Level Up Your MSP Game 

Top 5 Tips to Crush Industry Events in 2024

Written by Chris Tate on May 31, 2024

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Attending industry events is quite possibly one of the most important requirements of running a successful managed service provider (MSP) business. Why? On the one hand, a few days away from the day-to-day grind of running your MSP to instead network with your peers and enjoy some MSP swag seems like the perfect opportunity to unwind while staying connected. On the other (equally as important!) hand is all the great learning going on. 

But, the fun and fellowship can quickly take over if you don’t come into any given event with a game plan. And as someone who has attended their fair share of events, I can confidently say that even a small agenda can exponentially increase the value you get from attending (and the ROI you’ll realize when you get back to the real world). 

So before you pack your bag and head to your next event, check out these top 5 tips to make the most of them. 

1. Check the Agenda

Most events will publish an agenda ahead of time, so make sure you check these out and make a note of the sessions you want to attend, where they are located, and what (if any) prerequisites there are before attending. 

Often the most sought-after sessions clash in terms of timing, or may have limited seating (or even a requirement to RSVP ahead of time), so if you’re part of a team, consider splitting up to cover more ground effectively. This divide-and-conquer strategy maximizes knowledge intake and broadens your event coverage.

If you’re there on your own, look to see what (if any) sessions will be recorded for post-event viewing. You’ll likely see some kind of contact information in the same place where the digital agenda resides to inquire about this should you need to make a choice between two desirable sessions.

2. Be Comfortable

The informal nature of MSP events calls for comfortable attire — feel free to don your favorite vendor swag, or own company’s swag, or at least something that you don’t mind being in for most of the day (and night). 

But remember, hotel venues and conference halls can be unpredictable in temperature, so dressing in layers ensures comfort regardless of the climate. Also, with extensive walking on the agenda, prioritizing foot comfort is not just wise — it’s essential. 

3. Build Relationships

As important as the sessions are, events are all about building relationships. Approach conversations with a genuine interest in others. If you ask insightful questions, actively listen, and find common ground, you will find your peers will do the same with you. Swap business cards (if you still use them), connect on LinkedIn, or just do what you need to ensure they remember you when you next connect. 

It’s great to have relationships with other MSPs who may be going through the same issues as you, or may have worked out a solution you can learn from. It’s also great to hear about the tools they are using and generally compare notes about your MSPs in an informal setting.

If approaching people is not your thing (like while in line for lunch, or next to you at a booth), consider looking for mixers or other networking-focused sessions that specifically foster this kind of activity. These often occur towards the end of the day, involve food (and drink, if that’s your thing), and take away some of the pressure of “talking shop” so you can simply get to know someone.

4. Find new solutions 

The MSP landscape is evolving fast. It used to be the case that you only needed a few solutions to run your business and protect your clients, but that has changed. It can be daunting to see all the new vendors and understand what they are doing and how they might be able to help you, but try to check them out all the same. If there is a vendor quick-fire or something similar, this might be a good starting point, but otherwise, just buckle in, and start walking the vendor hall. 

Speaking with a certain amount of experience I can tell you that the vendors will be pleased to see you, and they may well have something that can help your MSP. If they’re busy, grab a printout (or all of them) and come back if the material speaks to you. And of course, they will at least have some great swag for you to take away for your trouble.

5. Have Fun

Perhaps the most important tip, if you need to be told, is to have fun. 

These events are a great way to look at your business from the outside, learn about what’s new and what’s coming, get clued up on all the latest and greatest best practices, and hear about threats facing our clients. 

However, once you’ve done that, have a laugh, make new friends, enjoy your beverage of choice, and put the world to rights with your fellow members of the MSP community. 

P.S. We’ll be putting these tips into practice ourselves! Look for JumpCloud at upcoming MSP events. We’d love to connect and discuss how we can help your MSP become even more successful – see you on the road!

Chris Tate

Chris is always thinking, talking and writing about MSPs. His role at JumpCloud is to get the MSP into every meeting we have and every decision we make. Outside of JumpCloud Chris can often be found watching football (soccer) and drinking beer.

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