The MSP Event of the Year! Aug 27 - 30

VISION ’23 Recap: From Good to GREAT!

VISION ’23 Recap

From Good to GREAT!

We came. We saw. We VISION’d.

It’s over, folks – our seventh annual VISION conference – but that doesn’t mean it’s gone. We’re certainly still feeling the buzz – and judging by the feedback that’s already rolling in, so too are the event’s hundreds of attendees.

Every year, something special happens at VISION. We call it “VISION magic.” But whatever you want to call it, it’s a powerful thing that emerges when people come together with open minds and good hearts – and an indomitable desire to succeed.

That said, this year’s event felt magic in a major way. Especially special. Truly great.

Maybe that’s because of the conference theme – taking an MSP from good to great – but we’re pretty sure it’s because this MSP community is made up of some of the most kick-a**, hardworking, and kindhearted people on the planet.

So while the memories are still fresh, we want to look back at the events of last week – at the GREAT time we had at VISION ’23.

We want to talk about the people, the ideas, the moments, and of course, that VISION magic.

We hope you enjoy this recap of VISION ’23. And if you missed out on the events of last week, don’t despair. We’re determined to raise the bar yet again at VISION ’24 – maybe our theme next year will have to be … “from great to greater”!

Tuesday – “The Kickoff”

The sun was out and the MSPs were flooding in. From Wisconsin. From California. From New Jersey. From Canada. Hundreds of MSPs, all looking to get better. All looking to grow.

Everyone arrived safely and we could tell right away that the MSPs in attendance we’re pumped up and ready for the very thing we promised in many of our marketing materials: “a conference experience like nothing else in the channel.”

We wasted no time getting things started, taking to the rooftop patio at the Omni Hotel (an absolutely top-class establishment next door to the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters) for the VISION ’23 Kickoff Party.

Cold drinks were sipped. New friends were made. And even though it was hot – like, really hot – the patio was still full at 7 pm, two hours after the party got under way.

And it wasn’t because attendees were determined to get their photos taken with our special guests, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. It was because they were having a blast with each other. It was because of that VISION magic.

Wednesday – Day One

We got started bright and early on Wednesday morning. After getting their breakfast tacos and coffee, attendees filled the Omni’s grand ballroom for our very own Tim Conkle’s opener, The Thin Line Between Good and Great.

Tim’s energetic, enlightening, and entertaining presentation set the tone for the rest of the day’s sessions. Some highlights:

FTC Safeguard Rule and Contracts: Navigating Rough Seas – Joseph Brunsman and Daniel Astin

Joe and Dan are a dynamic duo in the realm of cyber and professional resilience, and their presentation was packed with the type of actionable guidance our attendees have come to expect at VISION. Hats off, gentlemen – you rocked it.

Exploring the Intersection of Cybersecurity and AI – Allies or Adversaries? – Rob Boles

Rob Boles (President of BLOKWORX) is one cool dude, and his no-nonsense presentation at VISION ’23 had the undivided attention of every single MSP in the room. Thank you, Rob, for sharing invaluable insights that can save livelihoods.

Return on Energy – Mike Rose

Mike Rose’s ideas on leadership, communication, and building team culture have transformed thousands of businesses around the globe. And at VISION ’23, Mike took to the Main Stage to deliver an eye-opening Keynote that left us all feeling charged up. The way Mike laid out the differences between vision, strategy, and tactics made so much sense. We can’t wait to apply his ideas at The 20 – and we know a lot of MSPs in attendance feel the same way. Now let’s go get that ROE!!!

The Art of Continuous Improvement – Ken Pecot

Since joining The 20 back in 2021 as COO, Ken has helped us transform our operations and team culture in ways that continue to reverberate and drive us forward. Naturally, a lot of us have been curious about how Ken developed his powerful business philosophy and came to be the incredible leader he is today. We – and everyone else in attendance at VISION ’23 – got the answer to that question thanks to Ken’s awesome and candid presentation. Thank you, Ken, not only for what you do at The 20, but for sharing your wisdom with the MSP community. Your words carry serious weight, and your ideas have helped – and will help – a lot of MSPs make some serious breakthroughs.

Marketing – Old Truths and New Lies – Crystal Conkle (Moderator), Andra Hedden, Jimmy Hatzell, Emalee Sugano, Anne Stobaugh

What happens when you bring five of the brightest minds in MSP marketing together for a panel discussion? Well, if what went down at VISION ’23 is any indication, you get nothing less than a marketing masterclass. We had high hopes for this one, and the conversation between Crystal (The 20), Andra (Marketopia), Jimmy (CyberQP), Emalee (BLOKWORX), and Anne (Microsoft) blew our expectations right out of the water. So many good ideas. So many refreshing takes. So much fun. Brilliant stuff all around, panelists!

State of the Channel: Straight Talk – Fred Voccola & Tim Conkle

It’s a good thing the VISION stage is so big, because last week it needed to hold two industry giants. Fred and Tim sat down for a lively and far-ranging discussion about what’s been going in the MSP space – but not before Crystal Conkle put Fred in the hot seat with some … unexpected questions. Thanks for being a good sport, Fred!

And thank you both Fred and Tim for not only a terrific and refreshingly honest conversation, but also, for kicking off a spontaneous fundraiser for the Coventry Reserve. Your generous contributions inspired a series of donations, and reminded us all just what a big heart this MSP community has.

***

After two engaging and informative Breakout Sessions led by BLOKWORX and Nerdio, plus another word from Tim, we all retired to our rooms to get a good night’s –

Just kidding. This is VISION. We wrapped up Day One with Happy Hour at the Omni. After a day of learning, it was great seeing everyone come together for drinks, laughs, and games.

