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Channel Partners Virtual a Huge Success, Thanks to You

Sports metaphors are some of the easiest phrases to coin. I have no shame in admitting that my creativity here is lacking. But in this case, it seems appropriate: Channel Partners Virtual was a home run. It was a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.

CP Virtual Banner Pre-Show2020 has been a wild ride for all of us. At Channel Partners, it meant postponing the biggest event in the channel – the Channel Partners Conference & Expo – just days before it was set to begin. Then, we rescheduled it for Las Vegas in September, hopeful that we could all meet in person. Of course, it didn’t take long to realize that virtual would be the only option in this crazy year. Our team often says we had to plan for this show three times! But in the end, it was all worth it.

Nearly 3,400 people registered for Channel Partners Virtual; that number exceeds what we would expect for a typical, live Channel Partners Evolution event in the fall. What might be even more encouraging is this: More than one-half of those were people who didn’t originally register for our live event scheduled for March. We also saw a spike in the percentage of those attendees who are partners. Moreover, we were pleased to see an incredibly diverse number of different partner types. More than two in five (43%) identified themselves as managed service providers, while more than one in four (27%) self ID’d as agents. Another 11% were VARs, while consultants, systems integrators, MSSPs, cloud brokers and digital service providers made up the rest.

That diverse group is probably why our Tuesday morning panel on IT-telco channel convergence was so popular among attendees. We lined up two industry insiders on each side of the debate over whether the two sides truly are coming together. A poll taken after the debate revealed that about 60% of you sided with the “yeas.” Be sure to read James Anderson’s recap of the session. One of three debate topics we offered up over the course of the show, you can bet more are on the horizon for future Channel Partners events, potentially starting with Channel Evolution Europe, which is just two-and-a-half short months away.

Channel Partners Virtual: Don’t Take Our Word for It

Longtime friend of Channel Partners, Nancy Ridge, president and founder of Ridge Innovative, echoed a lot of the sentiments I heard throughout the channel event.

Ridge Innovative's Nancy Ridge

Ridge Innovative’s Nancy Ridge

“The experience from a user perspective was excellent — which is as close to perfect as we get this side of heaven,” she said. “As usual, I wasn’t able to attend all the sessions I wanted, but unlike the past, I can now go back and listen to what I missed, a definite benefit to our new way of doing the show.”

Indeed, that is an incredible benefit. We’re all so busy running around the show, it’s hard to take it all in. This time, simply by registering, you have access to all of our great content on demand.

Nancy and others were complimentary of the focus on diversity at Channel Partners Virtual. The highlight was a panel featuring international speaker Risha Grant, breaking down research from CompTIA and hearing firsthand experiences from people of color in the channel.

I could go on and on here about the great content, from keynotes by Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova and CompTIA’s Todd Thibodeaux, to a ransomware deep dive by McAfee’s Raj Samani. But I’d like to give some special attention to our MSP 501 Awards. MSPs turned out in force (see stats above) to see who took home special honors among their peers. The ceremony at last year’s Channel Partners Evolution in Washington, D.C., was a highlight of that event. We knew we couldn’t recreate that atmosphere, but we came as close as we could — and it worked. Twelve percent of our partner attendees represented countries other than the U.S.; in fact, we had participants from a whopping 33 nations! MSPs on our MSP 501 list were a big part of that.

Eyes on Europe

With a more-successful-than-we-could-have-ever-imagined Channel Partners Virtual behind us, it’s time to look forward. We will feature innovation, education and transformation at Channel Evolution Europe Virtual: Insight 2020, Dec. 1-2. Stay tuned for information on registration information and the next round of amazing content we have lined up. Can’t wait to “see” you virtually again to build on the accomplishments from Channel Partners Virtual. Remember, they aren’t just our accomplishments; they are yours. You made this happen. Thank you, channel community!


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