Hello! Grab a Nametag and a Doughnut—Let’s Get Pixelated

The first ever Maximum Customer Experience Go Where Your VisionPoints Blog Conference, not-at-all-live, with a super roster of experts speaking about strategic, integrated Experience Design

What’s a Pixelated Blog Conference?

Round tables make for a congenial feel as you fill the room today. Lucky you, you can come as you are to a pixelated conference—even you with the pink bunny slippers. The chairs are as easy as your sofa (glad you like it), or as rough as the swivel chair at your office desk (sorry about that!).

You’re shaking hands, reading nametags, and getting to know each other before the lights dim and the first PowerPoint comes up. That’s great. We’ll all be close by the end of the day. Now scoot those chairs around to face the stage, folks, and prepare to attend a conference like no other. In these brief speeches lies the key to increasing your bottom line by improving your Customer Experience.

I would like to thank all the presenters and attendees, and my inspiration, Chris Brogan, for making this a fantastic day. It’s officially a meme now, though you didn’t hear Chris say that. If you want to know how you can play along, just click on Chris’ link.

Chris saw the potential in Mitch Joel’s Pixelated Blog Conference, while Mitch stole the idea from one of my very favorite authors, Bryan Eisenberg, who began the virtual conference love on GrokDotCom. However, Seth Godin says don’t let the thanks get in the way, so let’s move on!

I apologize in advance (which, by the way, you should never do) for the enormous variations in sound and video quality represented here. These speakers are some of my favorites—utter geniuses you have got to see today, wobbly-cams or no. They’re guaranteed to illuminate the deepest recesses of Experience Design, rejuvenate your thinking, and generally get you jazzed to go forth and create not just Maximum, but Rockin’ Customer Experience.

My criteria for choosing presenters:

  • Quick
  • Entertaining
  • Punch-you-in-the-gut revelations

Pretty simple. The first ever Maximum Customer Experience Go Where Your VisionPoints Blog Conference, not-at-all-live, with a super roster of experts speaking about strategic, integrated Experience Design, has my personal, double-your-money-back, Kelly Seal of Approval.

Maximum Online Conference Experience begins now! (Would somebody hit the lights?)



Guy Kawasaki: The Art of the Start (2:37)

“If you make meaning, you will probably make money.” The ever-engaging Guy Kawasaki starts our conference with a bang. Whether you’re an entrepreneur just planning your start-up business or trying to recapture some of that energy, take a listen to Guy, author of How to Change the World, Silicon Valley venture capitalist, founder of Alltop and Truemors, and oh, yeah, former Chief Evangelist of Apple Computer. When he’s not too busy, he emails me. Guy would love for you to do well by doing right. So would I!


Phil Van Hooser: The Fear of Failure (3:12)

Ever been paralyzed by fear? You are not alone. Most folks in small, growing businesses have felt it at one time or another. A quick reminder of the perils of falling prey to that fear. Phil Van Hooser is a funny, touching speaker whom I could listen to all day.



David Kelley: The Future of Design is Human-Centered (17:12)

David Kelley—founder of the legendary design firm IDEO; designer of the first mouse, among many other icons; Stanford University professor—says that product design has become much less about the hardware and more about the user experience. Pick his brain for seventeen minutes on this TED video, but trust me, it won’t be nearly enough.



Access Eye Tracking: Hotel Room Customer Experience (2:15)

Silent film in the modern era! Where’s the effing light switch? Get the basics wrong, and no one will care about your fancy, flashy frills. Minimum customer experience at work. You have to see this one, from Australia’s Access Testing, to believe it.


Your Business on MSNBC: J.J. Ramberg Goes Mystery Shopping (9:46)

What’s it like, getting outside Perspective from a professional firm? There’s no better start to improving the Customer Experience. Great roundtable discussion of the value—and costs—of a mystery shopping program at the end of Ramberg’s field trip.



Ad Awareness Test (0:54)

You’ll finish laughing, though it’s no laughing matter. Being observant counts; are you?


Break for lunch. No more than two martinis, okay?



