Channel partner events

Top 50 Channel Partner Events & Technology Conferences 2016

Which channel partner events, summits and technology conferences should channel partners attend in 2016? Here are ChannelE2E's Top 50 -- including many surprises that typically aren't on your radar. First, a heads up about the list below. To be considered, the conference must be listed on ChannelE2E's Technology Event Calendar -- the most comprehensive listing available for channel gatherings. Sorry but lunch and learns, single-day road shows and other small gatherings aren't eligible. All listed events must also appeal to VARs, MSPs (managed services providers), CSPs (cloud services providers), ISVs (independent software vendors) or other types of emerging partners. Now, onto the Top 50 Channel Partner Events & Technology Conferences for 2016, which are organized by date... 50. Citrix Summit 2016 (Jan. 11-12, Las Vegas): A very timely event for Citrix Systems and its channel partners. The reason: As of December 2015, Citrix was evaluating a potential company sale and other strategic moves. Also, keep an eye on Citrix Synergy (the company's actual partner conference). 49. Retail's Big Show (Jan. 17-20, New York): Hosted by the National Retail Federation (NRF), this conference is ideal for channel partners that are trying to spot key IT trends across the retail vertical. 48. SMB TechFest Q1 2016 (Jan. 21-22, Anaheim, Calif.): Hosted by Dave Seibert, the SMB TechFest series appeals to  VARs and MSPs in the small business market. Also, watch for the Q2, Q3 and Q4 editions of the conference. 47. USENIX Enigma (Jan. 25-27, San Francisco, Calif.): This first-time event focuses on emerging security threats that are below the radar for most IT professionals and channel partners. Google is one of the conference's key backers. 46. IBM Connect 2016 (Jan. 31-Feb. 6, Orlando, Fla.): Not to be confused with IBM's partner conference, the Connect gathering focuses on social business and digital experience technologies. A solid gathering for partners that want to spot enterprise IT trends. 45. HTG Q1 2016 Peer Group Meetings (Feb. 1-5, Phoenix, Ariz.): The first-quarter meeting for HTG Peer Groups, one of the best-known organizations helping VARs and MSPs to build more successful businesses. And of course, watch for HTG Q2, HTG Q3 and the big HTG Q4 conference. 44. TED 2016 (Feb. 15-19, Vancouver, British Columbia): One of the best-known events for thought leaders... 43. IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference (PWLC) 2016 (Feb. 15-18, Orlando, Fla.): CEO Ginni Rometti needs to prove she can halt IBM's multi-year revenue slide. The keys to success involve big data analytics, cloud, mobile and security solutions -- and partners who can master those solutions. 42. Spark Summit East 2016 (Feb. 16-17, New York): A surprise pick on our list. Apache Spark is a fast-growth technology for big data analytics... and many partners are jumping on the bandwagon. Also, be on the lookout for Spark Summit West 2016 (San Francisco, June). 41. ASCII IT SMB Success Summits (Multiple Dates, Locations): A popular gathering for VARs and MSPs serving SMB customers.

Next: On to events 40-31 sorted by date

40. IBM InterConnect 2016 (Feb. 21-15, Las Vegas): An event for IBM's cloud and mobile customers. A good spot for channel partners to see if IBM's customer messaging aligns with partner messaging. 39. HIMSS 2016 (Feb. 29-March 4, Las Vegas): The top event for IT in healthcare. A prime place for channel partners to learn about HIPAA and other IT-related healthcare priorities. 38. RSA Conference 2016 (Feb. 29-March 4, San Francisco): Widely considered the top IT security conference of the year. Dell's pending buyout of EMC (parent of RSA) adds extra intrigue. 37. Cisco Partner Summit 2016 (Feb. 29-March 3, San Diego): New CEO Chuck Robbins' first partner summit as Cisco's top executive. 36. XChange Solution Provider (Multiple dates, locations):  Hosted by The Channel Company. 35. VMware Partner Leadership Summit (Scottsdale, Ariz.): An invitation-only event for VMware's top channel partners. 34. Channel Partners Conference and Expo (March 16-18, Las Vegas): Focused heavily on IT convergence between telecom and IT. 33. CompTIA Annual Member Meeting (March 22-24, Chicago): Annual gathering for members working with the popular IT certification and mentoring organization. 32. Strata+Hadoop World 2016 (March 28-31, San Jose): Another surprise pick for our list. Major gathering of customers and partners involved in Hadoop, the big data analytics platform. 31. Microsoft Build 2016 (March 30-April 1, San Francisco): Microsoft finally confirms the date for its very popular event serving the company's hardware and ISV partners.

