Content, Channel partner events, Channel partners

Top 50 Channel Partner Conferences & Technology Events for 2018

Before you travel to technology events in 2018, make sure you study ChannelE2E's Top 50 Channel Partner Conferences for 2018 list -- unveiled below. The list is based on our 4Q 2017 readership survey; our own travels; and our ongoing coverage of the IT services market.
Four quick points before you navigate the list:
  1. The list below is sorted alphabetically.
  2. Only one event per company qualified for the Top 50 list.
  3. Contact the conference organizer to confirm event dates and location.
  4. Our ChannelE2E Technology Event Calendar lists hundreds of events by month for 2018 and beyond.

Now, here are the Top 50 Channel Partner Conferences & Technology Events for 2018... 1. Splunk .conf 2018 (October 1-4): Splunk’s tools provide operational intelligence to improve customers’ business performance and cybersecurity. The offerings are increasingly popular with service providers and security-centric MSPs. 2. ASCII Success Summits (Multiple Dates, Cities): These gatherings are designed for VARs and MSPs in the SMB sector. Highly educational with plenty of vendor-to-partner engagement and more. Search our ChannelE2E Technology Event Calendar for all of the dates and locations. 3. Avaya Engage 2018 (January 28-31): Avaya emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2017. The company has vowed to rally partners and customers at the Engage conference, set for late January in New Orleans.

4. Amazon AWS re:Invent 2018 (November 26-30): More than 40,000 people attended Amazon's top cloud event -- AWS re:Invent -- in 2017. Cloud-centric MSPs like 2nd Watch were on hand. If you're serious about managing AWS workloads for customers, this is a can't-miss event in November 2018. 5. Black Hat USA 2018 (August 4-9): One of the top cybersecurity conferences of the year. A great location for established and aspiring MSSPs to further build their expertise. Set for August in Las Vegas. 6. CA World 2018 (November 12-16): Best known as an enterprise IT conference, you may be surprised to learn that more than 600 MSPs attended the 2017 conference. Many of those MSPs are midmarket service providers focused on cloud- and application-centric monitoring. 7. Channel Partners Conference and Expo (April 17-20): The April conference expects to attract more than 6,000 industry experts – including agents, VARs, MSPs, integrators and service providers converge to share ideas and drive discussion on the topics shaping our industry, the company says.

8. ChannelCon 2018 (July 31-August 2): CompTIA's flagship conference for channel partners typically attracts VARs and MSPs in the SMB sector. However, CompTIA has been working more closely with SaaS-, cloud- and ISV-centric partners ahead of the July-August 2018 event. Bonus: Keep an eye on CompTIA Community Forum (formerly AMM -- short for Annual Member Meeting) in March. 9. Cisco Partner Summit 2018 (November 13-16): Cisco's annual partner gathering visits Las Vegas in November. This is a prime opportunity to check out Cisco's partner push toward subscription services and recurring revenues. Plus, check in on the SMB efforts -- including the ConnectWise partnership. Bonus: Don't forget about Cisco Live 2018, the company's flagship customer conference. 10. Citrix Summit 2018 (January 8-10): This is a critically important conference for Citrix and the company's partner community, considering the company's continued evolution in 2017. Some assets have been sold off in recent years. Others have been slightly repositioned. Citrix Summit provides the ideal time to perform a reality check in January 2018. Bonus: Don't forget about the Citrix Synergy customer conference in May 2018. Go to page two for conferences 11 through 20, sorted alphabetically Welcome to page two, featuring conferences 11 through 20, sorted alphabetically Don't forget: The entire ChannelE2E Technology Event Calendar for 2018 and beyond is here.
11. ConnectWise IT Nation 2018 (November 7-9) : One of the top year-end conferences for technology solutions providers and MSPs. CEO Arnie Bellini and high-profile guest speakers dive into the latest recurring revenue & profit-building strategies for partners. Bonus: Don't forget about sister events like ConnectWise Automation Nation 2018 (typically technical in nature) and IT Nation Europe. Plus, sister company CharTec hosts multiple academy gatherings for sales training throughout the year. 12. Continuum Navigate 2018 (September 24-27): A well-known conference for MSPs that run Continuum's RMM, NOC, help desk and BDR platforms. The latest push involves a security operations center (SOC) offering for MSPs. 13. DattoCon18 (June 18-20): Pitched as the largest data protection conference focused purely on MSPs. This June 2018 conference should be particularly interesting since Datto essentially acquired Autotask as part of a private equity funded M&A deal in late 2017. Bonus: As of this writing Datto was still deciding whether to host the separate Autotask Community Live 2018 conference in September.

