Channel Partners

SPR 2016

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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COLUMN T you come away from Vegas energized to drive your business to new levels. I've been in this job for about a year now, and I can tell you I'm constantly impressed with our event team's experience and attention to detail. From who's speaking when to booth placement to defining deliverables to figuring out what's for lunch — we have a rock star team that makes the show great and strikes a perfect balance of activities. Because our execution team is so good, it gives those of us new to the process a chance to step back and think about fresh concepts to bring to the show. With our sales VP, editor-in-chief and me all being on the job for a year or less, we have a lot of ideas. In some cases, our suggestion are met with a smile and patient explanation that, "No, we can't have a light saber duel contest on the show floor, because light sabers don't actually exist." But in more than a few cases, the team has worked to massage our ideas into realities that we think will really delight attendees. Here are some of the new features you'll find at the show. On Tuesday, we'll have a gala first timers' recep- tion where attendees new to the event can meet some longtime friends of Channel Partners who submitted stellar CP 360° awards entries. AT&T sponsors the event and will also be on hand with some cool opportunities to discuss with first- time attendees. When you enter the registration and education areas, you'll notice two new VIP lounges. These spaces offer select attendees a place to charge up, check email and voice mail while grabbing a soft drink and quick snack. Want access? Grab a full conference pass and you're in. When you get that conference pass, you'll find you have access to 50 percent more education sessions than we ran last year. We're covering cloud, mobility, IoT, business practices, secu- rity and more — and increasingly, you'll hear successful partners explain just how they've been building their businesses. More on that in a bit. Once you're on the show floor, you'll notice that many of our regular sponsors are upping the ante on their booth presence, while we have some notable new exhibitors, including Microsoft. There's a lot going on in the channel, and many of our biggest exhibitors are making a huge effort to tell their stories in new and interesting ways. On our show floor stage, much of the program- ming will be in the form of panel discussions with partners who've excelled with certain disciplines. You'll also see some announcements made from that stage on brand-new programs. A quick scan of the floor will find our Cloud Migration Lab, a new immersive environment intended to demystify the process of moving customer data to the cloud. When we talk to part- ners who aren't selling cloud solutions even though RETHINKING Channel Partners From the Show Floor Up BY ART WITTMANN The buildup to Channel Partners Las Vegas is a busy time. As you can imagine, throwing a content- packed three-day event for a few thousand of your best business partners takes a lot of work. We set out each year to balance learning, networking and celebration so that 28 CHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE SPRING 2016

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