Kerry Bodine: Delivering A Great Customer Experience (4:26)

Forrester Research Principal Analyst Kerry Bodine starts slowly, but once she gets into her case study, what she has to say is electric. An amazing story of an old, entrenched company Master-fully reinventing themselves and growing their business by leaps and bounds in the process. Proof that you can redefine your direction, too.



James Feldman: One Size Does Not Fit All (5:13)

I dare not say a word. Well, maybe just a couple of words… James Feldman of Shift Happens delivers essential an Customer Experience message with perfect comic timing. Don’t miss the surprise ending on this one!


Kevin Karschnik: WOW Customer Experience (3:16)

A stellar example of WOW! Customer Experience. Can you deliver delight like the printer for iSpeak’s Kevin Karschnik?



Nikki Key: How to Provide Good Customer Service (5:12)

“The tools to defuse almost any situation,” from The Daily Idea. This clip is an ultra-snarky mid-day pick-me-up for MCE conference attendees—and yet, so true!



Neighborhood America: Enterprise Social Networks—World Changing Concepts (3:55)

Get your company involved in online social networking—not just as a participant, but as an active organizer. Neighborhood America speaks to some high-level executives and gets their thoughts on this global phenomenon.


Loren Feldman Interviews Chris Brogan: Social Media in the New Business Landscape (8:28)

Are you building a community, or building a marketplace? In an interview with 1938 Media’s Loren Feldman, Chris says you must make a move, but you can’t do both. A lesson in defining your Purpose in new media.


Andy Sernovitz Interviews Matt Dickman and David Armano: B2B Blog Use (5:09)

Andy Sernovitz, author of one of my favorite spots for inspiration, Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That!, interviews Matt Dickman, author of Techno//Marketer and Vice President of Digital Marketing at Fleishman-Hillard, and the brilliant David Armano, author of Logic + Emotion and VP of Experience Design for Critical Mass, about creative B2B (business-to-business) uses for the humble blog format.



Neighborhood America: Mission Impossible—So, What Does Your Company Do?

If you’ve ever wondered why I emphasize making sure your employees are on board with your message here at MCE, watch this unintentionally (?) funny video by Neighborhood America. Time for a staff meeting. Like, now. (And bravo to them for putting it up like this.)



Mashup Corporations: The End of Business as Usual (5:11)

With a simple role-play, Andy Mulholland of the UK’s Capgemini shows the difficulties of change management in established companies, and the long-range benefits of user-driven Customer Experience. Will you recognize players at your own company?


Seth Godin: Ideas That Spread, Win (8:27)

He’s not just required reading, he’s a required speaker at any (online) conference. If you’ve only read his wonderful books and followed him at Seth Godin’s Blog, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy his simple speaking style and take notes: as usual, his flashes of brilliance will astound you.



Pazazz Printing: Printing’s Alive (3:37)

Vous voulez voir un grand déploiement? You don’t need to go as far as Pazazz’s website. This clip is proof that the hottest humour comes from the coldest climes. Comic relief from a printing company? Let’s just say don’t try to drink your coffee while you’re watching this one.



Philippe Starck: Why Design? (17:19)

The über-brilliant Philippe Starck, redesigner of every user experience that catches his attention, says he feels useless. I couldn’t disagree more. A riotously funny look at the purpose of his good great genius! design.


Stefan Sagmeister: Yes, Design Can Make You Happy (15:42)

The multitalented designer discusses moments of his life that have made him happy. Charming and fun.



You’re ready to let loose and rock out. What conference is complete without the more… adventurous among us demonstrating their hidden talents?

Chris Brogan Karaoke Apocalypse (1:31)

Enter Sandman.

Thanks, Chris.


Let’s breakout: Who blew your mind, and why? Who gave you that gut-punch revelation you can use to change your company’s direction? And the most important post-conference question: Was it worth the price?



Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson

P.S. We’re going in with a bang and out with a high, dear readers. Please don’t forget to Twitter, Stumble, Digg, or otherwise bookmark using the “Share” button below, because I want our comment section to roar today with the din of as many conference attendees as we can fit in this global room. And if you’re new to MCE, welcome! I hope you’ll subscribe and become a regular part of the Experience here!