Thursday – Day Two

We hit the ground running on Day Two. Tim took to the Main Stage after breakfast for his presentation on M&A in the MSP Space: Not All Roads Lead to Rome. It’s no secret that we’ve been on an M&A spree here at The 20 over the past year or so, acquiring nearly two dozen MSPs as we pursue our goal of building a national MSP with unmatched scale and service delivery. At VISION, Tim shared lessons he’s learned along the way – lessons that will surely help out MSP attendees with their own M&A journeys.

More M&A lessons came later in the day when Scott Renkes and Bobby Renkes of Pinecrest Capital Partners delivered an eye-opening presentation, M&A for MSPs: Growth and Value Drivers. Coming from the invaluable perspective of private equity, these two M&A experts gave attendees a clear look at the state of M&A in the managed services industry, along with actionable advice on how to navigate the intricate landscape of M&A effectively. MSPs are hungry for M&A guidance, and these two experts delivered the goods. Great job, guys!

Sales Wisdom

On Day Two of VISION ’23, we heard from a stellar MSP Sales Panel moderated by Tim and featuring Andy Gainor (The 20), Jacob Sanders (The 20), Seana Fippin (Red Box Business Solutions), and Gary Blawat (The 20). These panelists know MSP sales like nobody’s business, and their collective expertise shined a light on what it takes to be not only good at sales, but great.

Later in the day, after two outstanding Breakouts led by Cytracom and Dell, Miguel Lopez (SVP and GM at Kaseya), drove home the importance of sales and marketing to success in the managed services industry. Miguel’s energetic and hilarious presentation, Consultative Selling, was filled with a multitude of important lessons, our favorite of which was … Marketing isn’t bullsh*t. We love it, Miguel!

Elevating Your MSP with Marketing Automation – Nabila Moumen

Joining us from Paris, France for her second consecutive VISION, Nabila Moumen rocked the house with a lively, insightful, and captivating presentation on automation – and its power to drive MSP growth. After her session at VISION ’22, we knew Nabila would dazzle us, and dazzle us she did – with her knowledge, with her humor, with her warmth. We hope you come back next year, Nabila, to make it three in a row!

Navigating Life’s Challenges with True Grit and Grace – Amberly Lago

Wow. Wow. Wow. What a story. What a presentation. What a message. Amberly’s highly anticipated Keynote at VISION ’23 made it clear to everyone in attendance why this woman is one of the most sought-after speakers in the world. Her energy, her wisdom, her heart – Amberly Lago is the real deal, and we are SO grateful for the wisdom she shared this year at VISION. Thank you, Amberly. Thank you.

Do Your Clients Know You Love Them? – Eric Kehmeier

Eric joined The 20 as an MSP owner with big plans. He worked hard, applied our proven methods, and grew a tremendously successful MSP called “Integrated Business Technologies.” Now, Eric is our VP of Client Services, a position that allows him to cultivate the most important aspect of our growing business: relationships. At VISION ’23, Eric spoke on the importance of relationships – of truly loving your clients – and simply put, his presentation was awesome. We love you, Eric!

Speaking of love, we wrapped up Day Two by showing love to this year’s VISION Award winners. Taking home prizes were…*drumroll*…

  • MSP of the Year – Sean Morreno, Data Tech Café
  • MSP Business Growth – Reade Taylor, Cyber Command
  • Most Engaged MSP – Brandi & Chris Couse, Mash Grape Technologies
  • Support Desk Favorite – Greg Padgett, Eagle’s Wings Technologies
  • Ambassador of the Year – Forrest Smith, ASGARD IT Services
  • Best Revenue Booster – Galactic Advisors
  • Most Disruptive Solution – Cytracom
  • Most Helpful Vendor – Huntress
  • Product of the Year – Pax8
  • Partner of the Year – BLOKWORX

Congratulations everyone – y’all are doing big things and the recognition is well-deserved!

VISION Party!

It wouldn’t be VISION without the one and only VISION Party. And so, after a productive second day, we all headed over to Concrete Cowboy for our end-of-conference bash.

Was it fun? Oh yeah. And is it true what they say – “no one parties like The 20”?

We’re not going to toot our own horn, so if you really want to know, you’ll just have to attend VISION ’24 and find out for yourself.

Day Three – Members Only

VISION is open to all MSPs, but we like to host a special half-day just for members of The 20 MSP Group, our MSP ‘co-op’ devoted to giving small and mid-sized MSPs the tools and resources they need to get to that next level.

What went down at our Members-Only Half-Day?

We can’t divulge any of our in-house secrets, but we will say this: the camaraderie between our members never fails to hearten us. To see a ballroom’s worth of people – people who are supposed to be competitors – all working together and sharing ideas … It’s humbling to say the least, and a powerful reassurance that we’re doing something special here at The 20.

Final Reflection – More Than Worth It

VISION is three days, but it’s multiple months in the making. It’s thousands of hours of planning, strategizing, ordering, designing, writing, sharing. It’s countless conversations. It’s continual collaboration between our marketing team members. It’s work, work, and more work.

But it’s more than worth it. That’s because however much energy we put into our planning, the energy we get in return – from our attendees, from our speakers, from our sponsors, and from our wonderful MSP community – makes the monumental undertaking feel like a privilege.

So does feedback like the following we received from Fred Voccola, a man who knows a thing or two about IT events:

“VISION is an awesome event – one of the best in the channel. And I can say that because at Kaseya we host events. We host really big events. And every time I do this, I ask Tim and his team how can we do it better, how can we be more like VISION. VISION’s fantastic.”

Thank you, Fred. That means a lot. And a Texas-sized thank you to everyone who participated in VISION this year – MSPs, speakers, sponsors, hotel staff … The list goes on. VISION is about people, and y’all truly are the best.

Till next time, wishing everyone a healthy, happy, and productive rest of 2023. Let’s make it great!