Support Driven Leadership Summit was a success in 2018 — it sold out and had a waiting list we were not able to get through. This shows us that the Support Driven community values a Customer Support leadership conference. So we’re doing it again! The 2019 Leadership Summit will be September 26-27 in Boston.

It is time to start putting a program together to help Customer Support managers, team leads, directors, and executives become better leaders. We are now accepting proposals for the 60-minute interactive case studies and 5-minute lightning talks. Here are some topics Support Driven leaders are hungry to learn more about:

  • Onboarding new hires
  • How to prevent venting from becoming toxic
  • Guidelines concerning abusive, hostile, or offensive customers
  • Building a support ops team
  • Forecasting and modeling for team growth
  • Business fundamentals for support leaders
  • Interview strategies and tactics to hire for customer support
  • Rewarding teams and individuals when you don’t have agency to make compensation adjustments and/or your team is distributed
  • Training teams on emotional intelligence
  • Having difficult conversations and making difficult decisions
  • The emotional side of being a support leader
  • Professional development for team members
  • Meaningful metrics
  • Onboarding customers
  • Interacting with the rest of your company

Talk Development Program

As we have done since the very first SUPCONF event, we are eager to provide guidance for speakers through the Support Driven Talk Development program. The Talk Development program is designed to provide support to speakers on their journey to the Support Driven stage. Public speaking can be an exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking experience, and nearly every speaker we’ve encountered agrees there is always something they’d like to improve on.

For speakers who opt-in, the Talk Development Program provides an opportunity for you to work with a Talk Editor who will be by your side through each stage of the process. The program includes milestones, an agreement between Support Driven and the speaker, and the option to be paired with a Talk Editor from the community who will help through the lead-up to the event.

Through the Talk Development program, volunteer Talk Editors will mentor, offer guidance, and help speakers refine their talks to surface lessons applicable to attendees.

Call For Proposals (CFP): Case-studies and Lightning talks

With Support Driven Leadership Summit we are focused on fostering conversation and building relationships you can turn to after the conference ends. We are looking for conversation-provoking content that is useful to conference attendees who are leaders in Customer Support, Success, and Operations. SD Leadership Summit will include two types of presentations:

  • In-depth case studies
  • Lightning talks

Leadership Summit case studies:

  • Are 1 hour long.
  • Introduce a challenging scenario that you, the speaker, have faced.
  • Incorporate small group problem-solving activities based on your scenario for attendees to share how they would approach it – like a choose your own adventure story!
  • Include an element of story, specifically: how you approached the situation in your circumstance, and what the outcome was.
  • Include lessons relevant to customer support leaders across a broad range of companies and company types.

Leadership Summit Lightning talks:

  • Are 5 minutes and 20 slides. Slides will auto-advance every 15 seconds.
  • Include an element of story.
  • Introduce 1 potent conversation-starter relevant to Summit attendees
  • With such a short length of time, there’s not a minute to waste. Your statements should be succinct, and your slides should be snappy!

For context and resources on Lightning Talks, please see the announcement from when they made their Support Driven debut at SUPCONF NYC.

What you will get as a speaker

If we accept your application and you complete the weekly tasks outlined below, you’ll present at Support Driven Leadership Summit September 26-27 at HubSpot HQ in Boston, MA.

You will receive:

  • 1 complimentary pass to Summit for yourself.
  • 1 coupon for $200 off the regular ticket price to the conference for you to share with friends, colleagues, and any professional audiences (social media, newsletters, etc.). (Coupon good through July 30).
  • Mentoring and guidance to develop your ideas, story, presentation, and conversation starters.

In appreciation of your willingness to apply to speak at Summit, if you apply but are not selected to speak, we will share a special discount code with you to receive your ticket for $200 off the full ticket price (coupon good through July 30).

Your commitments

You agree that if we accept your application:

  • You will commit via email to the Talk Development program and the milestones below.
  • You will participate in regular check-ins with your Talk Editor.
  • You (or your employer) will cover your travel and accommodation costs.
  • You will follow our code of conduct.
  • We may use your name and photo to promote the conference.
  • We may record your talk and slides (audio, video, photography) for use in social media, marketing, sales and distribution.

You agree to take part on these dates:

  • June 8, 2019: Speaker applications close at 11:59pm PST.
  • June 28, 2019: We will notify you as to whether your proposal has been accepted.
  • July 5: Begin working with your Talk Editor from the Summit Talk Development program.
  • September 8: Opportunity for online rehearsal.
  • September 15: Deadline for final slides.
  • September 26-27: Support Driven Leadership Summit, Boston.

How to apply

To complete the application form:

  • Write a brief pitch that summarizes your session in a few sentences and that addresses what others will learn from it. Here is a great resource from Support Driven community member Lisa Hunt about how to write your pitch.
  • Submit the required materials via the CFP form before June 8.
  • Keep in mind that the best proposals will:
    • solve a problem relevant to Customer Support leaders.
    • inspire discussion.
    • support your claims with evidence and story.
    • focus on 1 or 2 key takeaways.
    • use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation in the written pitch.
    • follow the instructions on the Call for Proposals (CFP) form.

Please note that if you work for a company that sells a product related to the topic you pitch, your proposal will not be accepted. Speaker Applications close June 8. Applicants will hear an answer by June 28.

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