Auvik hosted 150 MSPs in Santa Barbara, California, last week for the inaugural Frankly MSP Live—and all agreed it was an event to remember.

“One of the best conferences I’ve been to.”

“Awesome location, awesome group, extremely informative, and just an all around great time.”

“Being able to actually meet and speak with so many others in the industry was wonderful.”

“The content, venue, and overall setting was amazing and just what our industry needed. You all set the bar EXTREMELY HIGH as to how a true partner of the channel should treat and care about the channel.”

“The best content-focused event I’ve ever been to, and I go to a lot of them!”

“I was blown away with the calibre of people you brought together in one room. Incredible!”

“Excellent event! Lots of information to help move MSPs forward in a positive direction. Amazing resources and information shared….”

“Loved the value of the MSPs in the room and the content of the speakers. Also that it was not about Auvik, it was a conference designed about MSPs in mind.”

These are just a few of the event highlights.

Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

oceanside at the ritz-carlton bacara, santa barbara
It might seem odd to start an event recap with a comment about the venue but in this case, the location was definitely part of the experience. Attendees raved to us about the hotel and its amenities, from the ocean views, beachside hiking trails, one-acre spa (yes, you read that right), luxurious rooms, world-class wine cellar, and top-notch food.

Polar Plunge

When we first came up with the idea of jumping into the ocean to kick off our event, we weren’t sure how many people would choose to take the plunge. To our delight, it was a lot! And while the water wasn’t truly Arctic cold, it was a chilly 15℃ (59℉).

Afterwards, participants were rewarded with warm towels (courtesy of Barracuda), an “I took the Polar Plunge” t-shirt (thanks to Datto), and everyone tucked into tomato soup and polar bear-shaped grilled cheese.

Keynote: Mike Michalowicz

mike michalowicz frankly msp live keynote
Author and speaker Mike Michalowicz started Day 1 on a high note with a keynote that kept the crowd in hysterics while also sharing some breakthrough financial advice.

His main point: The accounting formula of sales minus expenses equals profit is all wrong. It puts profit last, which Mike argues makes it seem unimportant. Instead, Mike says you should take your profit first, skimming it out of your revenues before paying anything else.

Every attendee received a copy of Mike’s book Profit First, which details his theory and how to put it to work in your business, and was able to get it signed in a meet-and-greet with Mike later in the morning. (Thanks to Axcient for sponsoring Mike’s keynote and book signing.)

To hear more from Mike, listen to episode 50 of the Frankly MSP podcast, where he talks about another of his bestselling books, Clockwork.

Live podcast recording

frankly msp live podcast recording
I took to the stage with guest Greg Sharp for a live recording of the Frankly MSP podcast focused on growing an MSP through acquisitions.

Greg is the founder and managing director of base 2, a New Zealand MSP that’s completed two acquisitions so far, and is in the process of closing a third. Greg shared his insights on when acquisitions make sense, how to assess prospective sellers, financing strategies, and best practices for integrating the new company into your own.

Plus the audience helped me out on the podcast intro and close. The live episode drops on Thursday—have a listen and let me know your feedback in the show notes.

Keynote: Tiffani Bova

tiffani bova frankly msp live keynote
Rounding out the content sessions for the day was Tiffani Bova, a growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce and author of the bestselling book Growth IQ.

Tiffani shared a few significant stats to illustrate that a client’s experience with your company is just as important as your product or service. She also dug into technology trends and what they mean for service businesses like MSPs in the next few years.

Like Mike, Tiffani was also available to sign copies of her book that each attendee received in their welcome pack. (Thanks to Warranty Master for sponsoring Tiffani’s keynote and book signing.)

Frankly MSP Brain Trust Lounge

You’ve heard of speed dating—but how about speed networking? That was the idea behind the Brain Trust Lounge, where 10 experts met in 10-minute intervals with interested attendees.

“Honestly, it’s the most fun I’ve had at a conference,” said one participant. Yay for new connections!

2020 Vision Party

tarot card reading
What does the future hold for MSPs? You never know… unless maybe you visited one of the palm and tarot card readers at the Frankly MSP Live Vision Party. 😉

Fortune telling was just part of the fun on the slate at the party, which also featured MSP DJ Josh Weiss spinning wicked beats, a ‘smores station, a build-your-own mac and cheese bar, outdoor fire pits, signature cocktails like Tech on the Beach and the Warrantini, plus conversation galore.

Not to mention the Ocean Terrace location, which gave prime views of the resort and a 20ft inflatable polar bear standing guard.

Keynote: Nigel Moore

nigel moore frankly msp live keynote
Last on the event docket but certainly not least, Nigel Moore closed the show with a raw and honest account of mastering the MSP mindset. Sharing deeply of his struggles with drinking, depression, and a friend’s suicide that forced him to re-evaluate his life and MSP business, Nigel described the strategies and tactics that turned things around and brought him to the success he enjoys today.

Nigel also gave a copy of his new book, Package Price Profit, to each attendee, along with a Frankly MSP Live workbook for keeping tracking of learnings and action items. Thanks, Nigel! (And thanks to DNS Filter for sponsoring Nigel’s keynote.)

TL;DR Frankly MSP Live recap video