For those not familiar with CompTIA, it is, I believe, the world-leading industry association for those involved in different technology channels. They are made up of CompTIA staff as well as a plethora of volunteer members (including myself) that come together to make sense of the hard issues affecting our industries as well as working together to build solutions to not just weather the storm but to thrive.
Tigerpaw's Vice President of Business Development West McDonald and CompTIA's Senior Director of Global Social Media Kelly Stone take a group selfie during CompTIA's 2019 CCF event in Chicago.
Allowing me to MC on Day 1
I’ve been a CompTIA member for a lot of years now and was honored this year to have been the master of ceremonies for the first day of their annual CCF gathering. I spent the day introducing speakers, community leaders and others. I’m always amazed at the incredible people that volunteer their time through CompTIA to better the channel for all.
Being able to lead one of those days was a true honor. They also let me have some fun! We played a game of musical beach ball. Basically the ball would be tossed into the air and people would bounce it to each other. When the music stopped, if you were holding the ball, you had to introduce yourself to the room and say what you were hoping to get out of the event. It was a super-fun way to get people moving and to start them thinking about being part of the conversation. I think we all had a lot of fun that day and really hope CompTIA will let me do it again.
Jim Hamilton, vice president of member communities at CompTIA, blows up the beach ball for the first fun activity at CompTIA's CCF event.
Tackled difficult topics like emerging technologies and channel disruption
The channel ain’t what it used to be, and, thanks to exponential changes in technologies and approaches, there has been considerable stress from dealers and providers on how best to deal with the repercussions.
CompTIA has never been one to shy away from hard topics nor are they prone to letting their members go it alone. Workshops were dedicated to discussing the problems facing the industry and coming up with strategies to work on throughout the year to navigate how best to survive and thrive in the new reality.
Because so many communities with varied experience get to contribute in the workshop, the strategies really have a chance to be attacked from all angles. CompTIA CCF is a safe place for everybody to contribute, no matter their industry or background. That is pretty cool!
CompTIA volunteer leaders gather during one of the working sessions at CompTIA's CCF event.
We “raised the roof” through social media
You might have noticed an uptick in activity on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook by CompTIA members. They had a cool contest to get people posting about CCF, and if you search #COMPTIACCF you can see what I’m talking about! The incredible number of people that contributed was quite incredible.
As social engagement becomes more important for all of our businesses and careers, it’s really nice that CompTIA helps people to learn how to use it to their advantage. The “raise the roof” campaign during the event was a ton of fun and a big shoutout to Kelly Stone, senior director of global social media, for organizing the whole thing. You can see a lot of the fun people had by searching #COMPTIACCF on your favorite social platform.
Tigerpaw President & CEO James Foxall poses with Kathleen Martin, senior manager of member communities at CompTIA.
How to build a recurring revenue model business
As part of the focus of the community I belong to, Technology Lifecycle Services (TLS), invited James Foxall, our lead tiger at Tigerpaw, to lead a working session exploring the different aspects of moving to a successful recurring revenue model. It was one of the most high energy round-tables I’ve ever been a part of!
James did a great job getting us all to think hard on topics that could make or break a successful transition from a traditional sales model to one that gets the bills paid every month before you even get out of bed (yes, recurring models do that!). I truly believe that moving to a model like this, no matter what industry you are from, is critical for success in 2019 and beyond, and James did an awesome job to help drive a lot of thinking on the topic. I can’t talk about what is going to come out of that, but for CompTIA members, it’s going to be awesome!
CompTIA members enjoy the "Wine Down" event during CompTIA's CCF meeting last week in Chicago.
Speaking of CompTIA members, I strongly urge you to think about joining and contributing. In my own career it has been instrumental in helping me to expand my knowledge areas as well as to develop a network of peers and mentors that have proved invaluable. It’s also allowed me to contribute and drive industry-changing initiatives that I would have no chance of doing without such a large community of support and skill.
CompTIA’s CCF 2019 was the best one I’ve been to yet and this blog is far too short to share all of the exciting things I was lucky enough to be a part of. Now it’s your turn! Were you there? What “aha” moments did you have, what did you really love about it? We’d love to hear your stories, so please feel free to share in the comments section!
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