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“With all the trade shows and conferences out there, why should I bother with this one?”

That’s a question I heard from an old client when we recently spoke about the ICX Summit. It was a good-natured challenge from an old ally, but he meant it. With all the noise and clutter competing for one’s attention, it’s vital to know and articulate why your thing is more worthy than all the others that, at first glance, may look the same.

Fortunately, I was able to communicate the value of the Summit well enough that my former client may become a current one. He’s talking it over with his team.

That conversation prompted this post, which, if I’m successful, will demonstrate why you should bother with the ICX Summit.

First, let me explain that ICX refers to Interactive Customer Experience. That is, the use of any technology that engages customers to deliver value when they visit a location of yours. This can come in many forms, ranging from digital signage to interactive kiosks to the cash wrap and how payments are transacted.

Next, let me explain who the ICX Summit is for.

  • If you are an executive with a B2C company, whether it’s retail, food, education, healthcare or any or organization where people walk through your doors and interact with your people, you’ll be interested in the lineup of speakers we’ve booked, as well as your counterparts in other verticals who are experiencing the same challenges as you.
  • If you are a supplier, an integrator or an agency working with B2C companies, this event is for you, offering a rich opportunity to learn, network and even participate in the event through your sponsorship. After all, it’s your technology and your solutions and your guidance that enables B2C brands to achieve their goals.

Reason 1: Great Learning

Now that we’ve defined what the Summit is about and who it’s for, we can talk about what a great learning opportunity it affords.

When you read through the bios of the booked speakers of the event, you’ll see B2C end-user brands like Panera, McDonalds, Six Flags, Bank of America and Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants. They represent a broad spectrum of verticals and challenges and will share their experiences in dealing with the same problems you are currently engaged with solving. You’ll get a rare, behind the curtain peek at how they overcame their challenges and how they sold their organization on getting behind the value of delivering great customer experiences.

On the supplier and agency side, you’ll hear from folks like Paul Price, who will share his experiences working with retailers who’ve gone all-in with customer experience by investing in teams and technologies and mindsets that are revolutionizing the way they merchandise.

Finally, the way we’ve designed the ICX Summit, you’ll also learn from those sitting next to you, as we’ve built-in time for discussion and engagement so you can benefit from the experiences of those who are looking for similar answers to similar challenges. Perhaps the greatest benefit you’ll receive from this Summit are the relationships that will come out of it.

Reason 2: Great Relationships

Why do great relationships happen at the ICX Summit? We’ve designed the event to create ample space for conversations to happen, whether at breakfast or lunch, at a session or at an evening party. We’ve learned that when conversations happen, relationships happen. And when relationships take root, people feel comfortable to discuss challenges openly.

We’ve also learned that by managing the size of the event, more intimate conversations are possible. Trade shows, with their acres of booth space, have their place, but so do more manageable, quieter events, where people can unpack problems and discuss them with peers and potential partners to get clarity. That’s what you’ll find at the ICX Summit.

Also, we try to wrap the day’s activities early enough to give attendees time to meet and have impromptu gatherings. The Sofitel Chicago Water Tower has many spaces that are perfect for one-on-ones and small group discussions that can stretch into the wee hours.

Reason 3: Great Value

If you’ve been to many trade shows, you can feel like it’s you versus the world when it comes to wading through a mass of people shuffling up and down endless aisles of booths, passing out and receiving business cards for 8-10 hours a day.

The ICX Summit is designed to immerse attendees in the waters of Interactive Customer Experience without overwhelming to the point of drowning. We do this by slowing things down just enough to create space and design events and activities that will create “collisions” with other people and ideas that are sure to lead to conversations that will ultimately lead to relationships.

You won’t leave the ICX Summit with a rubber-banded stack of business cards and sore feet. Instead, you’ll leave the event with inspiring stories from people like you who are figuring out the best ways to apply technology to the customer experience. Not only that, but you’ll leave the event with a few new friends and potential partners who are more than just names on a business card because you had the time to get to know them as human beings. In short, you walk away with a few key relationships.

Knowledge, relationships and value, all centered around creating deeper and more meaningful customer experiences. If this is something that sounds valuable to you, then that’s why you should bother with the 2015 ICX Summit, which is taking place in Chicago, June 28-30, at the gorgeous Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. Please visit the website and look at the agenda, and reach out to us if you’d like to learn more. We’d love to see you there.

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