On March 4th, 2018 our two-man crew arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana (“Nawlins” around those parts) for the MSPWorld Conference, supported by MSPAlliance. The weather was perfect, and the culture of the Big Easy was immediately palpable. But we were here for one thing (two things, including beignets), to learn and grow with other MSPs and vendors in the IT Managed Services industry. This was Pioneer Technology’s first experience with an MSPWorld event and we did not know what to expect. By Monday morning, we could already tell that this conference felt different than others. Everyone knew each other – it felt like family.
For the opening panel, we learned a lot about security and the danger of breaches. One speaker said plainly, “every business is now in the security business”, and we could not argue with that sentiment in the least. We picked up on the importance of understanding industry standards like GDPR for handling data that touches Europe and reinforced our notion that having legal strengths (contracts, agreements, etc.), especially in this business, can make or break you. Plus it’s mutually beneficial for our customers!
What followed can only be described as an emotional rollercoaster. The keynote speaker was Marcus Luttrell – you may know him as his character played by Mark Wahlberg in Lone Survivor. But in reality, he is a retired Navy Seal and hero who participated in an exercise that led to the death of his comrades and brought him to the brink of death’s door himself. His story was, quite honestly, tough to hear. But it was an incredible experience to listen to his approach to life and living after such a tragic event. At the end of his speech, he continued to thank US for his opportunity to serve. (Thank YOU for your service, Mr. Luttrell!) Mind-blowing stuff.
Later in the day, we heard some excellent speakers on various topics, including pricing, liability, how to truly differentiate, industry certifications, marketing tips, vendor relationships, rapid growth and scale, the importance of MSPs for healthcare, and much more. Much of the content we knew and was further reinforced while much was completely new to us. But all was valuable information, and we were thankful for these high-quality educational sessions.
In addition to the quality speakers, we met some awesome MSPs and supportive vendors. This is an exciting industry, and it felt as though competitive MSPs and vendors came together for a few days to put competition aside and grow collectively as organizations. As they say, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
By the end of Tuesday, we were highly energized and invigorated with fresh, new ideas and information. We absolutely will be attending next year’s MSPWorld. While we will support the large, sometimes over-the-top conventions, we feel the value of smaller, niche shows should never be overlooked. If you are on the fence about joining MSPAlliance or attending MSPWorld – don’t be! The value will be clear the second you arrive, as they welcome you into the family.