What I wish I knew before my first IT Nation

| By:
Corie Leaman

There’s a lot of information and ground to cover the first time you attend IT Nation. To help you better prepare for the experience, we asked our partners what they wish they knew before attending IT Nation for the first time. We hope this advice will allow you to make the most out of the must-attend event for companies that sell, service, and support technology.

“The event is bigger than you’d probably imagine, and the amount of content is huge. Rest up beforehand as you're going to need all the energy you've got, and pack comfortable shoes as your step count is going to go through the roof getting around the hotel!

Talk to as many people as you can. The networking is invaluable and what you'll learn from the ConnectWise partner community is the most valuable thing at IT Nation. Most of all—enjoy it!”
- Dan Scott, Quality and Project Manager, Complete IT Co UK, www.complete-it.co.uk

“My advice would be to look at the session schedule and room map ahead of time so you know what you want to do and where they’re located.”
- Eric Lamdin, engineer, Certified CIO, https://www.certifiedcio.com/

"Come in with questions written out. You will leave each session with more questions and it piles on very fast.”
- Ken Tirohn, Chief Operating Officer, Accessium Group Inc., http://www.accessiumgroup.com/

“Make a plan on sessions you want to go to, but make sure you have backup plans if they fill up. Some sessions fill up quick and if you don’t have a backup, you waste time bringing up the schedule to find something else. Also, wear comfortable shoes. The hotel is carpeted throughout, but there is a lot of walking. Your feet will hurt if you don’t have comfortable shoes.”
- Jason Lambert, Service Delivery Manager, ATS Networking, http://www.atsnetworking.com/Pages/default.aspx

“Don’t underestimate the power of networking with other attendees. Get out of your shell and meet some people. Everyone I met is working through or has gone through similar challenges in their business. Hearing, seeing, and sharing other perspectives has been a game changer for our company.”
- Andrew Dalman, vCIO, Active Co, www.activeco.com

“I have two pieces of advice that I wish I knew. First, wear comfortable shoes. I paid the price for wearing my normal dress shoes. There’s no shame in tennis shoes and slacks. Also, bring snacks and bottled drinks.”
- Matthew B. Spain, CEO, Custom Cloud Solutions, www.gocustomcloud.com

“The first edition of IT Nation we attended was a real rollercoaster of useful information. When it comes to IT strategy, and to my surprise business strategy, we could apply it in the short term. This really boosted our ConnectWise and CSP adoption. We attended the London edition with only two people, and immediately felt we missed a lot of the useful sessions because we were only two people. This is why we decided to go to Orlando with at least four people. Be sure to attend with one or more colleagues and divide the useful sessions in a calendar beforehand so you don’t miss out!”
- Koen Lepez, Managing Partner, Operations, Direct IT, https://www.directit.be

“Attend the lunches and sit with strangers. This often leads to a contact you can call after IT Nation for advice. General networking lunches are good to see how different industries use ConnectWise. Take advantage of the ConnectWise consultants. They’ve always been available to answer questions. Also, stop by the booth on the show floor even if it’s just to see the demos of future releases.”
- Mike Reith, Service Delivery Manager, DSM, https://www.dsm.net

“My recommendations would be to download the app, which is very useful in getting around. Plan out what sessions you would like to see ahead of time. This helps with figuring out where you need to be and when. Visit the vendor area to see what new products are out there and actually talk to the ones you’re interested in. Last year was my first year and it was very overwhelming, but this year I plan on being prepared and ready!”
- Monica Longoria, Technical Operations Supervisor, Computer Solutions, https://www.comsoltx.com/

“Be strategic about your sessions, look into the speakers ahead of time, and have a plan for who you’re going to see and why you’re going to see them. Be prepared to take copious notes and set aside time for yourself that day to digest and reform your notes. Go into the next day with a plan. Bring comfortable shoes. If you take advantage of everything there is to see at IT Nation, you’ll be speed walking from breakout to breakout. The social activities in the evenings are a whirlwind, but take advantage of them and get quality time in with your coworkers—or make new friends!”
- Noelle Marchesini, Operations Manager, Dynamic Computing, Inc., www.dyncomputing.com