In this installment of MSPtv, Scott Glidden joins Continuum's Marketing Programs Manager, Courtney Margossian to discuss our highly-anticipated Navigate 2016 Conference. As the event manager, Courtney discusses the action-packed schedule of break-out sessions, sponsors and speakers partners can expect to leverage at Navigate 2016, our third annual user event taking place September 28-30 in Boston, MA at the Seaport World Trade Center! What's in store for you, and why should you register? Tune in now to learn more! 

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Scott: Hi and welcome to another episode of MSPtv, I'm Scott Glidden and with me is Courtney Margossian, how are you today?

Courtney: I'm doing great, Scott. How are you doing?

Scott: Good, good. Courtney is in charge, completely in charge of our Navigate 2016 User Conference here in Boston at the end of September on the 28th to the 30th.

Courtney: That's right.

Scott: We have an awful lot to offer our partners this year, right? Can you tell me a little bit about what's going on?

Courtney: Yeah, absolutely. So this year we are back in Boston, taking place, as you said, September 28th to 30th. We're super excited. So we're about four months out right now. It's about a three-day conference. We're gonna have some pre-conference trainings. We're gonna have 36 breakout sessions. Last year we had five tracks, this year we have added a new track so we have six tracks, which is really great. In terms of growth for our conference, we're expecting over 600 attendees, so our projective growth year over year just keeps happening, so that's really an amazing thing to see. And for our partners this is conference is really about them coming to learn more about some of the industry trends, our products and services, and ultimately be able to become more comfortable with the Continuum platform as well as better themselves as MSP's. Walk away with some new tips and tricks and some knowledgeable insights to help them become better MSP within the managed service industry.

Scott: Great. So, one of the things you mentioned are the breakout sessions that we have and there are 36 of them. They're led by other MSP's, by the industry experts, by consultants that we bring, by people who bring real valuable, actionable things to our partners that they can help to improve their business both on the business side but also on the technical side. Can you give me a little bit of an overview about the six tracks?

Courtney: Yeah, absolutely. So we have six tracks, as you said. We have our business, we have our sales and marketing track, we have our product success track, our partner success track, our connection track, and our feature track. So, our partner success track, the name kind of explains itself, but it's really about us highlighting different products and services that would help our partners become better successful. Whether that is a better look into their PSP so they can better optimize their portal, so they can better understand the technology and we wanna make sure that we are giving them the tools and insight. So, even though they're taking on our products and services, they understand the platform a little bit more and how to use it to become the most successful.

Scott: So all of these things are really going to give each of our partners like real actionable takeaways, right?

Courtney: Yes. So for product success, you know, the scripting, the servicing, the patching, the functionalities behind their technology, we give a closer and more in-depth look at that. So you understand kind of the deeper anatomy within that and the tips and tools and tricks and how Continuum's products kind of function.

Scott: So that's fantastic and I know that the breakout sessions in the previous two years of Navigate were a big hit with our partners because they really felt like out of all the conferences that they can go to during the course of the year, this is one where they really felt like they walked away with some new knowledge that they could directly apply. And in the addition to the breakout sessions, we also have some training going on early on Wednesday morning. Can you tell me a little bit about that as well?

Courtney: Yeah, absolutely. So, we're super excited to have Chris Ryan and Mitch Morgan from GAP hosting their own session, M&A, mergers and acquisitions for MSP buyers and sellers. So they're kind of taking a closer look at how you can be more of a profitable business, whether that's through acquiring new business, whether that's through an acquisition, whether that's through selling. So they kind of take you down that road map, that technical road map, as they call it, to give you better insight into that.

And we also have a session "Get to Know HDJ" by Arlin Sorensen. HTG Heartland Technology Group, Continuum is very proud to be part of the partnership that we have with that, so we are super excited to have Arlin who is such an industry expert and leader back at our conference and to host this session. Giving more of the insight on the business model and how you can become more profitable with that peer group mentality and mindset. And then our Continuum U technical trainings. We're really excited so we did a roadshow this year where we highlighted our patching, our scripting, and our Continuum 24/7 products and services where we kind of gave partners a closer look at the Continuum platform and those offerings.

And so we're very happy that at Navigate we can have 2 90 minute sessions where we're kinda highlighting the importance of BDR so MSPs can understand that the cloud backup disaster and recovery can better their services. They understand the inner workings within, the IT support portal so they can know how to optimize it and, as well as, we're talking about the communicator, so chat option [sp]. So to not stray away from that, to understand the backup that they're getting with our help desk and they can see how that would be very profitable for their business. So, In the end before the conference even kicks off, we have about five hours of really amazing content from multiple speakers and that's just to kick it off. So, we're super excited to have as many featured speakers just for the preconference trainings that we do.

Scott: Right, exactly. And talking about exciting, we have some really great people in our initial keynotes. We have Bill Walton, which is being sponsored by Webroot as well, tell us a little bit about Bill.

Courtney: I mean, Bill Walton...

Scott: Right, here in Boston.

