Breakaway 2009 Rocked!

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Wow, what a show! More than 1,000 IT executives -- including a lot of new faces -- joined us in Las Vegas, Aug 3-6, for a great few days of engaging speakers, informative panels and presentations, interactive vendor exhibits, and lots of networking time and peer-to-peer learning. Oh, and we had some fun too.

I received a lot of positive feedback from show attendees throughout the week, and there were two common themes heard throughout:

1. There was A LOT of relevant content to help me grow my business
2. I like CompTIA’s enhanced focus on members - how can I get more involved?

From the keynotes to the breakout sessions, I do feel there was a host of good content to be had – and just a superstar group of presenters, moderators, and panelists. Thanks very much to all who participated this year. Of course, your own peers are often the best source of information and advice, and that’s why we introduced peer-to-peer sessions this year, and they seem to have worked very well.

Member engagement is paramount to our success as an association and as an industry. While we see Breakaway as the annual, in-person rallying point for the IT industry – one which we expect to continue to grow over the coming years – it’s just one piece of the community that we’re in the process of developing.

I’m especially excited about two new online communities CompTIA announced at Breakaway this year. Both are designed to keep the IT channel engaged, to provide a forum for industry networking and collaboration, for asking and answering questions, and for offering and finding industry resources year-round.

The CompTIA IT Pro Community, is targeted at the certified IT professional. It will be a place for those who want to start an IT career or advance their current IT career. One of the most important resources the Community will host is the CompTIA Career Center which will help match certified job seekers with employers trying to fill IT jobs.

The CompTIA Channel Community (C3) is intended to be the world’s premier channel-neutral online community. C3 will offer rich content on business solutions and trends, discussion forums, webinars, white papers and other valuable business intelligence. The Member Resource Center (MRC) section of C3 will allow members to find companies providing services in finance, logistics, HR, channel consulting, training, public relations, marketing, research and more – many of which offer substantial discounts to CompTIA members.

Another key strategy in our community initiative is to engage channel executives vertically into the association’s work. To accomplish this, CompTIA will be teaming up with Channel Insider to create the Channel Vanguard Council. The Council will be a collaborative, moderated community of invited channel executives who will explore issues affecting the IT channel community today and in the future. The Council will deliberate on a wide range of issues and will produce clear, actionable guidance for the overall channel community.

In addition to CompTIA’s new online communities, the association will hold new regional events this fall. Attendees at the CompTIA MSP Business Simulation Experience will participate in business simulations that provide great insights into improving their business.

Overall, Breakaway 2009 was a reflection of what CompTIA strives to be, and a harbinger of things to come. With a renewed focus on community and delivering high-value, directly applicable programs and content, CompTIA continues to make great strides online and off.

I couldn’t be more proud of CompTIA, its Board of Directors, its staff, its members and the entire Breakaway community. Thanks to everyone who attended and helped put on the event. We couldn’t (and would have no reason to) do it without you!
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