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Social media marketing influencer, and host of “AskGaryVee,” will headline 2nd annual partner event

New Jersey, Oct. 28, 2019— IT By Design (ITBD), a market leader for providing engineering talent to IT service providers, has announced Gary Vaynerchuk as the headline keynote for its 2nd annual partner conference, Build IT 2020. Vaynerchuk is best known as a social media marketing visionary and host of the business Q&A show #AskGaryVe

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It might have been a challenge for some keynotes to top Monday night’s outing, but New York Times best-selling author John C. Maxwell did it handily, kicking off Build IT day two with his incredible insights.

Easily one of the most humble people I’ve ever met, his keynote was riveting. While addressing several concepts from Leadershift, his most recent book (everyone got a copy), John challenged our guests to think about the impact they have on their entire organization—and themselves—with their leadership style.  He discussed leadership ceilings, and how you limit not only your growth but also that of the teams you surround yourself with and on which you depend.  He challenged the audience to consider two questions as they lead: “What do you do to develop yourself?” and “What do you do to develop others?” He also tossed in a caveat about learning—well-timed given the knowledge focus of Build IT—saying that instruction can be overrated…if you don’t improve.  We hope our guests took that to heart!

On a side note, I must share that beyond John’s keynote; it was fascinating to watch him interact with attendees, signing books, and talking with them. He also gave his time for a video conference with our team in India, sharing his warmth and advice with some of his “biggest fans” overseas. His humility and intelligence truly brought immeasurable value to Build IT and our team.

John wasn’t the only speaker who provided exclusive coaching.  As we developed the event agenda, and the Build IT webinar series in advance of the show, we were lucky enough to work with channel leaders who enthusiastically support the idea of “sharing is caring.” There are no secrets tucked away here; they instead agreed to half-hour coaching sessions for Build IT attendees, hosted throughout the event. One business owner shared how blown away he was by the opportunity, and how impactful the coaching session was to his business.

You would have thought the speakers leading our workshop had heard a pep talk from John, following in his footstep and carrying the positive energy into every session. Our guests listened to advice around such as MSP organizational workflows, creating business value, and demystifying the cloud.  Overall, Build IT offered an unfamiliar challenge to attendees: They headed home with an entire library of new tools. Where to start?!

Luckily, the closing panel, “Change Champions,” provided timely advice: don’t try to do it all at once and include others in their organization to tackle the challenge of change.  The impact on culture when a leader rallies the team and includes them as they analyze the current state of the business, identify the areas needing the most help, and develop plans to implement the Build IT Workshop Tools that offer solutions to their biggest problems.

My favorite part of the panel was when our guest speakers, including Paul Dipple, Gary Pica, Brad Schow, Rex Frank, and Chris Romano challenged the business leaders in the room to bring their leaders (remember those people that John talked about?) to next year’s Build IT. I promise I didn’t put them up to it! The message of day two was clear—don’t just develop yourself as a leader, develop your team, and enable them to gain first-hand the knowledge offered at Build IT. Then watch as your business transforms.

I can’t wait to see who takes them up on that challenge.

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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.

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