Women are the focus of the three-day Corporate Tech Talk at the X4 Summit in Salt Lake City

An estimated 10,000 people attended the event in downtown Salt Lake City.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Volunteers and employees prepare for the Qualtrics X4 Summit on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. The three-day conference is aimed at customer service and human resources executives of large companies, closed on Thursday, March 9, 2023.

Ten keynote speeches, 100 breakout sessions, 10,000 attendees.

These are the stats Qualtrics, the Utah-based tech-data company co-founded by Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith, is boasting about its three-day X4 Summit, held Thursday at The Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City ended. The conference is referred to as the “Experience Management Summit”.

Essentially, it’s a conference for some of the world’s leading companies (and other entities like the Utah state government) to learn about emerging technologies – much of which are sold by Qualtrics – to advance workforce management and customer experience improve. (Qualtrics works with over 19,000 corporate partners.)

The event is the second in recent weeks after NBA All-Star Weekend, which drew thousands of visitors to the Utah capital. Speaking to media and analysts Tuesday, Qualtrics CEO Zig Serafin said, “You should feel like you’re getting a seat at the table, too.”

The cost of that seat can reportedly top $1,799 per person — pricing is based on a tiered system the details of which a Qualtrics spokesperson declined when asked by The Tribune — and attendees can afford it, or theirs Employers can afford it. The event is aimed at people at all levels in large companies, with the idea that they take what they learn to their workplace to help their customers.

Women were well represented at the summit, both among the attendees and with keynote speakers such as education activist Malala Yousafzai and home improvement entrepreneur Martha Stewart.

Sydnie Cunningham, manager of employee listening and people analytics at Johnson & Johnson, said she wasn’t surprised to see so many women at X4 because so many of the tools are embedded in human resources — an area where women are prevalent.

According to a 2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, nearly 73% of human resources managers employed in the country are women.

However, gender pay equity differences cast a shadow over these statistics. The HR Brew newsletter, in partnership with Qualtrics, surveyed 500 HR professionals in December 2021 — and the results found that female respondents were “more likely than male respondents to take home smaller paychecks.”

“I think data science and analytics as a whole [are] increasingly popular with women and minorities,” Cunningham said. “Overall, it’s becoming more gendered.”

Cunningham came to the convention from Baltimore. Her team, she said, uses Qualtrics products for their company surveys, such as the company’s annual engagement survey.

While many came to the summit for the customer experience, Cunningham said the talks have helped her as someone working to improve the employee experience.

“[Qualtrics] is a good tool to help us collect employee feedback, develop action plans, and present that data to executives in an aesthetically pleasing way,” she said.

Michelle Muse – Director of Change Management at Nabors Industries, a global oil and gas drilling company – traveled from Houston for the conference and participated in a breakout panel entitled “Accelerating Customer Experience Transformation”.

“Conferences are a great opportunity to network with many different people from many different industries to see what best practices are afoot,” Muse said. “If you come to a conference like this, ideally it should have a wide variety of speakers and topics.”

Nabors Industries doesn’t currently use Qualtrics, Muse said, but the summit had great speakers and insights for someone like her with a background in customer service and employee experience.

Any company can engage in such customer service practices, either with its customers or internally with its employees.

“What’s interesting to me is that there’s definitely been a technological evolution in customer experience over the last few years in terms of what the tools out there can measure,” she said.

“When we looked at customer experience ten years ago, it took a team of analysts or data scientists to collect and analyze that data. … Now there are tools, through AI and listening, [that can] accelerate how we manage the customer experience.”

https://www.sltrib.com/news/business/2023/03/10/women-center-three-days-corporate/ Women are the focus of the three-day Corporate Tech Talk at the X4 Summit in Salt Lake City

Justin Scacco

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