This year’s MSPWorld Conference, held in Austin, Texas (a place whose wish to be ‘kept weird’ has thus far been granted) was a great success. Ignoring the terrible amount of pollen, Austin was a unique city which is said to be adding 200 or so people every single day! The view from the hotel of morning and evening traffic certainly lends this number to feel fairly accurate. There were several conferences in town, but the one that mattered most was MSPAlliance’s MSPWorld at the Hilton Austin.
The show began early for some on Sunday with a round of golf at a nearby course. The course was challenging, but very scenic and expansive. Friends were made that day, regardless of the final scores. Nonetheless, it was a great golf day, overcast and around 60 degrees, and a perfect start to the conference. If you did not participate in golf this year, it’s highly recommended you do so next time!
Monday’s kickoff session began with a panel to discuss the overall outlook for MSPs and managed services. There was discussion on data regulation, different methodologies for becoming certified as an MSP, including MSPVerify and CloudVerify, and more. The panel’s overall economic outlook was cautiously optimistic! They also mentioned the importance of partnering in this industry – no partner can do it all by themselves – and we were glad to hear this. At Pioneer Technology, we place high value on our partners and are thankful for them. The panel also reminded us to be ever prepared and vigilant against cyber threats against us and our customers, something we think about very often.
The keynote speaker, Jason Dorsey, was particularly interesting and informative, as well as very high energy! Jason founded The Center for Generational Kinetics, who is a leading research organization for understanding the differences between generations and how we interact with each other and how we make buying decisions. Jason was super-high energy, but effective and humorous in pointing out characteristics of generations in a way that was relatable to everyone. His information confirmed some assumptions, and challenged others. At the end of his session, he listed about a dozen solid recommendations for various business challenges based on which generation is being addressed. It was useful and entertaining! And it was nice that the generational characteristics or gaps were presented as “they are what they are” rather than as one generation being better or more capable than another.
Overall, the sessions were solid and had some great information. The speakers were all qualified and spoke from their direct experience. As with last year, a little bit of everything was covered in the two days of sessions. Operations, marketing, sales, customer service, and more were all topics of conversations, and most led to more in-depth discussion and Q&A after. Industry trends, such as data security, HIPAA, GDPR, upcoming California regulations, and more were woven throughout. And as the marketing team, there was a ton of great information for us to apply to our overall tool belt when it comes to getting out our message and letting our customers and prospects know what we can do for them, and who we partner with when we do not do something ourselves.
MSPWorld in Austin, Texas was a lot of fun and we learned a lot by being there. It’s nice to have access to a show that is for MSPs by MSPs. We have access to important vendors and services, but ultimately it’s an opportunity for MSPs with similar challenges to come together and work through them as a group for a few days. A benefit of attending this show each year is that you can compare where you were last year to where you are today. We feel GREAT about the progress we have made since our last MSPWorld Conference in New Orleans, but we know that we have a long way to go as well. We will continue to participate in MSPWorld and other MSPAlliance programs because they’ve made it clear they will continue to support and accelerate growth of individual MSPs and the industry as a whole. We truly appreciate the work they do to put this together and look forward to the next event! -EB