The Magic of Gladly – Driving Irrational Customer Loyalty

Gladly Team

Read Time

5 minute read

And…that’s a wrap! What an amazing experience Gladly Connect Live 2024 was.

From insightful speakers and captivating sessions, to memorable guest excursions and inspiring moments both on stage and off, 2024’s event was a wonderful reminder of the ‘why’ behind what we do at Gladly and an incredible display of partnership among employees, customers, non-customers, and more. We want to extend our gratitude to everyone who helped make it happen, including those who traveled near and far to be there with us in person and those who tuned in virtually — thank you.

Gladly CEO Joseph Ansanelli on the Gladly Connect Live 2024 stage

“It was called Gladly Connect and we came together and connected. Having access to people in completely different industries gave me a better idea of how I could support our customers. I am close to people that I had never expected to meet.”

Gladly Connect Live is our annual customer experience event, but it’s also much more than that. It’s our largest community gathering of the year; a dedicated time for hundreds of CX experts, influential leaders, and motivated professionals from the world’s most customer-obsessed brands to come together to discuss the trends and innovations impacting our industries.

In 2024, we took special care to focus on this exceptional community we’re growing, and in doing so, create a space that folks felt genuinely excited to be — even if “being there” was virtual. So whether you were on-site in Scottsdale or tuning in virtually from your home office, when you attended Gladly Connect Live, we hope you felt like a part of the community.

Attendees talking at the Gladly Connect Live 2024 patio

“Gladly Connect Live provided and fostered an environment of collaboration. It allowed us to meet other users, share ideas, and build relationships.”

While thoughtful programming on important topics like AI, doing more with less, and becoming innovators and changemakers within our organizations headlined this year’s event, it was in the moments in between where the magic of Gladly Connect Live 2024 was truly felt.

Let’s take a look at some highlights from this year’s event.

Drumroll, please…

When a surprise drumline kicks off the day one keynote, you know it’s going to be an engaging and high-energy experience. We worked hard to ensure this level of excitement remained throughout the event.

Drum line introducing Gladly Connect Live 2024

For those who joined us in Scottsdale, that feeling sparked the day before with local excursions hosted by Gladly. We value any chance to slow down and build more meaningful relationships, and recognized that our jam-packed agenda didn’t leave much room for leisure. In-person attendees were invited to arrive early to have some fun and meet new friends or catch up with old ones in a natural, relaxed environment. From shotgun golf and spa treatments to horseback riding and a desert jeep tour, these activities helped folks make the most of their time in Scottsdale and network with others in a casual setting.

After all, we know deeper connections are easier to make while doing something you enjoy — and maybe with a margarita in hand.

Attendees on a Gladly Connect Live 2024 golf excursion

“The connections [were my favorite part of Gladly Connect Live 2024]! Meeting so many amazing people. And the opportunity to see a state (AZ) that I’ve never been to. The jeep tour was amazing. The food was great. I laughed, I learned, and I can’t wait ‘til 2025!”

Strong brews and tattoos

At a typical CX conference, you’d likely spend your time between sessions with a quick bathroom break or a trip to the vending machine. What if instead, you were able to use those 15 minutes to enjoy a hand-crafted oat latte with a colleague or get a tattoo of your favorite brand’s logo? At Gladly Connect Live 2024, you could.

We’re on a mission to help brands deliver radically personal support experiences that drive irrational loyalty with their customers, so much so that they’d be willing to get a tattoo of that brand’s logo. At this year’s event, we brought this idea to life with an airbrush tattoo activation featuring logos from a handful of customer-obsessed companies we’re proud to partner with. Attendees were encouraged to stop by the booth to show some love for their favorite brands.

Gladly Connect Live 2024 attendees with tattoos

If the thrill of a tattoo — even temporary — wasn’t your thing, we had other ways to get your kick. Independent coffee roasters rolled into our Community Lounge to make hand-crafted lattes and pour cups of locally brewed coffee for attendees to sip on and stay energized throughout the busy two days.

The best part about these activations? The surprise networking opportunities they facilitated and the conversations that were sparked while picking out a tattoo or waiting in line for coffee — new connections that otherwise may not have been made.

Gladly Connect Live 2024 coffee cart

“Being in a room with so many amazing, like-minded CX leaders [was my favorite part of Gladly Connect Live 2024]! I feel like I learned so much just from speaking to people.”

