The 2021 Channel Partners Conference and Expo is in the rearview mirror. But we’re already looking ahead to 2022.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired. That being said, it’s a good tired! In fact, it’s a great tired. Four days of education and networking at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas are in the books. It’s a channel event that will go down in history considering what we’ve all been through the past two years.
That’s how long it had been since we gathered for the world’s largest independent channel event. And this was no small gathering. Nearly 6,200 participants just about equaled our number from 2019. That’s no small feat considering, although abated somewhat, we’re still in a pandemic. You came with mask in hand — nothing was going to stop much of the channel from going to their first big in-person event in a long time.
It wasn’t just the attendee number that was staggering; we set a record for exhibitors — more than 320 in all. So considering that there were still some hesitant to make the trip to Sin City, this bodes well for another huge event. That’s April 11-14, when we are back in Las Vegas; this time, at the Venetian Convention & Expo Center, always a crowd favorite. With the next big show just five months away, we’ve already opened up registration. And if you want to be on stage at the event, our call for speakers is open as well. Our theme, “The Best Is Yet to Come,” speaks to how the channel is poised for greatness with unprecedented growth opportunities.
A Look Back
But before we look ahead, let’s look back for just a moment. This year’s content was some of the best ever. It started with the MSP Summit Meet-Up on Halloween night ahead of our first-ever MSP Summit, Nov. 1-2. The conference was packed with sessions that we targeted specifically at the managed service provider community. It was a natural evolution, as our fall event – when live – has featured the star-studded MSP 501 gala for a few years now. Look for our photos from that event on this website next week.
CP Expo kicked into high gear Monday night with the traditional First-Time Attendee Reception and the Alliance of Channel Women’s networking and program. By the time Tuesday rolled around, keynoters hit the stage to a packed conference room. We were in full swing. Attendees heard from our Channel Influencer of the Year, Jay McBain; channel stalwart Tiffani Bova of Salesforce; a panel of CIOs, including top tech leaders at MGM Resorts and the Las Vegas Raiders; plus, all three big wireless companies — perhaps most notably our title sponsor, AT&T. We featured no fewer than 20 Nextiva-sponsored conference education sessions across a number of technology- and business-oriented tracks with nuggets you could take home to improve your business.
The week – for the most part – wrapped with our Circle of Excellence dinner (pictures of honorees here, photos from the event to follow); then, many of you headed out to the various vendor parties that evening. That was of course after two amazing days in the expo hall where many suppliers went all out with their booths to inspire prospective partners to sign up with them.
Those who weren’t too tired from the night before got a last-minute chance for meetings on the expo hall floor Thursday morning.
Not only that, we had Vegas-themed entertainment for the first time. LiveVox-sponsored Blue Man Group entertained us with a 90-minute show Monday morning. The Las Vegas Raiderettes performed at the expo hall’s opening reception. And Penn & Teller closed out our keynote sessions with 30 minutes of magic and gags.
To the Future!
While you raise a glass to the people you saw, what you learned and accomplished this week, it’s not too early to start thinking about April. And if you didn’t make it to this show, talk to those who did. We will dial it up again April 11-14, with more great content, networking and business opportunities. Can’t wait to see you there. It’ll be here before we know it.