CompTIA Summer Events (CompTIA Volley)
Carolyn April: Hey everybody. Welcome to the latest edition of Volley. I'm Carolyn April and as always, I'm looking for my good buddy Seth Robinson, Seth. Hey, how are you doing? I'm doing well. Okay, you told me this week that you were getting into summer state of mind.
It's on a present summer state of mind. Here I go there Memorial Day hits and I'm there. I don't have school aged children anymore. So I don't know if the summer bell doesn't ring when school ends. I don't have that. So summer to me is minute. The weather turns warm enough to wear short sleeves. But yeah, I'm good.
How much beach have you been doing? I've been I've been up to Maine a couple times so far. Went up Memorial Day weekend. I'm going tomorrow. For for the day, maybe both days? I don't know. So the Weather's supposed to be and I don't know how it might not be beach weather. But. So getting in that frame of mind. Yeah, yeah. First thing is beach weather. And if you
don't need to jump in the water, whatever. I love going to the beach, but we have not quite a beach. But we inherited a pool with this new place. There you go. You don't have to. We're learning all about pool ownership, which is teaching us why we never had a pool up to this point. So yeah, I hear people say that about boats to boats and pools. Yeah, you learn a lot about that. I've had neither. So I
can't really speak expertly. But you'll you'll have to invite me over though at some point, we'll open invitation. All right, I can't promise that the pool will be open and swimmable. But there's no green algae floating on the top. That's what we're trying to get rid of. Okay, that'll be good.
So today's exciting, because we've got to two folks from our CompTIA family that are going to be joining us to talk about some of the exciting sort of flagship events that are coming up in our CompTIA world. Yeah, right. I mean, speaking of summer, right, we we've always had these events, and we've done them virtual the past couple years, but I think we're back to doing them in person, we're really excited about that. And these are two events that serve kind of both sides of the business. So we wanted to have some some good representatives from both sides of the business coming on and talking about them. And so I think we're going
to start off with Liz Wanamaker, who is our Vice President of b2b marketing over on the certification side. And Liz, you're gonna talk to us all about Partner Summit, right? I am, and I'm thrilled to be here. I listen to the volley all the time. So this is my first time actually being a guest. So thank you both. This is really great for me. So
yeah, we're thrilled to have you. And now that you've been on we tend to do repeat guests. So this may be your maiden voyage with us. But we'll have your awesome while the pressures on So Liz, Partner Summit, why don't you give us sort of the nuts and bolts to get us kicked off here? You know, when is it? What is it? And why should we be there? Sure. So the Partner Summit is happening on August 3, and
fourth in Chicago, and we're live we're so excited. The past two years, we were virtual. And you know, we've learned a lot over the past couple of years about how to run virtual events. And in person events that was wait was was quite an eye opener, but just to be back together, will be so refreshing. So we're really looking forward to it. And the Partner Summit is
interesting as that you mentioned, both sides of our audiences, the partners, CompTIA partners, this is really the premier event for our authorized partners. And if you don't know much about our authorized partner, community and who that includes. These are the organizations, academic organizations, and commercial training delivery organizations, who really partner with us on the mission of delivering tech talent to the global workforce. So we have organizations around the globe, who essentially teach our curriculum, and use our certifications to help train talent in their local communities. So for this particular event, we bring everyone together, everyone in that ecosystem of delivering tech talent to the workforce, we bring them together, and we talk about best practices for teaching and learning. We talk
about industry trends, we create community, we basically have an an opportunity to get together and just network and really, really focus on our shared mission. So it's really exciting. Yeah, that's awesome. You know, as you were talking a little bit about the audience that we have. I was wondering, along with the partners do we do we have any of our just clients showing up like any of the businesses Is that you would work with, some of them show up as well to just learn what's going on in the certification space and how they can upskill their workforce. Absolutely, we do have our employers joining us as well, because as you know, employers are also keen on on training, and upskilling employees. So we do have employers, customers
