Things did not look good on the day before the show! The ominous weather announcements called for ice rain mixed with about 20 CM of snow and high winds. Well, it was much worse. About 300,000 people lost electricity in the region including a few intermittent black-outs at the Esterel Resort (where we held our event).
Fully expecting a high level of no-shows, we were pleasantly surprised when most everyone showed up. No storm was going to prevent our delegates from attending! A big thank-you to everyone who braved the storm.
Unlike most conferences where attendees are left to navigate on their own, we meticulously plan every minute of the 20-hour ChannelNEXT’s two-day event. This ensures that every delegate gets the most value. Besides the few breaks and overnight to rest, every delegate was busy building their business, exchanging ideas, networking and having fun experiences. At ChannelNEXT, everyone is a VIP and participates in every activity.
Here is a detailed play by play of ChannelNEXT. I included lots of pictures in case you don’t like to read :o).
The show kicked off with my keynote on the top 10 secrets of the most successful channel partners. I am constantly interviewing the owners of these companies to find out what makes them so successful.
Many told me that the top 10 list resonated and several identified with some items that they could quickly improve. Most found it interesting to see how the top 10 were ranked in the minds of these successful channel partners. Maybe it will help to better prioritize their actions.
Glynis Devine took to the stage to deliver awesome insights on the four types of leadership personas. She drilled down to how you need to communicate with each in order to get the best results. She devided the personalities into four different colours. We also got the opportunity to self-identify our persona through a real-time poll. It showed that 47% of the attendees identified as a “Red” persona. To learn more what this all means, you can contact Glynis directly at http://www.glynisedevine.com.
If you have never experienced this sort of persona exercise before, it is well worth the effort. More importantly, you need to know the personas of the people you communicate with to ensure you adjust your style to get your message across. This is also very helpful for your internal staff to improve communications and ease tensions. It is amazing how mastering this skill can impact every level in your career and life!
Sara Gilbert was up next as she broke down the 3 fundamental principles for successful business growth. As she methodically went through the 3 principles and related it to real-world results, it became clear that this is a very effective way to approach business development. EChannelNEWS Interview with Sara.
Leveraging her work with so many companies, she was able to demonstrate that it was mission critical for every business owner to follow this playbook. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the daily workload that we are blind to see the inefficiencies, stress and failures that are caused by doing things the wrong way.
If you would like to stress test your company to ensure you are on the right path, have a conversation with Sara or download her free e-book “Time Management Secrets for Busy Entrepreneurs” (Very fitting as we all know just how busy channel partners can get). You can also take the free best business practice assessment test to benchmark your business strengths.
Delegates could have simply enjoyed the amazing lunch after this morning session and gone home with more than enough value to justify their time. But, this was just a warm up!
Next was the first of two mastermind sessions that the attendees did in a peer-group of eight. They discussed their pain points on the topic of their choice and uncovered what was causing the problem. As the coach carefully guided the group through brainstorming and suggested ways in which these problems can be solved, it became clear that well-managed collaboration amongst business peers do solve real world problems faster and better than any other method.
When like-minded people with similar challenges get to work together, magic happens. This “mastermind” peer-group collaborative concept is the foundation of the new ChannelNEXT19 conferences and the on-ramp to the full program called Elite 300 Mastermind.
This 90-minute session flew by fast while vendors also did a special mastermind session to discuss empowering their channel partners and leveraging news media to spread their messages faster and louder.
Here are the four mastermind topics we covered:
4. HR – Employees (hiring and retaining)
Randal Wark (who was once an MSP and claims to be the “Yoda of IT Companies”) talked about putting value on time. He compared your time versus value from doing activities IN your business as compared to exponentially higher value that you get from working ON your business.
For example, administrative tasks are low value as they are mostly an expense, whereas management and strategic business development can deliver much bigger ROI. I would encourage you to have a conversation with Randal about your entire business as he is also running our Elite 300 Mastermind academy. He can hook you up with a peer-group to do some extreme business building. Ask him how you can get the support for free by simply becoming a member of the Channel Partner Alliance!
Rob Rae from Datto, one of the top channel business development experts in the industry, delivered some high-value educational content to help MSPs. He talked about how the managed services market is exploding by $billions for MSPs and how they can get a bigger piece of the pie.
With the merger of Autotask, Datto and their integrated RMM solution, the company is able to generate a ton of business intelligence data to help MSPs benchmark their practices. He also offered several white-labeled tools that any MSP can use to present and sell managed services. You can reach out to Datto to access these tools for free! Datto also won for Best Lions’ Den Pitch, Best Workshop and Best In Show.
This is a great example of what we would like vendors to do at ChannelNEXT. Start with helping first and let the selling happen naturally. It is really important for vendors to deliver more smart business education instead of just sales pitches!
