Day 1 of Build IT started with a bang–two keynotes featuring women well-versed in business success. Our own Kam Attwal-Kaila, President of IT By Design, was followed by Technology Marketing Toolkits CEO Robin Robins.  Kam spoke on the challenges the MSP landscape, focusing in on the root cause of many business problems: getting the right people in place to address challenges in every area of the business.  Robin followed with her insights and ideas on improving revenue through marketing, but also the impact a well-considered plan can have on driving immense value into an MSP.

Those two presentations set the stage for a day where excitement ran high, sparking out of each conversation I had with a guest. Sure, they were challenged to absorb a ton of valuable information, wrap their heads around worksheets and tools, and think about implementing all this advice in their businesses.  Attendees weren’t overwhelmed; they engaged and energized.

The best part of these conversations? This is exactly what we wanted when we began the planning of Build IT. It was all about providing never-before-seen access to tools that apply directly to an MSP business.  Their enjoyment of the conference was tied directly to their perspective of what they were experiencing.  They were experiencing something unique, challenging, and pushing them towards a more productive future.

The day’s agenda concluded with a panel titled “Origin Stories” where we had our cast of Channel Super Heroes come to the stage and discuss what the biggest impacts on their lives.  Gary Pica moderated a great conversation with Rob Rae, Jeff Bishop and Jim Lippie discussing their professional starts, the epiphanies which led them to the Channel, and the “little things” that help keep them successful each day.

That effort to do an event differently actually started the night before with cocktails and dinner overlooking the Hudson River and NYC skyline on Sunday evening. To make sure our networking dinner wasn’t just a cliché, we partnered guests and sponsors at tables, creating conversations that were fun-filled and productive, geared to build stronger relationships while also learning about solutions.

Those conversations continued the next day after the keynotes, with 11 workshop options on Monday, covering topics ranging from HR to operations, strategy to finance. An evening cruise around Manhattan followed those hours in breakouts.  I’ll admit, my plans for the evening focused on relationship building; however, Mother Nature interrupted almost every discussion with the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen.  At one point, it seemed like the entire group had phones out taking pictures and video.  If I could’ve ordered the perfect evening and ambiance to end Day One, that would’ve been it.