Wednesday, August 26, 2009

SMB Nation 2009

If you haven’t already heard I’ll be going to SMB Nation 2009 in Las Vegas from October 2-4 2009 to not only speak about SharePoint but also to take advantage of the great content that is always on offer.

If you are still undecided on whether you should attend let me give some reasons from my perspective:

- I obtained a whole swag of information from last years event that I was able to immediately implement in my business. It wasn’t only just technical information but also some business information that really changed my perspective in how I run my business.

- It was a fantastic opportunity to meet with a wide variety of resellers and IT providers from all over the globe. Some of the ideas that these people shared with me during our discussions again made me think really long and hard about the way I do business.

- I was able to forge some great relationships during the time. I not only met many new people, I also met people whom I’d only spoken to online. In the end, most business comes down to human relationships and nothing beats the traditional ‘face-to-face’ conversation to build stronger bonds.

- It provided me an opportunity to speak with some vendors who were offering products and services I had never even considered. Many also conducted very informative sessions where you could not only see the product in action but also ask questions and get feedback from other resellers on how they may implement such a solution.

- I was able to step away from the day to day grind of my business and take some ‘time out’ and really think about my direction for at least the next 12 months. How often do we every really do that these days?

There are, of course, plenty of other great reasons to attend not the least of which this year is going to be the sights of fabulous Las Vegas. There is certainly no place like this anywhere else in the world. As a destination flights are cheap, accommodation is less than $100 per night and there is always something to do even after the conference closes for the day.

So what am I looking forward to this year? Well, the agenda is now available and what appeals to me the most at the moment is:

GS401: Virtualization for the SMB world - Dana Epp, Wayne Small
GS201: Alternative Solutions in the SMB Space - Eriq Neale
SM302: Twenius - The BIG BANG "How To" of Effective Twitter for Beginners and Pros!- Dan Hollings
SM401: Social Media Panel - Aaron Booker, Dan Hollings, Harry Brelsford, Jim Locke, others
BS301: Selling IT Services; How not to suck at it! - Stuart Selbst
GS202: SharePoint - You've got it now what? - Robert Crane (can’t miss this one can I??)
Podcast Karl Palachuk & Robert Crane Pod Cast booth in the Exhibit Hall - Karl Palachuk, Robert Crane (or this one !!)
GS101: Windows 7 are you ready? - Dana Epp, Oliver Sommer, Susan Bradley
SM403: Local Internet Marketing Strategies - Dan Hollings
BS401: BusinessSpeak Panel - Matt Makowicz, George Sierchio, others
GS402: GeekSpeak Panel - MVPs, Gurus, other technical notables
SM201: How To Use LinkedIn and Facebook for RAPID Business Development -
Harry Brelsford
Speed Dating - Meet the Guru’s "Up Close & Personal" – come and join me on a table

Clearly there is heaps of great content and more being added by the day. However, if you are still tossing up whether to attend don’t forget that the early bird discounts end soon so call 206-201-2943 or 1-888-SMB-NAT1 and ask for “Harry” for community discounts!

I can’t wait to get to Vegas and get focused on my business while having a ‘whale of a time’. If you’re planning to attend let me know (director@ciaops.com or http://www.twitter.com/directorcia) as I’d love to catch up and chat about business, SharePoint or whatever.

Roll on October!