Partner conferences offer a variety of ways to learn, network and boost your business.

For many of you, conferences are (or should be) a critical piece of your strategic plan with benefits that deliver all year long: you discover new tools and practices, you get the chance to dive into topics with expert guidance, and you’re able to share your learnings and experiences with your team afterwards. An added benefit: I’ve seen many of our partners come out of our conferences having built new connections with their peers, Citrix insiders and industry experts and inspired to grow in new ways.

I know it can be a challenge to carve out the time for conferences—time out of the office is time away from selling—but the potential for gains is high. That’s why my team puts so much effort in to developing Citrix Summit, the annual sales enablement and business development conference. In fact, it’s so valuable that our sales teams attend the same conference. We know your time is limited, so we focus on delivering the most valuable content in the most condensed schedule to make your experience that much richer.

Summit is all about Winning Together, and that focus drives us every day.

This year’s conference—January 8-9 in Anaheim, California—is all about engagement between partners and sales teams as well as with industry, product, sales and marketing experts. We’ll be announcing a brand-new, simplified incentive program, and we’ll show you how to get new customers and make money with Citrix Cloud.

Here are the top five reasons why Summit in particular is a smart investment for your business:

1. Learn with purpose: Summit is just two short days, less than half your week, and packed with new tactics in an environment (away from the office) that will help you focus on the content. If you can make it to Anaheim one day early, I highly recommend the preconference Instructor-led Learning Labs workshop, which delivers more hands-on learning guided by experts than you’d get in a year of trainings.

Our product teams are building fewer sessions so we can focus on what’s most important to you. We’ve also moved them to the Anaheim Convention Center for more space—and so you don’t have to run back and forth across the street this year!

This year, you will get the sessions you want to attend. Soft skills sessions will show you how to demo, prospect and sell better. Sales sessions will use sales priorities as a driver, and focus on use cases, including customer testimonials. They’ll even show you how to monetize the solutions beyond your Citrix practice.

We’re also bringing back the highly rated Citrix Talks, with partners and customers sharing case studies to illustrate how to build a business around a solution or product.

Based on your feedback, we’re making sure that the session content meets the promise of the description. Technical sessions will also be more challenging: partners can visit to refresh their basic knowledge of solutions and products ahead of the conference and come prepared for more advanced content.

2. Network: Meeting and networking with all of you directly is one of my favorite parts of Summit, and I agree with you that last year, we needed more time to network. So we made sure that Summit 2018 has plenty of structured and unstructured time for you to meet the people who matter to your business. I think there’s enough networking in two days to last you the whole year, so arrive at Summit ready to attend the networking activities we’ve got planned for you on Sunday.

3. Meet with suppliers: We’ve reimagined the expo to give you more face time with vendors and Citrix experts. Booths are now meeting places, and the schedule has been expanded to give you more time to explore.

Don’t shy away from talking to vendors. They’re there to build relationships and get to know you. Our vendor and sponsor products are highly adjacent to Citrix solutions, and learning about them in-depth will keep you current on the future of work. These are the vendors your competitors are partnering with, so you’ll also learn what the competition is thinking and planning. Talk to the vendors, check out the vendor demos, and leave Summit inspired to build a new solution that you may not have thought about before.

4. Position yourself as an expert: Summit gives you a unique opportunity to gain a great deal of knowledge in a short time from a wide group of experts. As you talk to people outside the conference and share your wisdom, you gain a reputation as an expert among your peers and partners and customers. It’s a great chance for professional development and a golden opportunity to raise your profile. Get inspired to talk about your experience with others. Blog about it, share new thoughts and ideas, and help people see you in a different light.

5. Have fun: It’s no secret that people like to do business with people they like and trust. Take advantage of the receptions and informal networking we’re setting up. And don’t miss the Partner Appreciation Party on Tuesday evening—it’s your reward for intensive training, and always one of the most talked-about highlights of Summit. This year, we’re bringing back the 90s in a street party with special musical guests—watch for details as they’re announced.

I hope to see you in Anaheim next January. Registration is open, and if you act soon, you’ll still have time to take advantage of Super Early Bird rates—just $495, the lowest ever offered for Summit—until September 22. Register today at 

Craig Stilwell, Worldwide VP of Partner Sales & Strategy, has more than 23 years of technology experience, including more than 17 years at Citrix, most recently serving as Area Vice President of our U.S. Commercial business responsible for all sales and products in the U.S. Commercial segment. Previously, Craig served in several roles at Citrix, notably as Vice President of Americas Channel Sales & Field Operations.

Connect with Craig on Twitter: @CraigTStilwell

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