Disney CX Summit
June 20, 2017
In our very first discussion about having me come onboard at GeekHive, Peter Ladka shared his vision for transforming GeekHive from a more typical services company into one that truly values experience and outcomes for our creative partners. Having a goal to deliver consistently successful outcomes seemed straightforward enough, but this experience goal intrigued and puzzled me. To help me understand, Peter cited the gold-standard for experience companies, Disney: “Now that is a company that understands how valuable experience is!” I instantly understood what he meant. Like most, I’ve always been a fan of Disney and have enjoyed several vacations at Walt Disney World in Florida and had admired their dedication to creating “magical experiences.”
Being a big advocate for professional development, and relatively new to a role focused specifically on customer experience, I searched for what conferences and training workshops might be best for GeekHive to invest in. When I stumbled upon the Disney CX Summit, I knew I found it! As we learned more about the summit, we realized it made sense for both myself, and our CEO Peter Ladka to attend.
The conference was amazing, truly the best I’ve ever attended! The attention to detail and focus on creating an amazing experience for attendees was impeccable. The program is hands-down the best material I’ve ever received at a conference, and I’ve been to many spanning a variety of disciplines. Peter half-joked that if we left after receiving the program and did not attend one session – we would have still gotten our monies worth. The talks were all inspiring, workshops engaging, and the speakers were all top-notch, but I expected that for this kind of a conference (note: more expensive than the average CX conference and Disney – the gold standard).
So, why do I feel it was amazing then? I have to say I believe it’s all the little things they did. Taken as individual components, everything was great – but when reflected on the total experience – it was amazing! Personalized check-in, branded food & beverages, impromptu treats along the way, fun swag, and cast members (that’s what all team members are called at Disney) that are clearly excited to be there – helping create an amazing experience for you. It all comes together to create something pretty incredible.
Personally, for me, the conference really validated a lot of the work we have done in the past year at GeekHive. Our instincts to focus on our employee experience, and the work we have done on our values provides the foundation we can grow from. The summit also helped us identify some really important next steps we will be taking with better defining this amazing culture we enjoy at GeekHive.
I’ve found myself keeping the program close by, and thumbing through it on a fairly consistent basis since getting back. I also find myself reflecting on the more general leadership lessons that were shared, as I strive to be the best leader I can be here. Finally, I find myself smiling a lot as I think about the experience. Again, it’s the little things – like the cute Goofy figurine and hand written card that accompanied my program…which I left behind and was graciously mailed back to me.
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