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Events and Education: Fighting the Recession Blues!

Been watching too much TV lately? If so, you are likely freakin’ about the news reporting on the economic situation. Truth be told, the technology sector is, by all appearances, doing well whereas the housing sector is struggling. But it is possible you are anxious as you hear about a slowing economy. What steps can you take to prepare for a possible recession and still have success as a small and medium business (SMB) technology consultant? Economic business cycles have been with us since the start of time.

Been watching too much TV lately? If so, you are likely freakin’ about the news reporting on the economic situation. Truth be told, the technology sector is, by all appearances, doing well whereas the housing sector is struggling. But it is possible you are anxious as you hear about a slowing economy. What steps can you take to prepare for a possible recession and still have success as a small and medium business (SMB) technology consultant?

Economic business cycles have been with us since the start of time. Always have been; always will. It is your ability to adjust and adapt that will make you successful in the long-term. The low hanging fruit in a downturn to turn yourself around is EDUCATION. Education takes many forms but this article will focus on upcoming events that you can attend to improve your professional skills sets, learn about new technology and meet fellow professional peers in the same walk of life. Future articles will discuss longer-term education opportunities include college degrees and certificates.

I was talking with a fellow peer recently and he noted that it is a busy spring. There are many events targeting SMB consultants and I will highlight a few here. Consider the following.

SMB Nation East, March 29-30, 2008, Montclair, NJ

With all due respect, my company, SMB Nation, is hosting its third-annual spring workshop in the NYC area. We anticipate over 150 SMB consultants at this event, located an easy 14-miles from downtown Manhattan! The content agenda, which should be your first consideration when any professional event, is focused on the new Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 (SBS) release (a FirstLook), Microsoft Response Point (the new small business telephone system) and traditional IT consulting topics such as selling manage services, running a consultancy and even a Web 2.0 lecture! And did I mention that we have A LOT OF FUN for over two days geeking out? Details at www.smbnation.com

IT Pro Conference 2008 – Transition Strategies: Migrations, Upgrades, Services

Event: May 9-11, 2008

Cruise (optional): May 12-17, 2008

Long-time SMB consulting player and power broker Jeff Middleton, a SBS-MVP for Microsoft, is hosting his second annual conference focused on the important IT transition topic. Jeff brings creativity to the event format with an emphasis on same room sessions (as much as possible) so everyone hears the same lecture at the same time. This has the effect of increasing participation, introductions and preventing the long song of “there were two great sessions at the same time and I didn’t know which one to attend!” Find out more at http://www.conference.sbsmigration.com/.

SMB Nation Toronto

May 3-4, 2008

This two day event, a first for the hard-core SBS crowd in Toronto, promises to elevate the professionalism of those SMB consultants attending. For example, the Microsoft Response Point telephone system will be shown, even though it is not for sale in Canada yet. Why would a Canadian attendee care about Response Point? Because it will be for sale SOON in Canada and this is a great way to get ahead of the curve and learn something cool in advance of release! That is how you survive and thrive in a downturn. Enough said!

Harry Brelsford is the CEO of SMB Nation and can be reached at [email protected]

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