14. Dell EMC World 2018 (April 30-May 3): Michael Dell and the company's executive leadership team roll out the latest vision statements and strategy across both Dell and EMC during this late April gathering. 15. DockerCon 2018 (June 12-14): Docker's flagship event reveals where the software container market is heading next. For DevOps-centric MSPs, it's a key gathering. 16. F8 - The Facebook Developer Conference 2018 (May 1-2): Certainly not a traditional partner conference. But if you're building any type of business around or atop Facebook's platforms, this is a can't miss gathering. 17. Google Cloud Next 2018 (July 24-27): The most ideal gathering for MSPs looking to build, manage and optimize customer workloads on Google Cloud Platform. Bonus: Don't forget the annual Google I/O 2018 conference for developers focused on Chrome, Android, web, mobile and more.

18. HIMSS18 Conference and Exhibition 2018 (March 5-9): The flagship conference for IT professionals and partners in the healthcare industry. Set for March in Las Vegas. 19. HP Enterprise Discover 2018 (June 18-21): HPE's flagship conference for customers and partners returns to Las Vegas in June. Bonus: Don't forget about Atmosphere 2018, HPE's 20. HP Reinvent Worldwide Partner Forum: Date still pending, but this is an ideal event for HP partners focused on mobile, desktop, print and next-gen 3D printing. Go to page three for conferences 21 through 30, sorted alphabetically Welcome to page three, featuring conferences 21 through 30, sorted alphabetically Don't forget: The entire ChannelE2E Technology Event Calendar for 2018 and beyond is here.
21. HTG Quarterly Gathering (Multiple Dates, Cities): A can't-miss event series for peer group members who want to track and benchmark their quarterly performance vs. MSPs and IT service provider peers. Scores of MSPs from across North America, Europe and Australia participate in these various quarterly gatherings throughout the year. 22. IBM Think 2018 (March 18-21): IBM apparently rolled its PartnerWorld conference and several other events into this new Think format. Smart move. PartnerWorld was beginning to limp a bit. One massive event featuring IBM's core product launches -- across cloud, cognitive computing, security, mobile and more -- should be far more strategic for partners. 23. Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2018 (April  30- May 2): Perhaps the largest cloud-centric conference for channel partners, Ingram Micro Cloud Summit typically attracts more than 1,000 MSPs and IT service providers. Bonus: Don't forget about the Ingram ONE conference in October.

24. Kaseya Connect 2018 (May 6-10): The company's flagship conference for MSPs and midsize enterprise IT managers.  Bonus: We're checking to see if a Kaseya Connect Europe conference also is scheduled. 25. Lenovo Accelerate 2018 (May 7-9): If Lenovo is going to mend fences with partners and restore stability to its partner program, this would be the time to do it. Indeed, 2017 was a difficult year for the PC giant... We'll be watching to see if a rebound is in the making for 2018. 26. McAfee MPower Conference (Multiple Dates, Locations): Actual dates are still pending. 27. Microsoft Inspire - formerly Worldwide Partner Conference - WPC (July 15-19): Microsoft has had a channel renaissance under current CEO Satya Nadella. But can the company convince partners to extend from Office 365 to Azure? That will be the big priority for this year's gathering. Bonuses: Don't forget about Microsoft Build (for developers, typically in May) and Microsoft Ignite 2018 (for customers).

