Five events I'm spending my own time and/or money to attend in the first half of 2019

There are hundreds (thousands?) of business conferences each year, and you have limited travel budget. How do you decide which events are worth going to? I use three questions to make that decision:

  1. How likely am I to learn something new or see useful content I can’t get anywhere else?

  2. How likely am I to make (sticky) new connections and/or renew old ones?

  3. How long would I have to be out of the office?

Based on the answers to these questions, I’ve picked 5 events so far to attend in the first half of 2019. I’m sharing my thoughts on each one here to help you decide where your time is best spent. If you’re going to be at any of these events, let me know. I’m hoping to arrange for groups of like-minded people to gather for lunch or dinner on-site at each one. 

Customer Contact World (January 17 – 18, 2019)

Location: Nashville, TN
Put on by: IQPC
Ticket price as of 1/2/19: $2499 through 1/11/19 (there’s a 20% off promo code on their site).

This is my first time at CCW, but I’ve spoken at/been to other IQPC events like Service Design Week and Chief Customer Officer Exchange and they’ve always been good. This is one of the larger events and I’m curious to see how its roots in the contact center world have morphed into the broader topic of experience management. I’m especially keen to see the session on bridging the gap between experience design and delivery.

X4 Experience Management Summit (March 5 – 8, 2019)

Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Put on by: Qualtrics (now part of SAP)
Ticket price as of 1/2/19: $1399

Fair warning for introverts: this event is huge. Last year there were 7,000 people and I expect more in 2019. Truth be told, the size makes networking harder for me; crowds drain my energy. Thankfully, though, there’s a litany of energizing keynotes from people like Oprah, President Obama, and Richard Branson. And I know I’ll get practical info from the breakouts and small group conversations. Sessions that piqued my interest on the agenda are using customer feedback into product development, humanizing HR analytics, and using data to drive culture.

Work Human (March 18 – 21, 2019)

Location: Nashville, TN
Put on by: Globoforce
Ticket price as of 1/2/19: $1,795 for one person, team rates are available

Another first for me, I am beyond excited for WorkHuman. Its mission - humanizing the workplace - is not just something I research and consult on, it’s a personal passion. I’ve experienced extreme burnout first hand and wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Part of why I do what I do is to stop that from happening to anyone else. I’ve been partnering with Globoforce to bring the CX and EX communities together for a few months now, and this is the next step in that collaboration. It’s a chance for me to immerse myself in the HR world so I can better empathize with and contribute to our shared goals for the future of business.

CXPA Insights Exchange (May 15-16, 2019)

Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Put on by: Customer Experience Professionals Association
Ticket price as of 1/2/19: $995 for CXPA Members, $1,295 for non-members (this is the early bird pricing, but the site doesn’t say when full price goes into effect).

I try not to miss this event each year. CXPA keeps it small on purpose, which I love. It’s an amazingly friendly bunch of people, a mix of veterans and newcomers. I love seeing first time attendees’ eyes widen when they realize how much of a body of knowledge we’ve created around CX that they never knew existed. The practitioner talks and Show & Tell are full of fresh examples and lessons, too. (Full disclosure – I have submitted a breakout proposal for this event, so hopefully I’ll be speaking this year.)

Forrester CXNYC (June 11-12, 2019)

Location: New York, NY
Put on by: Forrester Research
Ticket price as of 1/2/19: Clients: $2,350; Non-clients: $2,550; Government, education, and nonprofit: $2,250

Yes, I still go to Forrester’s east coast CX Forum even though I don’t have to anymore. It’s got a breadth of CX-related content I’ve not found elsewhere, and production is always top notch. I know from first-hand experience what goes into planning and delivering this event, and now that I’m just an attendee (vs. an analyst/keynote speaker) I get to take it all in. The agenda isn’t out yet so I’m not sure which sessions I’ll go to, but according the website this year’s theme is “Changing The Game.”

Are there other events you’d suggest I consider, maybe outside the direct realms of customer and employee experience? If so please let me know about them in the comments. (Just no sales pitches for your own company’s events, please. The spirit of this post is peer-to-peer recommendation).

Disclosure - I’m not being paid to attend or promote any of these events, though I do get a complimentary analyst pass to some of them. Even so, these conferences only made the list because I think they’re worth my time and might be worth yours, too.