I’m often asked about customer experience conferences: What’s out there? Where am I speaking? Which conferences would I recommend?

I’ve compiled the following list of conferences spanning a variety of topics — like CEM, service design, customer loyalty, customer success, and contact centers — that should be of interest to a wide range of customer experience professionals. I've organized the events based on the types of organizations hosting them: professional associations, event producers, service providersmedia companiesanalyst firms, and tech vendors. And, as the title of this post implies, I'll be keeping this list up to date on a rolling basis.

Am I missing an upcoming event? Please let me know!

Professional Associations

Customer Success Association's Customer SuccessCon West
January 22, 2015
Oakland, California

CXPA's 2015 UK Insight Exchange
February 10, 2015

CXPA's 2015 US Insight Exchange
May 5 – 6, 2016
San Diego, California

Customer Success Association's Customer SuccessCon East
August, 2015

Customer Success Association's Customer SuccessCon Europe
October 8, 2015


Have you heard of CrossFit? It’s a style of workouts “comprised of constantly varied functional movements (like pushing, pulling, squatting, lifting, running) executed at high intensity.” People that do CrossFit don’t just go to the gym. They become certifiable CrossFit fanatics.

I wanted to find out what all of the fuss was about, so last year I signed up for a two-week CrossFit basics course — a prerequisite for attending regular classes.

At the end of the two weeks, I received an email with the subject, “You’ve Finished Basics!” Inside it read, “I hope you enjoyed your Basics Class! If you have any suggestions or feedback about your experience, please let us know. Now that you have completed a Basics Class, you are welcome to join the gym as a member and begin taking all of our group classes.”

The only problem was that I hadn’t finished the Basics Class, and I wasn’t welcome to join and take group classes. The class’s never-ending barrage of squats with heavy weight proved too much for my knees, and I wound up starting six weeks of physical therapy halfway through.

Recently, I got another well-intentioned email congratulating me on my one-year CrossFit membership anniversary. But rather than stirring a sense of pride, the correspondence served as a stinging reminder of my knees’ defeat: I had never returned to complete the Basics Course, which meant that I had never become a member of the gym.

Email programs like this one have become an important part of the modern marketer’s toolkit. Sure, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are sexy — and in comparison, email seems like social media’s nerdy little brother. But email remains an incredibly effective marketing tool. Unfortunately, one-size-fits-all messages, misguided algorithms, and a lack of backend integration make most emails sound tone deaf...


In a previous post, I talked about the need for loyalty program interactions to be both useful and easy. In other words, loyalty programs need to provide some utility or help someone accomplish a task (whether that’s saving money, getting a free TV, or getting exclusive access to an event). And the process of doing so shouldn’t require a lot of effort or brainpower on the part of the customer.

The only way to ensure your loyalty program meets these objectives is to explicitly design it that way. The following steps are a great way to get started:

1. Create an equitable value proposition. To be useful in the eyes of customers, loyalty program earning schemes must be calibrated with appropriate rewards. A new tool from Strategyzer called the value proposition canvas can help marketers identify customers’ pains, gains, and jobs (a.k.a. “tasks”) — and then define how their loyalty program will create value and be something that customers actually want.


Organizers for the annual SXSW interactive, film, and music festivals recently posted their 2015 programming lineup — and I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be presenting with my friend and colleague, Lisa Lindström, CEO of the experience design firm Doberman.

Our session, How Kids Changed the Way We Design for Adults, will showcase the lessons that Doberman has learned over years of working with users of all ages. The punch line: By adapting your research and design processes to align with the preferences, cognitive abilities, social skills, and attention spans of kids — you’ll be better armed to create innovative, intuitive, and delightful products and services for adults.

SXSW Interactive will take place on March 13 - 17, 2015 in Austin, Texas. You can find out more about the event and our talk. We hope to see you there!


The best part of Uber’s customer experience this Halloween isn’t the little candy corns and witches that have replaced the regular vehicle icons on the in-app map. (Though I have to admit, those are pretty damn cute.) It’s the way Uber has set expectations about the surge pricing that will inevitably force Halloween revelers to fork over much more than a couple of full-size Snickers bars to get to and from their festivities this evening.

Not surprisingly, surge pricing isn’t popular with customers. Does anybody really want to pay 1.75x or 2.25x the price of a regular taxi fare? Of course not. I’d argue it’s just about the only ghoulish thing about the entire Uber experience. But it’s a fundamental part of how Uber does business, as it “ensures reliability during the busiest times.”

Rather than springing tonight’s surge pricing on unsuspecting (and, let’s be honest, inebriated) customers and creating a frustrating beginning or end to an otherwise fun night of partying, Uber just sent out an email with the subject: “An Uber Guide to Halloween.” In it, Uber reminds us to “keep in mind that tonight will be one of those rare evenings when every witch, mummy and Miley look-alike wants to leave at exactly the same time.”

It then shows an illustration of how customers should expect prices to rise and fall throughout the evening and offers tips on how to save money tonight — or at least know what you’re going to pay before you request a ride. And, given the number of accoutrements (like wands, tails, and wings) that Uber riders will be carrying with them tonight, the email also provides a URL for getting in touch with your driver should you happen to lose a critical costume part in transit.