How do businesses "wow" their customers through exceptional experiences? Answers to that critical question will abound at the upcoming digital conference WOW Summit 2021. Hosted online between April 28th and July 28th, this on-demand conference connects CX thought leaders from around the globe - as well as having a regional focus on Brazil and broader South America.
Alec Dalton has been invited to present a virtual tutorial on service blueprinting, a technique that customer experience professionals can use to visualize the operational aspects of CX. Conference participants will be well-prepared to build blueprints for their own organizations, as Alec will survey use cases and diagramming technology, along with a piece-by-piece walkthrough of the blueprinting process. He'll speak as both a frequent user of the tool and as a published researcher on the topic: you can get a preview of the presentation via this past "Experience Experiments" blog post and in his article "Service Blueprinting: Shifting from a Storyboard to a Scorecard", published in the Journal of Foodservice Business Research in collaboration with Dr. Peter Szende.
Alec will be among 50 global CX leaders sharing their experience, techniques, and case studies. You can see the full speaker roster on the WOW Summit 2021 website, where you can also register for a virtual pass.
UPDATE: A recording from this event can be found here.
On April 7, CX Forums will present a free e-conference on "Hospitality Challenges Pre- and Post-COVID". Alec Dalton will join host Mark Michelson and guest interviewer Karl Sharicz of HorizonCX to speak about lessons learned from the pandemic, and about how non-hospitality businesses can find transferable takeaways.
COVID-19 had far-reaching impacts across all businesses, and imposed stark restrictions on travel and leisure that stunted most hospitality companies. From February to March 2020, hotel occupancies declined by 22.8 pts, from 62.2% to 39.4% (according to STR); steady recovery brings that rate to 45.3% as of March 2021 - improvement, but with many rooms left to fill. On the food and beverage side of the business, nearly 110,000 restaurants - 17% of US venues - experienced permanent or long-term closures. While the impact requires years for full recovery, hospitality businesses adapted and offer lessons for other businesses on how to restore consumer confidence and operate safely.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dalton served on Marriott's response and recovery task force. He managed efforts related to the activation of new cleanliness-focused brand standards, and to the curation of safe food and beverage programming for Marriott Select Brands. Beyond Marriott, Alec also conducted pandemic-related research with Dr. Peter Szende of Oxford Brookes University and Drs. Suzanne Markham-Bagnera and Mark Legg of Boston University: their forthcoming results, previewed in this Hotel News Now article, identified strategies hotels can use to operate and communicate clean practices to ensure guest safety.
Join the free e-conference to learn more about Alec's experience, and to hear how your organization can apply these findings to deliver better business results.
On March 25, the Customer Experience Professionals Association's Midlands Network will host its annual conference, inviting CX practitioners globally to hear the latest ideas from twelve thought leaders. This year, the conference theme of "CX in a Post-COVID World" will reflect on the response and recovery efforts that can help companies rebound from the challenges of 2020.
Alec Dalton has been invited to share his experience in the final session of the conference, titled "Staying Safe: Conveying Cleanliness in Hotels, and What Other Businesses Can Borrow." Dalton will describe his experience working on Marriott's COVID-19 recovery task force, and he will offer addition to offering additional insights derived from his pandemic response research conducted in partnership with Boston University and Oxford Brookes University.
Attendees of this event will also hear from other CX leaders, including Ben Phillips - author of The Customer Experience Dictionary - and a panel led by renowned CX specialist Ian Golding. See the full agenda and register for this complimentary event by visiting the conference website,
On February 18th, Alec Dalton will engage the hospitality community in an all-access online conversation focused on personal brand development. Hosted by Otolo, and joined by Naomi Hollas, Founder of Event Grads, Alec will lead a discussion about the power of personal branding, while also sharing tips on how to develop and refine one's professional identity. The event will be "live" from 12:00-1:00 PM EST, and anyone interested in joining the conversation can register here for free.
Founded in 2021, Otolo provides hospitality professionals with space to find "expertise, insight, knowledge, and global connections." This platform connects new entrants to the industry with seasoned experts, provides ample opportunities for mentorship, and promotes both employment and ongoing professional development. Among their programs is the "Thoughts on Thursday" webinar series, of which the Feb. 18th event is a part: the series allows members of the hospitality community to join leaders like Alec and Naomi, along with the team at Otolo, for discussions about a range of growth topics in the realm of hotels, restaurants, and related fields. Click here to stay tuned for future events , and to learn more about ways you can benefit from this fantastic organization.
The Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) has named Alec Dalton among the inaugural recipients of the Emerging Leader in CX Award. During a virtual ceremony on February 12, judges and members of the association's awards planning committee conferred the recognition on Dalton and four fellow CX innovators.
Launched this year, the Emerging Leader in CX Award recognizes rising voices that are shaping the customer experience discipline. The selection of winners factored nearly twenty traits, among them professional experience, an ability to generate bold new thinking, creative innovation and decision-making, and strategic leadership. Former CXPA Board Chairman Bob Azman, CCXP, who first conceived of the award, noted an intent to celebrate "the professionals that are just coming into the CX profession and are beginning to really demonstrate some breakthrough ideas, some innovative approaches to design, ways to look at employee experiences differently, [etc.]."
Dalton was originally nominated by his longtime mentor Karl Sharicz, CEO of HorizonCX, whose consultancy includes Alec as an Advisory Board Member. Sharicz saw the award as an opportunity to recognize Dalton for his professional accomplishments within hospitality quality management, as well as for his active engagement within the CX community. When conferring the award, CXPA Board Member and awards judge Göhkan Kara, CCXP further described Alec as a "lifelong learner" while praising him for sharing his knowledge with the community: "[Alec] is giving keynote speeches, judging in some organizations, and writing articles about CX."
