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The Customer Intelligence Summit is a place to learn about the latest trends in marketing, customer experience and innovation. More than just a conference for learning, the Summit offers a unique opportunity to get some face time with business leaders from the most customer-centric global brands—a chance to enhance your career and make connections.

To help you get the most out of every networking opportunity, we asked past attendees who are members of Connected Wisdom, our Vision Critical customer community, to share their top networking tips for the Summit. Four tips stood out and are important to keep in mind if you plan to attend the upcoming Summit in Chicago.

1. Do your homework.

We’re expecting over 400 customer intelligence pros at the event this year. With that many influential and smart minds in one place, you need a game plan.

“Don't use a shotgun blast approach,” advises Molly Schmied, director of market research and insights at The Ohio State University. “Figure out who might be worthwhile to connect with and have a meaningful conversation with them.”

Many attendees find the Customer Intelligence Summit app useful for that. Eliza Jacobs, market researcher at PBS, for instance, says attendees should make the most of the “awesome” Summit app. Among other things, the app—available on the iOS App Store, Google Play or through a mobile web browser—makes it easy to search for attendees based on their company and industry.

"Make the most of the awesome Summit app."

“Read the attendee list in advance,” says Rob Calder, a research manager at wealth management firm MD Financial, “and seek out some people throughout the summit.”

2. Broaden your horizons.

Meeting with people with background similar to yours is valuable, but you’ll also gain valuable insight by learning about other sectors and professions. “See what people from other industries are doing,” explains Sam Trimboli, consumer insights specialist at Price Chopper, “not just your own.”

Even sessions that may not seem applicable to you could be a source of inspiration. “Approach each session with an open mind,” says Mari Matoba, director of consumer insights at fashion and lifestyle platform Refinery29. “A case study might not be 100 percent aligned with your brand or problem, but a little imagination could help you figure out how to apply the lessons to your situation.”

Heather Rodriguez, a market research analyst from VSP Global, offers similar advice. “Throw in some sessions in your agenda that may not make immediate sense,” she says. “There are always new opportunities for learning.”

“Throw in some sessions in your agenda that may not make immediate sense."

3. Divide and conquer.

As customer intelligence becomes essential to more than just market researchers, Summit attendees are increasingly bringing their colleagues. “If you take a team with you, make sure each person goes to a different breakout session,” says Shannon Chenoweth, market research manager at DEWALT. “Capture key messages from each session and then share back with your team.”

Interested in bringing colleagues? Be sure to take advantage of the group tickets available.

"If you take a team with you, make sure each person goes to a different breakout session."

4. Let us make introductions.

“Have people from Vision Critical make introductions,” says Amy Feeman, research professional at Westfield Group. “This helped me a lot last year. There was always someone from Vision Critical introducing me to other customers, and that allowed me to make good connections.”

From executives to members of our customer success team, many Vision Critical staff will be at the Summit. Don’t hesitate to chat with us if you want help connecting with specific people.


With more networking opportunities and global brands sharing their secrets than previous Summits, the Customer Intelligence Summit is a must-attend event for business professionals who want to meet their peers at the forefront of customer-centricity. Attendees can also expect seven provocative keynote presentations, 18 breakout sessions with actionable takeaways and one amazing party. Save your spot today.

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