that join us. We even have some employers that have their own tech trainers that are on staff that are are coming to join us as well. So that's another part of this, this audience. So essentially, anyone who is focused on training up tech talent, looking at ways to upskill reskill out skill, develop their talent pipeline focused on the skills and competencies that are sort of mapped to CompTIA certifications and our pathways. Those are the people who are attending our
partner found that event? Well, you know, certainly is the issue du jour. The topic du jour workforce skills, certifications and in our tech world, with such a broad topic and a huge umbrella with lots of things sitting under it. Do you have a theme this year, a major theme that you're going to coalesce around? You're probably wondering, from my background, what's going on? I see a lock I see a little table. Yeah, you know, so our
theme this year is really, you hold the key. And I think they're the one thing that's cool about this is that there's a little bit of mystery and intrigue, right? Like you hold the key. It gets your thinking begs the question of as an individual as an organization, what do you hold the keys to? You know, what, what are you enabling? What doors? Can you help open for people? What can you unlock? You know, what is that? And so we wanted to give this this nod to, you know, almost like the giving people the authority and getting them in a place where they're thinking about what they can impact? You know, do they hold the key to inspiring action, the motivating change to opening equitable access to tech careers? Do they hold the key to learning and opportunity? So that's what we think about at CompTIA? How are we really unlocking that potential? And what are those keys that we hold? What can we do? And what can we do together with our partners to really open minds build confidence, and really help, you know, developing that talent as you as you stated your own? Because I do think that's, you know, that's continues to be one of the missions that we're, we're focused on is really, you know, how do we deliver the tech talent? So that's our, that's our theme. So you'll see a lot of locks, you'll see a lot of keys, you'll see a lot of intrigue, and and we just really want people to think about that question. What do you hold the key to? You know, what are those doors you can open? So that's our theme. Yeah, I like that. I like Carolyn said earlier, you know,
workforce and skills are really a topic deserted these days. And everyone's really interested in them, especially because we're having so much trouble solving that supply and demand equation. And when you're talking about holding the keys, Liz, it's making me think of some things that I've been looking at in the credentialing space, around digital credentialing with badges, or blockchain or things like that, trying to give people a little bit more control over their own individual skills journey. And then getting organizations to kind of
recognize that so that people can really be portable with their skills and be in control of their careers. And so there's an element that goes to the individual on this, but there's a huge element on businesses that are hiring people and institutions that are training people. And so I think that that theme really resonates right now. In all the skills
discussion. So you had mentioned, yeah, you had mentioned before, Liz, that the past couple of years have been virtual, and you've learned a lot from them. Are there some ways that people if the if you can't make it live in person, are there ways that they can tap into either virtual sessions or social media or things like that to kind of stay in tune with what's going on? Yeah, and actually, I have an announcement to make, which we have not made breaking news on. Bali, okay, breaking news. So we actually are going to have a virtual track. So we're going to be running a hybrid event. We're
working out the details now. But we should have that announcement ready in a few weeks. So be looking for that. We recognize that. We have partners around the globe, typically this event at our Partner Summit we have we have about 300 people join us in person, what we saw during the pandemic and when we did run that version. Little event. And we sort of opened up access we had, you know, the first year out, we had close to 1000 registrations in the second year out, we're we're just above 600.
So there's a real appetite for the content. So we're trying something new, we've never done this hybrid format before. And, you know, we're learning. I mean, that's, that's one of the the outcomes of going through this time of disruption. You know, it's the fact that we've, we've learned a lot. So you'll
be hearing more about this in the coming weeks, and there will be an opportunity for you can join us virtually as well, which is very exciting. That's fantastic. Yes, keep us posted. We'll make sure that we get the message out as we can. And I hope that the event goes, amazingly. It's great to have you back in person again, too.
Great. Yes. We're excited. Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you, Liz, for joining us, we will be sure to include a link to the Partner Summit website in the show notes and that people can check that out more if they're interested.
