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Key Takeaways from Pulse 2018

By Durand Vadnais

Alright, for anyone who attended Pulse 2018, you already know that distilling this event to a few key takeaways is probably impossible, however I’ll share a few highlights that struck me.

  • Customer Success continues to grow at an impressive clip. Pulse attracted 5,200+ attendees with two days of phenomal learning, networking, and healthy debate. I had the opportunity to participate in a break-out session talk on what it takes to identify and hire great CSMs. Nearly the entire room raised their hands when I asked how many were struggling to find good people given current demand. Customer Success as an industry, as a practice, is growing at 30%+ year over year. Just look at the attendance figures for Pulse. I couldn’t believe the difference between 2017 and 2018.
  • Gainsight puts together an engaging, fun, and energetic event! The music fest theme at the fairground complete with Ferris Wheel, Food Trucks, great music and DJ’s seemed to raise everyone’s spirits dramatically compared to any typical business learning conference. Taking something that could easily drone on and on, and making it engaging is at least, what, 25% of Customer Success?
  • Human-first is Gainsight’s “company purpose” as Nick called it, and a winning inspirational theme for the event. Despite the massive growth and demand for good people, many in the industry are concerned about the impact of technology, of AI, on customer facing roles like Customer Success – especially when so much of what we do is designed to get people out of the process. This was a refreshing way to frame Customer Success as being able to win while being human-first in business.
  • Awesome Networking. This, for me, was probably my favorite part of Pulse. As I’ve been in pure Customer Success now for nearly 5 years, much of the learning material isn’t exactly new – however the ability to connect in person with the experts that I’m constantly interacting with digitally is priceless. I even had the chance to share time with many of my favorite, pioneering Customer Success mentors from Bazaarvoice – total treat!


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