Earlier this month, I had the chance to represent ATEC Group at the XChange Solution Provider Conference hosted by The Channel Company in Orlando Florida. I found the conference to include a great mix of technology, peer to peer discussion, and business strategy!
I especially enjoyed hearing unique insights from conference speakers and connecting with attendees from a wide variety of backgrounds.
XChange Conference Highlights
Boardrooms: The event planners separated the event participants into groups based on the size of their businesses and markets they targeted. This ensured that each group was similar, but from different regions of the country so there was no direct competition.
The boardrooms included a brief sessions from 2-3 vendors at a time, so pitches were much more targeted and applicable to our businesses. These sessions also included discussion with similarly sized companies about how they handle certain technologies or issues. This was extremely helpful, as questions from one attendee often applied to everyone else as well.
Competing technologies: There were many different vendors offering similar technologies at the event which was very useful for comparisons. For example, I was able to speak to at least 5 different IT Security providers in the same day about what makes them unique, how they compare to others in the market, etc. This was a huge help for my research in determining the best solutions for our clients.
New Technologies: There were some vendors at the conference offering products and services that I did not yet have on my radar! The event was great for making sure that I was caught up on new trends in the market (both technological and operational) to be more prepared.
What I Wish I Had Seen?
Out of the four conference days I attended, there was one female speaker selected to speak on the main stage (of approximately 14 total) and only 4 female speakers in the breakout sessions (of approximately 30). We all know technology is a male dominated industry, but I do think the XChange Conference, and many technology conferences for that matter, could have attempted to include a greater number of women in their programming.
Overall, I found the event to be a well-rounded immersion into both the technology and the business side of being a VAR/MSP. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to attend and hope to attend another XChange event soon!