In addition to Dalton, other honorees include:
Beyond pure recognition, the intent for this award is to create a platform for honorees to hone their CX leadership skills and operate on the forefront of the field. The cadre of winners will receive unique opportunities for professional development throughout the year.
Click here to watch the awards ceremony, in which you can hear from Dalton and the other winners about their shared passion for CX and about their visions for the future of the field.
With the new year well underway, two lists separately acclaim Customer Experience 2 as a must-read for 2021. Co-authored by Alec Dalton, this latest volume in the best-selling Customer Experience series offers CX insights and strategies from a cadre of global thought leaders.
Qualtrics short-listed the book among their list "10 Books Every CX Leader Should Read in 2021". They praised the essay-style format in particular, noting, "Why get one view, when you can have 24?
Additionally, BookAuthority celebrated the best-seller on its list "7 Best New Customer Experience eBooks to Read in 2021". This recognition is BookAuthority's second for the series, as the original book Customer Experience was named to their 2020 list; that first book currently ranks #52 on their list of "100 Best Customer Experience Books of All Time".
To order a print copy of Customer Experience 2, or to download a digital edition today, visit Amazon. If you missed the original volume, you can get a copy of Customer Experience while you’re at it!
On December 21, 2020, the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) named Alec Dalton a finalist for the first-ever Emerging Leader in CX Awards. According to the Association, the goals of the awards are to "identify, recognize, and support the professional development of customer experience practitioners who are new, emerging leaders in the experience management profession."
Selected from a global pool of candidates, Alec was nominated by CX veteran and past CXPA Board Member Karl Sharicz. Karl, who is also Alec's longtime mentor, noted the nominee's leadership within Marriott in addition to his engagement within the CX community in the form of books, speaking engagements, and other activities focused on knowledge-sharing.
Alec, along with other finalists, will move on to the last round of vetting. Five winners will be announced in February 2021.
The original announcement of finalists can be found in CXPA's 2020 year-end recap, and more information about the award can be located on CXPA's website.
What Does It Mean to Be "COVID Clean"? Research Underway to Understand Hotel Guests' Expectations for Cleanliness
Shortly after the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, Alec Dalton began partnering with Profs. Suzanne Bagnera (Boston University) and Peter Szende (Oxford Brookes University) to answer a critical question: what does "clean" mean for hotel guests amidst COVID-19?
In May 2020, the team shared preliminary research findings in their Hotel News Now article "Conveying Hotel Cleanliness During COVID-19 Crisis". In essence, guests expect communications about cleanliness just as much as the cleaning in and of itself. The "cleanliness theater" mentality can help brick-and-mortar operators be both practical and performative to convey clean spaces for customers and employees.
Primary research continues as Dalton and Drs. Bagnera and Szende survey hotel guests, employees, and owners to understand the current state of cleanliness practices and communications. Research is also forward-looking, to anticipate evolving customer and employee preferences for "staying safe."
To share your own feedback to support the hospitality industry's recovery, click here for a brief survey:
ARCET Global has appointed Alec Dalton as an Official Judge of the 2021 Customer Centricity World Series. This global program recognizes best-in-class organizations working on the cutting-edge of customer experience management.
The array of awards categories encompasses a broad spectrum of priorities in CX, including:
The Customer Centricity World Series coincides with one of the largest virtual CX knowledge-sharing events, with keynotes, panels, and access to over 150 CX case studies featuring qualifying finalists. The conference and virtual ceremony will be hosted virtually between May 18-19, 2021.
Click here to learn more about the Customer Centricity World Series, to submit a competitive entry, and to register for the conference.
On October 2, 2020, in conjunction with its annual Alumni Weekend, Boston University's School of Hospitality Administration (SHA) will celebrate graduates and industry leaders with a series of special awards. Alec Dalton is among the honorees and will be recognized as the "Young Alumni of the Year" for 2020.
“As BU SHA approaches our 40th anniversary (2021) we are proud to boast about our alumni who are in leading roles in various sectors of our business,” noted Dean Arun Upneja. “Alec Dalton’s achievements as an undergraduate were notable; honoring his professional accomplishments so soon after his graduation is not surprising. We look forward to following along with him through what will no doubt be an illustrious career.”
Alec graduated from Boston University in 2015 with dual bachelor’s degrees from the School of Hospitality Administration and the Questrom School of Business. His involvement in the SHA community included co-founding the university’s chapter of AH&LA, recruiting prospective students as a Dean’s Host, and ultimately serving as President of the school’s student government in his senior year. Alec earned membership in several distinguished organizations, including Eta Sigma Delta, Beta Gamma Sigma, Alpha Kappa Psi, and BU’s Scarlet Key Honor Society. Upon his graduation, he was conferred the Dean’s Leadership Service Award for his contributions to student life. In honor of his faculty advisor and trusted mentor, Alec now serves on the leadership committee for the Mike Oshins Freshman Experience Fund.
Other distinguished honorees will be recognized on October 2:
In addition to the awards ceremony, Alumni Weekend celebrations hosted by SHA include a kick-off keynote by Marie Perry (SVP & Chief Officer, Brinks, U.S. & Canada and Board Member, Ruth’s Chris) and two industry panels:
Click here to register for any of these complimentary, virtual events:
Regarding the awards celebration, read the full press release from Boston University here.