More than a swag room

Few things are better than witnessing the admiration our customers have for each other. And while we’re lucky to experience this mutual respect firsthand on many occasions, to share it at scale with hundreds of Gladly Connect Live attendees was truly special. Whether it was observed on stage during inspiring panels and engaging fireside chats or as tattooed logos on the arms — and in some cases, necks — of our attendees, it was incredible to see.

One place where this reciprocated love was most apparent was at our Gladly Connect Live 2024 swag room. Unlike most conference swag that features standard products with event branding, we spun up a different experience. We’re proud to work with some of the world’s most loved brands, so it only made sense to shine the spotlight on them.

Gladly customers across industries graciously offered discount codes and donated hundreds of items to be featured in the the 2024 swag room — including shoes from Allbirds, yoga mats from VShred, water bottles from Chubbies, bags from Rothy’s, and AG1 from Athletic Greens to name a few. Unsurprisingly, the line to access the room was long, and everyone who waited patiently to grab their swag — customers and non-customers alike — was undeniably excited about the brands participating.

Gladly Connect Live swag room

“The best part of Gladly Connect Live 2024 was the wide range of companies that attended and the ability to network and share best practices with others. The Gladly community is one of the best that I’ve experienced. Well done!”

Turning sticks into wands

At Gladly, we know that event programming is only as impactful as the individuals who step in to bring it to life. Our amazing 2024 speaker line-up — including leaders from Allbirds, Nordstorm, Tecovas, FTD, Crate & Barrel, SelectBlinds, Condé Nast, Samsonite, Holly Hunt, Breeze Airways, BSN Sports, and Rothy’s — took timely CX topics and product-led conversations and added color and thoughtful perspective to them, transforming what could have otherwise been a standard talk track into an engaging, inspiring, and insightful experience for all Gladly Connect Live attendees.

Speaking of engaging, inspiring, and insightful… day two kicked off with a memorable keynote from our guest speaker, Louie Gravance — a former Walt Disney Company leader. In his energizing hour-long session, Louie hit home the truth that service is a superpower, and even the smallest gestures have the power to create a big impact on your customers and your support agents. Service isn’t performative, it’s transformative.

Louie Gravance on stage

“It was the best feeling to be in a room of hundreds of people and brands that truly care about their customers and the customer experience. We got to hear from brands like Disney, Nordstrom, Allbirds, Breeze Airways and so many more. Can’t wait to start implementing all these new things I’ve learned!”

People at the center

Like our company vision to bring people back to the center of customer service, every event decision was made with our guests in mind. Whether you care about the lunch menu or how comfortable the chairs are, we can assure you that we do, too. After all, when you attend any Gladly event — virtually or in person — we hope that you feel like a valued and considered part of the experience.

To ensure attendees felt welcomed and cared for the minute they touched down in Arizona, folks were greeted at Phoenix Sky International Airport and offered complimentary shuttles to and from the venue. Once checked into their rooms, they were met with chocolate and a letter from Gladly’s CEO, welcoming them to this year’s event. During breaks and receptions, guests were invited to rest and socialize on plush armchairs and couches, reminiscent of the comforts and style of home. We built our community and platform for and around people, so why should our events be any different?

We did our best to extend this attention to detail and personalization to our virtual experience, too. Online attendees were encouraged to introduce themselves and connect with others in the chat room, as well as engage with our speakers in live Q&As. Our virtual event moderator crafted fun icebreakers and posed thoughtful questions to ensure folks felt welcomed online and safe to speak freely. Virtual raffles kept folks tuned in and on their toes, and rewarded them for taking the time out of their schedules to join us live.

Attendees mingling at Gladly Connect Live 2024

“There just aren’t many CX hyper-focused events that have such great content and amazing attendees. Talking with so many people who are going through the same things you are is such a breath of fresh air.”

It’s amazing to relive the magic that was Gladly Connect Live 2024 — but what if we told you these were only a few of hundreds of other moments and details that made it the memorable event that it was? And your chance to experience it all will be here sooner than you think.

Register to save the date for next year’s Gladly Connect Live, happening March 10–12, 2025.

In the meantime, we invite you to join our free community, Gladly Connect, and unlock hundreds of best-in-class educational resources, exclusive mentorship opportunities, and more.


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