And Liz, we wish you all the best on the upcoming event. Good luck. As you're planning through the summer. I'm sure you're going to be busy. Yes, very busy. But thank you for having me. Really appreciate
it. Anytime you need me to come back. I'll do that. We'll keep it in mind. Thanks, Liz. All right. So we are moving on to the next family member in our CompTIA tribe, who's also got quite a big event to come and deer coming up are at the same time, I believe is Liz's event. I'm Jay shore, who is our Chief community officer. And also my fellow New Hampshire residents which live in Yes. I'm Jay. Welcome. Welcome.
Are you I'm in summer mode two, I'm rocking my CompTIA t shirt. Yes, you are. I love it. That's good to see you MJ. How are you guys are good. Good.
So. So we're going to ask you a lot of the same questions that we asked Liz but we'll start off with just you know, fill us in on on the basics. You know, what do you what do you have going for us in channel Con this year? What are the dates? Where is it? Yeah, so we're super excited. Channel con is live, I got it wrong. I see live, there we go. That's the background. We're celebrating Chicago's music scene. And we're alive.
And so channel con will be in our hometown of Chicago. So we're excited. It runs the event. The main event runs Tuesday, August 2 through Thursday, August 4, but on Monday, the first we'll have some of our communities and councils going through some of their governance meetings, and what have you. It's great time to bring everybody together. And
we're super excited to be back together. This is our first channel conference 2019 It's just It's crazy how much time has gone by. But, you know, we're we're able to pull these things off safely again. So we're excited registrations are coming in. And we'll be right there alongside Partner Summit. So this is going to be fun. The team is super energized.
Everybody's pretty excited to get people back together. Yeah, I can't believe it's been since 2019. I was thinking about that. I was thinking about that myself. The other day. And so it's, it's gonna be great. I mean, even in earlier this spring when we had what was CCF and then I'm blanking on what we're calling it now, which is really bad even councils Forum.
Thank you. Thank you. But that was live for the first time. And you could tell the energy was very high. So I'm anticipating channel economy similar, just on a bigger scale, right. But just like we asked Liz I mean, thematically, what are we thinking about? Because again, channel Khan's got such a huge ecosystem of people with different interests and different agendas. So are we settled on a theme? Or is it a multiple types of themes, where it's a multitrack event, so you know, like the name channel con, you know, our global community is focused on the IT channel. So it's, it's the MSPs solution providers,
whatever you want to call, you know, whatever acronym you want to use. It's the vendors and distributors and all the associates, consulting firms, etc, that that are the channel ecosystem. And these are the companies that are in baking and delivering the technology services that power the global economy. So it's a it's a great event as the largest vendor neutral nonprofit, Industry, Trade Association for tech, we're able to bring people together in a unique format, right? It's a level playing field, you know that it's not, this is not a vendor sponsored event. It's not a sponsored
event at all. This is an investment that CompTIA makes. It's one of the real privileges we have as a as a self funded nonprofit to be able to make these investments in the industry to help everybody be better. So we've got three primary tracks we've got a biz tech track all about business and technology topics. Shocker. We've got a cyber security track right? There's not much hotter than cybersecurity not for good reasons. But you know, it's it's it's near and dear to our heart is CompTIA, obviously, and we've got our vendor track. So we're addressing everyone and mixed in with that, of course, our our communities we will have. We've restructured our communities
this year based on global regions. So I'm super excited that we're going to have the inaugural meeting of our North America community, which combines the US and Canada for the first time, and mirrors our global footprint where we have communities in the UK and Benelux and Zed, we have an initiative from our board to launch a doc community out of Germany, covering Germany, Switzerland, and Austria this year, as well as an Asian community, which will most likely wind up headquartered out of Singapore, but serve that Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, on and on it goes. So we're super excited about that. It gives us the ability to share best practices globally, and help bring markets together to serve their customers as well as they possibly can. So we're, we're super excited about that. Bring that together. We've got our CompTIA member of the year announcement, there'll be a big guy reveal. At our lunch. We've got Scott Galloway, the famous
professor from NYU Stern, Stern School, coming to talk about the state of the industry in business. He's a dynamic speaker, really excited about that Todd Tibideaux, our CEO will will have a nice q&a session with him. We've got educational courses that we're rolling out our newest cohort of our MSP profit builder course is there to help MSPs really understand how to grow and scale a profitable business. We've got our channel account manager training for our vendors, of course, we got a session on Metaverse, right. Everybody's talking about metaverse. So you know, how does that relate to
