11 times we made dreams come true at X4
Photo by Rhonda Abrams of USA TODAY.
Every year at X4, the Qualtrics Dream Team works tirelessly to make our attendees’ dreams come true. It all started in 2014 when one attendee asked for help buying an engagement ring. He was joking, but it actually inspired us to act. Not only did we buy the ring for him, we’ve since paid for his honeymoon and a nursery for he and his partner’s first child.
As the experience management company, that ring request (outlandish as it was) got us thinking. We always ask for feedback, but usually that feedback comes at the completion of an event when it's too late to change much. That's acceptable for tracking and good for next year's planning, but after-the-fact feedback didn't allow us to change experiences when it mattered—in the moment. The epiphany was simple: If you ask and respond in the moment, you can deliver on the promise of experience management.
So, starting with a diamond ring, the Dream Team was born. Here are 11 of our favorite requests, a mix of the brilliant and downright bizarre.
1. “I need a bathtub full of ice”
Not as strange as it sounds, this request came from an attendee who was training for an Ironman and needed ice baths post-workout. Their training experience didn't stop just because there was a conference. We delivered the ice, and we hope we played some small part in that person’s eventual personal record.
2. “A week’s worth of clothes - my airline lost my bags”
Every year we get some requests that make us feel like Desperation Team, not Dream Team. Imagine trying to have a professional experience without professional clothes? We helped this unfortunate attendee stay looking sharp all week by buying them a whole new wardrobe.
3. “Just to say hello to Lin-Manuel Miranda”
When we hosted Lin-Manuel Miranda in 2018, we expected a lot of requests would be related to him - and we weren’t wrong. Most just wanted to meet the man, and those lucky folks that did were often overwhelmed. Some literally broke down crying.
4. “Pepsi - this seems to be a Coca-Cola-only hotel”
When we had someone from PepsiCo coming to X4, it just wouldn’t do that their hotel only served Coke. The hospitality experience is about creature comforts, and small hiccups can overshadow an otherwise amazing stay. We made sure their room was filled with their preferred soft drink instead.
5. “I’m 7 months pregnant, so just a comfortable seat”
We went well beyond ‘just a comfortable seat’. The conference experience can be exhausting even when you're not carrying a +1. We organized for this attendee to have a reclining seat and blanket, plus booked them in at the spa.
6. “Help! My phone just died!”
The last day of X4 is a ski day, and normally our Dream Team is out on the slopes with everyone else. However a couple of our team sprung into action when an attendee’s phone died (not just out of battery, all the way dead) and they needed a new one. Imagine trying to network, make connections, and wrap up business from the road without a working smartphone. One team member found a store in Park City that sold them, the other went and got it. Experience, managed.
7. “My whole family want to come to Utah with me”
We were touched by this story - one attendee was going to disappoint his family by visiting Utah on his own, given they were on a mission to visit all 50 states together before the eldest son finished 6th grade. We kept the family on track to complete their task by getting them all over and renting them a house in Salt Lake City.
8. “A date with Jared Smith”
Qualtrics has four co-founders. Three are married with families. One is single. Last year someone requested a date with Jared Smith, the single co-founder. We arranged a date for the next night where the two of them sat front and center at the Elton John concert.
9. “Can my mom meet Steven Tyler?”
Another one that we just had to say yes to. One of our attendees told us of how their mom had been working so hard of late to keep the family afloat, she hadn’t had time for a vacation. It just so happened that Steven Tyler was her favorite musician and playing X4 that year. We flew her over to Utah and even got the whole family backstage to meet Steven himself. Wish fulfillment? Yes. But we believe the motherhood experience should always get support.
10. “Michael Phelps’ autograph, please”
We made a lot of parents extremely popular with their kids the year Michael Phelps joined us. We handed out autographed swim caps to a few attendees, and many were completely blown away by it and what it’d mean for their kids.
11. “A cake with Ryan Smith’s face on it”
No commentary required.
As a company, Qualtrics is focused on helping organizations across the world create the best experience for their customers and employees. Dream Team is our way of living that idea ourselves, as we deliver incredible experiences to our own customers, X4 attendees, and at the many conferences that have invited us to run their dream teams. And for us, one of the biggest indicators we’re doing a good job is that every year attendees ask to join the Dream Team.
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