will be on hand in a transformed keynote room, presenting 12 trophies to top partners and recognizing some of the 2019 Channel Influencers who are joining us at the event, including McAfee channel chief Ken McCray and 2019 Influencer of the Year Janet Schijns. It’ll all be over in 30 minutes, 40 tops, then the DJ kicks in and it’s a party with drinks, food and dancing. The event is open to …