We’ve finally nailed down the venue and the dates so we can do the formal announcement for X Change. We’re on for October 28-30th in Scottsdale, AZ at the very lovely Phoenician Resort. It’s a fantastic venue; different than anything we’ve done before but very much in the spirit of what we try to achieve with X Change. Spectacular setting (sand sans waves), beautiful property, great weather, and terrific meeting spaces for our all-conversational format.
If you’ve been to X Change, that’s probably all I need to say. If you’ve heard about X Change and always wanted to go, you should make this the year you give it a try. If you’re new to X Change, let me quickly describe why it’s so special.
It’s the format. X Change is all conversation. No powerpoints. No speeches. Not even TED Talks. You sit with many of the most advanced digital analytics managers and practitioners in the world and you talk shop. For two days! Around topics that range across every issue of concern to real analytics professionals – from technology and tools for measurement and analysis to methodology and analytics technique to hiring and retaining people. Why all conversation? Because as professionals, you learn by exploring, sharing, and discussing what really happens when boots are on the ground, not by hearing the gussied up “hurrah-me” stories that make up 95% of your average conference.
It’s the experience. We work hard to create a unique atmosphere that fosters sharing, creates real business connections, and maximizes your time. What does that really mean? No sponsored talks. No sales-pitches. No booths. We do our best to make sure that every moment at X Change is valuable (and fun). We take that very seriously. Every X Change conversation is led by a top enterprise practitioner. Not by consultants. Not by vendors. Not by EY. No sales, no bias, no axe to grind. Just people with deep real-world experiences to share who are committed to having and participating in a great conversation.
It’s the people. X Change’s unique format and experience combine to bring out the best people in our field. People who love talking analytics and are working at the highest level across some of the best brands in the world. The people you’ll meet, converse with and get to know at X Change are the leaders in digital analytics in the large-enterprise world. They’re dealing with real-world problems and they are amazingly open, honest, and engaged in the conversation. When you have an all-conversational conference, nothing is more important to the experience than having great people to talk to. They’re at X Change.
Unique format. Great experience. Fantastic people. That’s X Change.
If you’ve never been to a particular conference before, there’s always that doubt about how valuable it will be. Well, every year, being analytics folk, we survey our attendees. Last year X Change had a perfect 100% Net Promoter Score. Perfection is hard to do. But that score reflects the quality of the experience and the impact of the unique format. If you’re an enterprise analytics professional – from CAO to Manager to Data Scientist to Analyst, X Change is the right conference experience for you.
I hope you’ll choose to join the conversation!
So what’s different, this year? We haven’t decided everything yet, but here are a few significant changes:
The location: We’ve been up and down the West Coast but we’ve never been to Phoenix/Scottsdale before. Some people have already asked me – don’t you always have X Change by the ocean? Not really, though the last four have been at seaside resorts (which is pretty wonderful). But in the year’s proceeding we were in Napa and downtown San Francisco at the Ritz and the St. Regis. The broader picture is that we’ve strived to put X Change at unique venues that create the right atmosphere for great conversation and relaxed networking. The Phoenician is a AAA 5-diamond, Forbes 5-Star, Travel & Leisure Top 500 property in an absolutely gorgeous setting. In addition, it’s accessible. I think it will be easier for people on the East Coast than San Diego or Laguna Niguel in terms of flights and access and it’s still a short hop for all of us West-Coasters.
The date: We ended up a month later than usual. We were originally shooting for our traditional mid-September timeframe but the venue process dragged and, with our desire to try a Scottsdale location, late October seemed like a better bet from a weather perspective. We’re still well clear of eMetrics (I always try to coordinate with Jim) and late October seems like a good time for the Conference in every respect. We’ll even have every one home in time for Halloween!
The size: Not a huge change, but I’m hoping to grow a bit (maybe two additional Huddles per time-slot), largely by adding a quasi-track that’s more broadly analytics focused than just digital. My goal is to take advantage of the relationships we have at EY to bring in some experts (enterprise-side of course) in related analytics disciplines as Huddle Leaders and create a small extra set of conversations that tackle broader analytics opportunities. I’m thinking about people who are focused on customer experience, more traditional audience and Voice of Customer, lifetime value and churn, targeting models, etc. There’s so much to be learned each way and while I don’t want to detract from our digital focus I’d like to try having enough supplementary analytics to create some opportunities for everyone to think a bit outside the box.
So that’s the scoop. Long overdue, I know, but exciting news nonetheless.
See you there!
[BTW – if you are interested in being a Huddle Leader please drop me a line pronto as I will be working hard to get that all squared away in June. As always, vendors and consultants are not eligible to be Huddle Leaders but may be eligible to attend. Vendors and consultants must pre-contact us for approval before registering since we limit the space for non-enterprise folks. One important clarification, if you're on the business analytics team (as opposed to the product team) for an enterprise that happens to have a digital analytics product, you're still likely to be eligible to be a Huddle Leader.]