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Jeff MiddletonJune 2012 in New Orleans...Celebrate our 5th Anniversary!

This year we celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the IT Pro Conference in New Orleans, it's going to be a reunion of sorts. If you are a past attendee, I want to highlight that I believe more than any past year you will regret missing what we are planning as a celebration...beyond our normal over-the-top conference package. It's a reunion plan for several reasons.

Consider that in order to host the SMB MVP Community Roadshow 2011, we skipped a calendar year in the New Orleans conference diary by effectively making our global tour the "conference on the road" last year. The Roadshow provided a global touring showcase of the combined efforts of 50 SMB MVPs who cooperated to present more than 50 events across 13 countries. In doing the 2011 tour, we also provided a taste around the world of what this New Orleans (NOLA) Conference offers as a "community based event". We will reach out to the over 3,000 registrants recently engaged by the tour who we want to invite to see what "the big easy" NOLA conference does for larger scale community engagement. Hopefully we can reunite those local event attendees to the tour team they met, I anticipate the Roadshow team will be well represented at the 2012 conference.

Another perspective on this "reunion" is that we had skipped over 2009 entirely, the only year we have truly missed, and that was due to the global economic crisis spinning almost out of control in late 2008. This means, for anyone who missed our IT Pro Conference 2010, it's now been four or five years since you were here for our main conference, or else perhaps you maybe just need to come to your first one now!

One Pre-Day, Two Conference Days, and a...Seven Day Cruise!

We have changed up a few things this year to remake the conference schedule even more special. I've had many requests voiced by previous year's cruisers to provide "a new cruise option". So this year, I've pulled out the stops and we are going for a 7 day cruise roundrip from New Orleans to three different countries! We will circle around from New Orleans to Montego Bay, Jamaica, over to the Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, and spend a day in Cozumel, Mexico before a lazy day sailing back to New Orleans. Our sailing departs on Sunday afternoon, and returns the following Sunday, so our cruisers still can get home on Sunday after the main conference.

To accommodate the extended cruise schedule, we are holding our same Thursday night Jazz Reception followed by Friday and Saturday of full-session days and our notoriously excellent parties, of course. For Sunday, we gather for breakfast, but without sessions that morning. This makes two things possible: Cruisers can get packed and over to the ship, but we also gave back the half-day Sunday allowing us to feature a full Pre-Day event hosted by Third Tier. This means that our attendees actually can get a full-three day event series if you wish, simply by arriving Wed night for the Thursday pre-day, then joining us for the reception Thursday night as usual.

And if you are truly as hard core as I know some of our NOLA conference fans are, you will attend the pre-day, the 2-day French Quarter Conference, plus the 7-day Seminars at Sea cruise. Yes, we run the only 10 day conference in the SMB industry!

2012 Conference Theme: Trusted Identity

Finally, about this year's theme on Trusted Identity, I'm describing the detailed concept of this 2012 theme on the Events Overview page. It's going to be a very interesting mix of discussion beyond what you might think at first glance. Having a Trusted Identity is a multi-faceted concept because it affects far more than you think in your business as well as your personal life. Yet all of us are leaning on technology in ways we often don't consider as significant until a sad lesson is learned. Having an identity that is trusted, a brand that is respected, and faith in the people you do business with is a two way street. We will explore many avenues on how to establish, maintain or regain trust in terms of technology, business and partnerships.

- Jeff Middleton Founder of SBSmigration.com

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