28. Mobile World Congress 2018 (February 26-March 1): The absolute biggest mobile conference in the world. 29. New Relic FutureStack 2018 (Multiple Dates, Locations): A popular conference for service providers focused on cloud monitoring, application performance management, infrastructure monitoring and more. 30. Nutanix Next 2018 (May 8-10): The event is designed for hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) customers and partners. Go to page four for conferences 31 through 40, sorted alphabetically Welcome to page four, featuring conferences 31 through 40, sorted alphabetically Don't forget: The entire ChannelE2E Technology Event Calendar for 2018 and beyond is here.
31. Oracle OpenWorld 2018 (October 28-November 1): The massive event typically features a partner day gathering during the conference's opening day.  Bonus: Don't overlook Oracle NetSuite SuiteWorld in April 2018. 32. Retail's Big Show 2018 (January 14-16): An ideal conference for any partner focused on the retail vertical. Hosted by the National Retail Federation. 33. Robin Robins Sales and Marketing Boot Camp 2018 (April 4-7): One of the latest, best-known gathering of SMB partners focused on sales and marketing strategies.

34. RSA Conference 2018 (April 16-20): One of the largest cybersecurity conferences in the United States. 35. SaaStr 2018 (February 6-8): The conference typically attracts 10,000+ SaaS company founders, venture capitalists (VCs) and executives. 36. Salesforce Dreamforce 2018 (September 25-28): Likely the largest vendor-hosted SaaS business conference in the world. 37. SAP Sapphire Now 2018 (June 5-7): SAP's flagship conference is more than an enterprise customer gathering. A major SME partner push will also continue.

38. ServiceNow Knowledge 2018 (May 7-10): One of the fastest-growing events for IT service management — attracting more and more MSPs along the way, particularly from the midmarket and enterprise sectors. 39. SMB TechFest (Multiple Dates): Hosted by Dave Seibert, SMB TechFest is a two-day channel partner and technology conference in Southern California. It's held quarterly. 40. SolarWinds MSP Empower (Multiple Dates, Locations): The company's flagship conference for MSPs. Stay tuned for dates and locations. Go to page five for conferences 41 through 50, sorted alphabetically Welcome to page five, featuring conferences 41 through 50, sorted alphabetically Don't forget: The entire ChannelE2E Technology Event Calendar for 2018 and beyond is here.
41. Sup-X Startup Expo 2018 (March 6-7): A solid conference to see next-generation companies and technologies before they go mainstream -- or flame out... 42. Synnex Varnex 2018 (Multiple Dates): A popular spring and fall gathering for Synnex partners. Bonus: Don't overlook Synnex Inspire. 43. Tech Data Tech Select (Multiple Dates): A longstanding gathering of Tech Data partners in both the spring and the fall. Bonus: Don't overlook Tech Data Channel Link, which is tentatively scheduled for June.

44. TechDay (Multiple Dates): Massive gathering of startup technology companies, investors and more. Held in multiple cities thoughout the year. 45. TruMethods Schnizzfest 2018 (June 7-9): The TruMethods team, led by CEO Gary Pica and CTO Bob Penland, host one of the single best MSP gatherings of the year. 46. VeeamOn 2018 (May 14-16): One of the fastest-growing, largest conferences focused on data protection. Mainly a customer conference, but don't overlook the smart Veeam partners -- particularly CSPs -- at the event. 47. VMware VMworld 2018 (August 26-30): Mainly positioned as a customer conference, but there also are plenty of partners on hand at this massive event. Bonus: Don't overlook VMware Partner Leadership Summit, though that's often by invitation only.

48. Workday Rising 2018 (October 1-4): Workday is one of the fastest-growing providers of SaaS-based business management software. The conference attracts customers, developers and partners. 49. XChange 2018 (Multiple Dates): Xchange, hosted by The Channel Company, is one of the best-known conferences for channel partners. Bonus: The organizers also just such events as Best of Breed, NextGen and Women of the Channel. 50. ChannelE2E and MSSP Alert Webcasts: Yes, our very own monthly webcasts for ChannelE2E and MSSP Alert readers. Don't forget: The entire ChannelE2E Technology Event Calendar for 2018 and beyond is here.
Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.