I’ve been going to conferences, large and small, for more than 25 years. I’ve seen and heard some amazing speakers, made life-long connections, and learned so much about business—and life. As the world becomes more connected and almost everything can be done virtually, it begs the question, “Do conferences and in-person events still matter?”
My answer: absolutely. As I plan out my year, I’ll be sharing with you some of the events that I refuse to miss, and think are important for ALL leaders and employees of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to attend. One conference I’m particularly jazzed to be attending is Modern Customer Experience, presented by Oracle, from April 10-12 in Chicago. If your job touches any area of customer experience (CX)—which, there aren’t many jobs today that don’t—this is one conference you need to be at.
Here are three reasons you’ll want to book your ticket to Modern Customer Experience now:
- The People: As my good friend Bryan Kramer often says, “Business is no longer B2B or B2C; it’s all H2H (Human to Human).” Behind the computers, smartphones, and social media profiles are real people. The intangible benefits of meeting someone face-to-face allow you to make connections that help fill in the blanks for conversations that started via email or on social media. In fact, I met Bryan Kramer at a business event in Colorado (he was the moderator; I was on the panel), and he’s since introduced me to at least two of my clients and a whole new way to look at CX. He and I are joining forces again at Modern Customer Experience, where he's leading a session called Drive Business Growth with a Human to Human Customer Experience on April 11 at 5:15PM CDT.
- The Content: CX expectations are rapidly changing—and with so much technology driving its evolution, it can be hard to keep up. Where else can you learn about the latest tech tools available to help your business? At Modern Customer Experience, attendees can see new and emerging technologies on display, side-by-side, and then talk to the people who are actually building them. In 2017, Modern Customer Experience honed in on artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and big data, and the roles they’re playing in transforming businesses and industries. Next month, the conference goes even deeper to make sure you know what to do with these technologies in 2018. At Modern Customer Experience, I’ll take my knowledge of SMB tech and learn how to add the CX component to it. I’ll listen to entrepreneurs and executives at Fortune 100 companies talk about what businesses can do to stay connected to their prospects and customers in a customer-centric world. To me, Modern Customer Experience is akin to getting my Executive MBA degree. The venue is a college campus, and the speakers are my professors. The final exam is how I implement the knowledge into my own company.
- The Benchmark for Your Business and Brand: Chances are, your competitors will be at Modern Customer Experience. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to see what they are doing—from the booth they set up, to the collateral they hand out, to what they say or ask in sessions. When it comes to competition, conferences are the arenas; a place to measure your business and brand against other companies in your industry. How do you measure up? What strengths and weaknesses do you see in the other companies? Who are they talking to, and what are they saying? Further, what are they writing on social media while at the event? For example, a tweet might say “We had a great meeting with XYZ company. Looking forward to doing business with them this year.” Yes, I’ve seen companies write that message on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. And yes, XYZ company was one of my client’s largest customers.
By attending Modern Customer Experience this April, you can stay close to your clients while meeting with prospects. You can also keep an eye on the competition and defend your business in real-time.
If you want to talk more about business and technology, let’s meet there. We can attend sessions, walk the aisles, and spy on your competitors. If you are planning to be there, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t miss Modern Customer Experience, April 10-12 in Chicago. Use code CONNECT18 for $500 off.