Flipping vendor sales pitches into an informative and fun experience is what the Lions’ Den is all about. Each vendor took to the stage for three minutes to pitch the message. The audience voted for their favorite vendor pitch. This event’s winner (Datto) got bragging rights and some cash to give away. The audience was able to quickly digest the essence of each vendor in an entertaining way. Our contributing eChannelNews Editor Paolo Del Nibletto hosted the activity and did a quick interview with each in front of the audience.
The doors opened and it was immediately off to Speed Introductions where everyone was greeted with an open bar and some munchies. On cue, delegates moved from vendor to vendor every three minutes. The conversations and networking was intense but enjoyable. The backdrop was a huge window view of the lake and a heavy winter storm. This session wrapped up with loads of prize giveaways.
After a small break to freshen-up, we all gathered in the main dining room for the resort’s famous “hot-stone” gourmet food experience with a choice of steak or tuna. If you have never experienced this, then I recommend that you should, as it may just be one of your best meals. Great conversations and all sorts of foodie picture-taking happened over long-table seating to ensure everyone takes part in the group experience.
We topped off the evening with three hospitality suites, each with an open bar. The magician in the Asigra suite was amazing as he baffled everyone with his mind tricks. The Channel Partner Alliance suite featured karaoke where everyone got a chance to sing like a rock star. The Purplesoft and ECO suite was about relaxing with some cool music and lots of drinks. Attendees bounced around all three hospitality suites as everyone continued to network, build friendships, just having a good time.
Day one was long but jam-packed with good stuff to feed the mind and soul! After a good night’s sleep, attendees started the day with one of the best breakfast brunches anywhere with something for everyone’s taste. The calorie-boosted maple crepes were amazing!
The first activity of day two was another 90-minute mastermind session on the second topic of choice. After a break, it was time for 8 optional workshops plus two in French. Delegates picked the workshops based on their interest.
Finally, it was time for yet another amazing lunch in the Expo lounge as vendors showcased their solutions in their booths. We wrapped this up with lots of prize giveaways and some of the traditional channel awards for best in show. Delegates were invited to participate in a third mastermind session if they wished. Through the two days, our news media division conducted lots of interviews for eChannelNEWS.
Three cool awards were handed out as voted exclusively by the delegates!
- Best in Show Datto
- Best Vendor Workshop: Datto
- Best Mastermind Session: Randal Wark
Of course, without vendors participation, the cost to attend would be unaffordable to the channel partners so we would like to thank all of our sponsors again for their support!
Here are some vendor highlights:
Asigra: Special functionality to prevent malware from infecting your back-up files and offering a different business model for backup disaster and recovery that builds more business value for your company. Check out a recent eChannelNEWS interview I did with Eran Farajun of Asigra.
Barrier1: A comprehensive layer of artificial intelligence to detect cyber intrusions and block them. A service that allows you to monitor attacks 24/7 that are getting through and generate reports of all breaches to the end-user. Check out interview with Barrier1.
Channel Partner Alliance: An organization dedicated to helping channel partners to improve their best business practices and leveraging MDF funds from suppliers to subsidize their costs. Plus, provide a lot more benefits to help them streamline procurement from all distributors and reduce a variety of business expenses. Membership is free for channel partners!
Datto: One of the leading BDR companies with a wide range of complementary solutions such as PSA, RMM and Networking. Ask Datto about some of the tools that they offer resellers to present the value proposition to your end-customers and some research data that the have on bench-marking your practices. Check out interview with Datto.
ECO Products: The leading Canadian re-manufacturer of printer supplies for every major brand as well as printer parts. They launched the most profitable Managed Print Service program for MSPs and VARs.
eMailPlatform: The through-channel marketing automation platform that will help any channel partner to market like a pro without the heavy lifting. Same platform allows vendors to feed their content so their partners can share with their customers.
ITCloud.ca: A Canadian Cloud distributor offering the full suite of Microsoft products as well as IT security and back-up solutions. They offer 100% outsourcing and support. Check out interview with ITCloud.ca
Purplesoft ERP: The most comprehensive and affordable ERP solution for channel partners and their SMB customers. This platform comes with everything needed including customization. Everything is offered on a monthly SaaS billing. Check out interview with Purplesoft ERP.
QNAP: The leading NAS storage solutions backed up by their recent Reseller Choice Award. They also offer surveillance solutions and a wide variety of data storage solution for all sizes of businesses. When storage and performance matters, QNAP is the choice. Check out eChannelNEWS interview with QNAP.
Sherweb: The leading Cloud Distributor in North America offering everything Microsoft. Plus a comprehensive VOIP solution with full support. Checkout their comprehensive marketing support to help their partners grow. Check out interview with Sherweb.
Viewsonic: The best in display technology and devices for a virtualized World. Won Reseller Choice Awards for 9 consecutive years!When it comes to display technology, they do it all! Also our 2019 sponsor for projectors that worked perfectly! Check out eChannelNEWS interview with Viewsonic.
If you missed this event then the check out ChannelNEXT is on June 10th & 11th in Ontario. Learn more or register!