IT Nation Connect 2020 recap
We spend all year waiting for the three most exciting days in the channel, and each year they go by too fast! With over 5,000 attendees, this was our biggest IT Nation Connect ever! We enjoyed almost 175 live and on-demand sessions, 61 exhibitors, including four ConnectWise booths, focus groups, networking opportunities, and more. Here’s a quick recap if you missed it.
IT Nation Connect keynote
In the welcome keynote, we heard from ConnectWise and IT Nation leadership on product innovations and improved partner experience initiatives. Craig Fulton, Chief Customer Officer, ConnectWise, walked us through the challenges we all faced in 2020 and the great opportunities we have ahead of us. He also sat down with ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee to get some partner questions answered - and it did not disappoint - watch the entire keynote. Jason announced the ConnectWise acquisition of Perch Security and StratoZen, allowing ConnectWise to once again remove the Silos of Chaos for Technology Solutions Providers (TSPs) and align with the ConnectWise mission of "Powering Your Vision of Success."
Jeff Bishop, Chief Product Officer, ConnectWise, walked us all through the latest product innovations within the three pillars of the ConnectWise Fusion™ platform: Business Management, Unified Management, and Security Management. He also gave us a glimpse into the ConnectWise Fusion platform's future and the benefits we have to look forward to in this new era of platform product development. Brian Downey, VP Cybersecurity Products, ConnectWise showed us all how ConnectWise is breaking TSPs out of the security Silos of Chaos with their new, innovative cybersecurity solutions. With the addition of Perch Security and StratoZen, the ConnectWise Fusion platform has evolved into the market's only intelligent, security-centric platform that is purpose-built for TSPs. You can learn more about the future of the ConnectWise cybersecurity offerings by attending the ConnectWise, Perch Security, and StratoZen: The Only Cybersecurity Platform Purpose-built for TSPs webinar on November 19, 2020 at 11:00am ET.
Geoffrey Willison, Chief Operating Officer, ConnectWise, and Corie Leaman, Director of Events, IT Nation, walked us through the dedication ConnectWise and The IT Nation have for the partner experience. Geoffrey shared the initiatives and renewed focus that ConnectWise has implemented in 2020 and a few new initiatives around improving the post-sales partner experience across all partner touchpoints. Corie sat down with a few influential partners: Sitima Fowler, Co-Founder, Partner and VP of Marketing, Iconic IT, Corey Kirkendoll, President and CEO, 5K Technical Services, and Reese Ormand, Founder and CEO, Techvera to discuss the impact of 2020 on all TSPs, the opportunities they saw arise from the challenging year and how The IT Nation has helped them and their businesses stay on track throughout it all. Corie also announced an exciting new membership plan for The IT Nation coming in 2021. To get a glimpse of the resources you can expect, visit TheITNation.com/Membership.
Aileen Allkins led us through our first guest keynote on Wednesday morning. Aileen was most recently the Corporate Vice President of Global Customer Service and Support (CSS) at Microsoft and has spent over 30 years transforming the customer experience for some of the world’s best-known technology companies. She spoke to us about the correlation between highly engaged employees and customer satisfaction. Encouraging us to start with top leadership, companies must integrate these values through the entire organization.
Kim Scott, author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing Your Humanity, spoke to us Thursday afternoon. She shared that radical candor is the ability to give feedback in a way that challenges people but also shows that you care about them personally. Kim equipped us with concepts, vocabulary, and tactics to put into practice immediately in our businesses.
Gino Wickman workshop
Thursday morning, Pioneer pass attendees tuned into the Gino Wickman workshop. Gino is the creator of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) and is the best-selling author of the award-winning book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business. In this three-hour interactive workshop, Gino took us through how to apply his six keys to leadership success to your businesses: vision, people, data, issues, process, and traction. We left this workshop with actionable plans to take our organizations to the next level and improve profitability and operational efficiency.
With 175 live and on-demand breakout sessions and nearly 100 speakers, there was always learning to be had at IT Nation Connect. We welcomed thirteen ConnectWise partners as speakers to share their real-life experiences with us. Nate Austin and Stephanie Kingslien, from Mytech Partners, provided us a high-level roadmap on MSP lead generation during their “Lead Generation & Closing New Business: A Case Study” session. We also heard from several speakers on mental wellbeing. A favorite was from Don Crawley, author of The Compassionate Geek® series of books. Don shared with us how to respond to stress while on the job and in life. All of our breakout sessions are available to Pioneer and Navigator passholders for the next 90 days on our virtual platform.
While we wished we could’ve hugged, shook hands, cheered, and high-fived each other, there was no shortage of networking at IT Nation Connect virtual this year. Our focus groups helped us understand the day-to-day challenges you experience running your business. Our chat channels gave you a direct line to ConnectWise leadership to provide feedback, ask questions, and more. With over 1000 one-on-one meetings booked, we were so excited to see our attendees engaging with each other, our colleagues, and our exhibitors!
The highlight of the event was on Thursday evening, when Don Felder, former Eagle and Rock’n’roll Hall of Famer, performed an exclusive concert for us. He also answered fan questions and gave us a few surprises along the way!
With 61 exhibitors, including four ConnectWise booths, our virtual Solutions Pavilion was packed with knowledge, tips and tricks, and more. Our exhibitors showcased their products and solutions, gave away prizes, provided demos, and answered questions. The highlight of the exhibitor giveaway was ConnectBooster, who gave away a Telsa to Paul Peterson of FLEXTECHS in Boise, Idaho. It was great to virtually see exhibitor friends, old and new, as we learned about how they can support us in our journey to success in 2021 and beyond.
As always, it is you, The IT Nation, that makes IT Nation Connect the best three days in the channel all year. We definitely couldn’t have done it without you. We’d like to give a big thank you to our exhibitors, colleagues, and partners for making this year’s event the largest IT Nation Connect ever. We can’t wait to be back in person in 2021!