Courtney: Here in Boston, Celtics. I'm not a big basketball person myself, or sports person myself, but I mean, you hear the name Bill Walton and you just know, NBC broadcaster, legend, he's super well known. We couldn't be happier that he's gonna be a keynote actually sponsored by Webroot, who's our titanium sponsor. So it's really great to have him. His keynote's gonna be kinda talking about overcoming adversity within the industry and kind of his struggles that he's dealt with throughout his career. And the reason that's kind of relative to our MSPs is because there's gonna be that ongoing issues for the SMBs of what kind of technical trends or issues that they're dealing with. You know, pricing issues, anything like that, and so that could be relative to our partners.

Scott: Yeah, I mean, he's just such an inspirational speaker. I think really a lot of people will take away great inspiration from what he had to offer. I don't mean to catch you off but we also, I wanted to mention Paul Chisholm, a former CEO of mindSHIFT is also speaking. He spoke at our 2014 User Conference here in Boston and I think our partners would agree that Paul offers a great deal of very real, tangible insight into the MSP space.

Courtney: Absolutely, I mean he's such a well know person within the MSP and SMB market that all of our partners can understand and resonate with kind of what he's done for the industry, where he's at, and his messaging that he continues to put out within the vertical, showing people how to manage trough those. So, we're super excited to have him back, I personally am really excited to see his keynote. I didn't get to see it in 2014 so I'm pretty excited to see it this year.

Scott: Yeah, that'll be fun. And so then, Michael George is offering a keynote as well, but I'm not gonna spill the beans on that just yet. We'll leave that open and available. And also our VP of product, Brian Herr, will be presenting a road map for partners as well. So, there's an awful lot going on. We're very proud of the sponsors that have come on board, can you tell me a little bit about some of those that have joined the crew?

Courtney: Yeah, absolutely. So, we have Webroot is our returning sponsor. They were our sponsor in 2015 back in Vegas, so it's very exciting to have them back. We also have Malwarebytes, IBM and Intel, and LogMeIn, RapidFire Tools, CMIT, Tigerpaw, and a variety of others.

Scott: That's great.

Courtney: So, the sponsors just keep rolling in and a lot of those were returning sponsors as well. Not all of them, so we are having newcomers as well as returning sponsors. So it's really great to see that that relationship for them has continued and that they see value within sponsoring our conference.

Scott: Right, I know many of them are very, very excited and pleased with the outcome and the relationships and opportunities that presented themselves at 2015.

Courtney: Absolutely, I mean, last year when we were back in Vegas, that was our second-year conference. This year, it's our third and people were outstanded about how many people were there.

Scott: Right, and it was a very valuable experience. The other thing is is that folks, we're almost half...we're more than half sold out for our registration for this year, which is exciting being this far out. And there's a lot of other opportunities for you to walk away with tangible assets, another opportunity that was very successful last year was our the genius bar.

Courtney: Yes, absolutely. And we have some exciting new news for this year. We're actually turning it into a genius bar hub. So you thought the genius bar was pretty cool.

Scott: Bigger and better.

Courtney: Bigger and better. Last year we had 10 stations, this year we're hoping to have about 15. We're also hoping to get some potential sponsors for these stations, perhaps Salesforce or LinkedIn, so that would be very exciting to have them on board. Scott, I know you were really familiar with kind of the genius bar, what were some key takeaways that you took away, or offerings?

Scott: Right, yeah, I mean there were people at the genius bar who were experts in areas such as website optimization and SEO. We had like close to 150 partners stop by and make appointments at the genius bar last year. We produced, on-sight, about 275 or so videos labeled with partners' logos and contact information the partners walked away with right there. Content that was labeled for them and that they could go back and, again, they walked away with digital files right from there. So, its a great take away directly from the conference and we think a lot of our partners learned a lot about different parts of marketing, sales, pricing, packaging, website optimization, how to, you know, learn a lot of things that were very applicable to the business directly there.

We're four months, we're coming up on shortly, you know we're 120 some- odd days away from the conference.

Courtney: Yeah, countdown continues.

Scott: It does. It's gonna be very, very exciting. Any last words for our partners about the conference?

Courtney: I mean, I would honestly say that it's a growing event. We started in 2014 and our projected growth just continues to triumph every year. The amount of content that we jam pack into these three days and how valuable it is to our partners, and when we're planning these sessions and these breakouts, we're not focusing it around us and promoting Continuum, we're focusing on what our partners have told us, what they wanna hear. So the conference is really centric to them. I would say if you are an MSP then this is a conference to come to. It's really great, it's personalized as well. We have our industry panel, so they engage the audience as well, it's not just speakers speaking to the audience. We appreciate the feedback and we take in the partner insights. And I think it's gonna be a really great time. I love Boston, I had a great time in 2014, and I think it's just gonna be a home run.

Scott: Great. I couldn't have said it any better. Excellent. Well, we hope to see you all there. Reach out, don't forget we're over half sold, so please don't hesitate and we look forward to seeing you at Navigate 2016. Thank you.

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