the IT channel? How does that relate to our customers? does it relate? So the there'll be a pretty, I'm guessing thought provoking maybe provocative session around Metaverse, I'm looking forward to that. And we'll also have our great member lounge where everyone can come together and learn, you know, we know it but CompTIA just does so much good out there. And so this is an opportunity for anyone who comes to the event to see all the different areas where we work, you know, the highlight the great work that you both do with our industry research. I mean, you're our rock stars, right? Research is one of our most most utilized member benefits. And it's thanks to the
great work that you and your teams do. So we've got, we've got a ton going on. And we've got a great, great venue for our off site party on I think it's on Tuesday night, the second might be Wednesday night. I'm drawing a blank right now. But
we'll be at a place called offshore offshore Chicago to many like sh calm and ch combos there. But that's right on famous Navy Pier. I'm so excited right on Lake Michigan. And I've been told that there's a great firework show that will be going on right during our off site there. So that will be just an
incredible opportunity to bring people together and network in a relaxed environment and have some fun. So we've got I'm just scratching the surface. We got so much going on with channel con, it's really I'm sure my lack of enthusiasm is coming through. Oh, yeah, just a bit. You, you described the audience that's going to be there MJ and I was just curious to know, we've talked so much about the evolution of the IT channel and how you know, different firms should be exploring different types of businesses. And I think what we've found is that there's
a lot of places for a lot of different types of businesses. So you can be an MSP, and you don't necessarily have to transform yourself into a business consultant, even though that path is available. But the world of technology enablement is kind of broadening outside of the traditional vendor distributor managed service provider thread that we've been familiar with for so many years. Are you expecting to see some different types of firms begin to trickle into channel comm so that we can begin to learn more about what they're doing and they can learn more about what we're doing? And we can start really supporting and enabling all of that technology enablement space? Absolutely. You know, that that's, that's a key function of what we call our industry advisory councils, right? They they focus on mostly emerging technology segments and how that relates, you know that Metaverse right that that's an emerging tack right there. It's a different type of business and you're so right, Seth, there are there are so many different opportunities for MSPs solution providers consultants. tsps
integrate There's you know, pick picking our industry is great for, for acronyms. We should be like the acronym industry, I don't know why we call ourselves the IT industry. Oh, because that's an acronym. That's why. But, you know, the no doubt, you
know, things are continually changing. And you'll see it over the year with some of the things that we're doing specifically on the community side to bring all of those people together, and you'll see a lot more, a lot more the dots connecting between the work that we do in our traditional workforce certification, education and training areas with the community area for that very reason, because things are changing. And there are, there's no shortage of opportunity. Let's, you know, I think that's the good news, you know, change, change. Change is constant, we all understand that change can be scary, we understand that change can also be incredibly empowering. And we need to maybe focus a little more on that. So yeah, we will continue to work to bring, you know, these different types of organizations into the community different, you know, whether they're startups, or whether they're what we might have considered adjacent types of organizations that are, you know, I always acronyms and cliches, right for us. But you know, I always think of that, you know, every
business is a technology business now, well, every business is also a data business. Now, you know, just about every business has a data lake, even if they don't know it. It's just a question. If they're using it, you know, that that's why our certification team was so smart in launching our data plus pathway because I personally think that's a huge area of opportunity. But, you know, I've talked to so many people that see opportunity, and Metaverse, IoT smart cities, you know, on and on, it goes, some of these concepts aren't new, but the industry still hasn't really figured out how they all fit together. So there's still a lot of opportunity there and a
lot of work that's going on there. And we're, we're, we're hoping that we can really help provide some leadership and thought leadership in how different organizations can embrace that not just for themselves, but most importantly, for their customers. Yeah, I think that's one of the beauties of an event like channel con, is you have the structured part of the event, which, you know, helps people give them actually prescriptive advice on how to be doing some of the things you're talking about. But then you've got the whole networking aspect of it, so that some of these new adjacent types will be butting up with some of our more traditional type of solution providers and MSPs and just, you know, just swimming in the same pool, even casually, you know, over drink or coffee or whatever it is, is how they can be exchanging, you know, good knowledge and information as well. So yeah, question is, will it be cesspool or someone's might have it ready by that.