Next: On to events 30-21 sorted by date

30. Synnex Varnex Spring (April 10-13, Dallas, Texas): Popular conference for Synnex community. Also, watch for the conference's fall edition. 29. Ingram Micro Cloud Summit (April 11-13, Phoenix, Ariz.): One of the biggest cloud-focused events in the IT channel. Actually, it likely is the biggest. 28. OpenStack Summit 2016 (April 25-29, Austin, Texas): If you're looking to build private clouds for your end-customers, OpenStack is a popular platform for doing so. 27. Internet of Things World 2016 (April 26-27, San Francisco): Pitched as the world's largest Internet of Things (IoT) technology conference and summit. 26. InterOp (May 2-6, Las Vegas): The longstanding networking event shifts to SDN, wireless and hybrid cloud discussions. 25. EMC World 2016 (May 2-5, Las Vegas): EMC will focus the conference on data lakes, hybrid clouds and everything as a service. But the world will pay extra attention since Dell's pending buyout of EMC is expected to be completed around this time. 24. Robin Robins Sales and Marketing Boot Camp (May 11-14, Nashville, Tenn.): One of the IT channel's best-known sales coaches rallies the VAR and MSP community. 23. Knowledge 2016 (May 15-20, Las Vegas): Another surprise pick for our list. This conference, hosted by ServiceNow, tracks the next generation of IT service management and automation. 22. SuiteWorld 2016 (May 16-19, San Jose): The largest annual gathering of NetSuite partners and customers. 21. SAP Sapphire Now & ASUG Annual Conference (May 17-19): Major SAP partner and customer conference.

Next: On to events 20-11 sorted by date

20. Cloud Computing Expo 2016 (Multiple Dates, Locations):  Always a good place to learn about the latest in on-demand computing. 19. DevOps Summit (June 7-9, New York): A solid choice if you're looking to learn where partners can potentially assist developers and operations in their quest to deliver sustainable innovation. Ahem: Schnizzfest (June 9-11, Philadelphia): TruMethods' annual gathering of MSP members. 18. DockerCon 2016 (June 19-21, Seattle): The can't-miss gathering for service providers and partners that are embracing containers to speed customer application deployments, or trying to manage Docker containers for customers. 17. LabTech Automation Nation 2016 (June 20-22, Orlando): The annual gathering of MSPs and technicians who run LabTech's remote monitoring and management (RMM) software platform. 16. DattoCon16 (June 20-22, Nashville, Tenn.): Well-known gathering of MSPs that leverage Datto's data protection systems. 15. Red Hat Summit 2016 (June 28-July 1, San Francisco): The annual gathering of Red Hat's customers and partners, many of whom have diversified beyond Linux toward cloud and storage solutions. Also, watch for Red Hat Partner Conference 2016 (we haven't seen a date/location yet). 14. Cisco Live 2016 (July 10-14, Las Vegas): The biggest annual gathering of Cisco customers -- therefore a great location for partner networking opportunities... 13. Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2016 (July 10-14, Toronto): Watch for new synergies and partner milestones across Office 365 and Azure... 12. HostingCon Global (July 25-27, New Orleans): Annual gathering of web hosts, co-location providers, data center specialists and more. 11. ChannelCon 2016 (Aug. 1-3, Hollywood, Fla.): Hosted by CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association. Well-known gathering of VARs, MSPs and IT service providers.

Next: On to events 10-1 sorted by date

10. Intel Developer Forum 2016 (Aug. 16-18, San Francisco): Always a great place to learn about the next generation of innovation emerging from Intel. 9. VMworld 2016 (Aug. 29-Sept. 1, San Francisco): The virtualization giant's customer conference. Also attracts plenty of channel partners during Partner Exchange at VMworld. 8. Oracle OpenWorld 2016 (Sept. 18-22, San Francisco): Oracle's key channel partners attend a partner day, typically on the Sunday of the overall conference. 7. IoT Security Summit (Sept. 21-22, Washington, D.C.): One of the hottest topics in enterprise IT finally starts to spill over in the IT channel. 6. Autotask Community Live (Sept. 25-27, Hollywood, Fla.): Annual gathering of IT service providers running Autotask's business automation and remote monitoring platforms. 5. Navigate 2016 (Sept. 28-30, Boston, Mass): Annual gathering of MSPs running Continuum's RMM (remote monitoring and management), NOC (network operations center) and BDR (backup and disaster recovery) platforms. 4. DreamForce (Oct. 4-7, San Francisco): Massive annual gathering of partners and customers running and building applications across Salesforce's platforms. 3. HTG Q4 (Oct. 31-Nov. 4, Orlando): Special mention because HTG Peer Group's Q4 meeting gets its own dedicated week in 2016, and no longer coincides with IT Nation. 2. IT Nation (Nov. 9-11, Orlando): Hosted by ConnectWise, one of the largest annual gatherings of MSPs and IT service providers. 1. CA World 2016 (Nov. 15-18, Las Vegas): Mainly a customer conference, but poke around and you'll see plenty of service providers focused on the application economy. Hmmm... Amazon AWS re:Invent (Nov. 28-Dec. 2, Las Vegas): Can't miss. Keep In Mind: We're in touch with event organizers who will soon share dates for the following events -- which typically run in Q4: Dell World 2016, AppDynamics AppSphere, New Relic FutureStack, and HP Enterprise Discover. Did we overlook a specific event? Check ChannelE2E's complete technology conference and event calendar. If it's not submitted there then it's not listed 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.