CAB Exchange Event

I recently met Bill Lee, fellow Dallas resident and the event planner for the CAB Exchange Summit event. CAB stands for Customer Advisory Board, and I am more than a little excited to see that CABs (aka Ambassador Programs, aka a lot of other names) are starting to get the attention they so rightly deserve.

For professionals who run Customer Advisory Boards, Executive Summits or similar structured customer collaboration meetings. You’ll hear presentations from CAB programs at Wells Fargo, Intel, Interwoven, Cisco, Adobe, SAS, iCrossing, and other respected firms, get results from the first comprehensive survey of CAB programs, get a panel of executives’ views on why they value CABs, and much more.

The speaker lineup is a fantastic, ranging from Cisco to Wells Fargo to Intel, and the speakers are all people running CAB programs. Bill has been posting a bunch of fantastic interviews with the speakers on the site. Here’s a preview, from Evan Klein of iCrossing:

Q. One of the black arts of running CAB meetings is deciding who should be in the room, and who shouldn’t. Let’s start with the customer side — which customers and which representatives from those customers should be there? Which shouldn’t?

A. The three most important considerations regarding which customers should be in the room are:

  1. The size, value and strategic importance of the companies they represent. You should select your “most valued” partners to join your board. Most valued may be defined as those who generate the most revenue for your firm, those who utilize the largest number of services offered by your company, those who have been clients the longest or those who have the most potential for growth.
  2. The personality of the attendees. Try to select contacts that are comfortable sharing their views in a group setting. More outspoken customers typically work best as they are more likely to share both positive and constructive feedback.
  3. The experience level of the company contact. Experience in the industry and experience with your company’s products and/or services are both important. Also, do your best to fill the room with customer contacts with similar titles. Junior-level contacts may be less comfortable being vocal in a room full of Vice Presidents.

If you’re interested in attending the event (and seriously, why wouldn’t you be?) you’d better sign up quick, the event is in just a couple of weeks. I’m excited not only about the content, but that I get to attend a conference without speaking, volunteering, or live blogging. I’m just going to sit back and soak up the genius!

Event info:

July 22-23 (with opening reception on the evening of Monday, July 21), 2008
San Jose, CA