Channel con is it sets house next year, very new venue, that'll be you know, it's funny, you mentioned you mentioned CCF earlier, Carolyn. And I think that's one of the things that I was most pleased with coming out of CCF is that we saw these advisory councils that are typically more in these emerging spaces, and our communities, which are typically the more traditional organizations, like you mentioned, they dynamically at that event, reached out to one another and pulled each other into their sessions to try and figure out you know, there's, we're missing something here, you know, that these, these, these paths are crossing one another, and we need to figure out how to seize that opportunity. And they, they naturally through natural evolution, you know, did what I couldn't have, you know, I couldn't have come up with that, that plan any better than they did it on their own. And so I'm really hoping to see that
continue with channel calm and go on. I think it's one of the reasons, you know, CCF was our highest rated event for attendee satisfaction ever. You know, we chalk that up, you know, we're proud of that, but but we also kind of being a humble organization that we are, we also kind of chalk that up to saying, wow, it's the first one back after the pandemic, you know, everybody was just so excited. But then I think of,
you know, something like I just described, and I'm like, there's more to it than just we got back together. There were there were some incredible things that that happened. And, you know, just that ability to be exposed to everything that's going on from the traditional pieces of the industry to the emerging pieces of the industry to you know, our CompTIA Isao which is making such a huge difference in the cybersecurity space and and even what's going on with Partner Summit and the work that they're doing. I mean, there's there is crossover there. It's not always obvious, but it's, it's just such a unique and empowering environment. We're just we couldn't be happier to reduce this event and bring it to the industry. Yeah,
that's awesome. We're very much looking forward to it, is there going to be any virtual component like there is with Partner Summit? Stay tuned, TBD. You know, we there, there may be something, you know, we're definitely, you know, the demand is there for the in person. And, and, and you know, we're definitely doing it. But we always have a channel con live component to it in the past. So, you know, stay tuned. You know, we hope we see you all
in person. But but, you know, like anything we do, it's for the industry. So we will always find our ways to make it available. And just, you know, one more teaser I'll toss out there is that we're really going to leverage or showcase the global nature of what CompTIA does. And we're going to have a pretty cool experience at the start of the event called around the world with CompTIA communities. And we're literally starting in Australia. And over the course of 24 hours, we have
our global communities meeting following the sun until we land figuratively and literally at Channel con in Chicago, so there'll be a pretty a pretty fun around the world experience as well for everyone. Just to get everyone thinking a little outside the box, you know, M T is global. The world is global technology is global. And, and we'll be bringing that to the stage in Chicago as well. It's gonna be like the rockin New Year's Eve, right? Yes, we're just not gonna have Andy Cohen surrogate hammered on stage. Ian Anderson Cooper are pretty funny together. I
couldn't be entertaining. Well, MJ, thank you so much. We're all looking forward to channel con and Partner Summit. So again, thanks to Liz who joined us earlier.
Thanks for the opportunity to talk about it. I appreciate it. Love volley. It's my it's my go to podcast every week. So love what you guys are doing keep it up site that you asked me to come on and appreciate it very much. Thanks very much. Yeah. Awesome. Thanks to both of you. And thanks, Carolyn, for as always joining us every every other Friday and thanks to our producer Andrew McMillan for keeping us all in line here as we jump through our summer events. So again, check out the show notes. We'll have
some links there and you'll be able to follow all this on social media leading up to these events and then that first week in August, so should be a good one and good