From The Editor | January 31, 2011

MVP Nation — Best Of Two Worlds


By Gennifer Biggs, storage, security, and managed services editor

If you know Harry Brelsford, founder of SMB Nation you know he is always looking for fresh tactics for serving the channel, pulling together disparate players, and enhancing the education and energy levels of VARs. That approach led to the unveiling of MVP Nation, a new community event to be held March 3 to 4 in Seattle, and will connect three important communities in one place.

"Each year SMB Nation tries to launch a new strategic product," explains Brelsford, ticking of SMB VoIP and the Pocket MBA undertakings as past examples. "This summer, we talked to Microsoft about their MVP program, which brings nearly 2,000 MVPs into Seattle each year for an annual convention. We wanted to brainstorm on how we could leverage that event to better serve the channel." Traditionally, the event gathered MVPs — Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals you probably would recognize as speakers, bloggers, and thought leaders from across the channel — for keynotes and a handful of breakout product sessions.

This year, SMB Nation is working to bring new elements to the conference — including the opportunity for the public to attend. "We're working on curricula that showcases how to be a better businessperson — how to write blogs, give speeches, deliver on community outreach, etc." Beyond that, SMB Nation is providing a platform for MVPs to deliver technical speeches to their peers, and to interact with vendor sponsors through focus groups. "We asked our vendors for something more, we asked them to use this time to engage with these tech enthusiasts to talk about innovation and the next steps of our industry," says Brelsford.

Early registration discounts end Feb. 2 (you'll save $100), so if you're interested, head to the online registration site soon.