CustomerXCon 2023

THE Conference for Customer Marketing & Advocacy Pros who drive Customer-Led Growth.


October 17 – 18, 2023
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Boston, MA

The ONLY conference designed by CustomerX Pros, for CustomerX pros in:

> Customer Marketing

> Customer Experience

> Customer Advocacy

> Customer References

> Customer Success

> Customer Engagement

Meet the team of CustomerX pros who are building the agenda topics and formats:

CustomerXCon is supported by these great companies

Premier Supporters

Porter Consulting


Point of Reference
Advocacy Maven is a proud supporter of CustomerXCon

Agenda Topics

The CustomerXCon 2023 Steering Committee has formulated an amazing agenda that includes these tracks:

Main Stage Executive Presentations

Techniques and inspiration to elevate your role and ACCELERATE your career.

Advanced Customer Engagement Track

For CMOs and CCOs who shape customer-led culture and customer experience.

Customer Marketing & Advocacy Tracks

Senior-level practitioners share practices & methodologies that you put into action.

Group Therapy Small Group Discussions

5 to 10 peers at a round table discuss how you’ve tackled a big, difficult challenge we all face.


These sessions are led by executive-level leaders and provide the techniques and inspiration you need to elevate your role in your organization and ACCELERATE your career path.

Welcome to CustomerXCon 2023: Get Your Program on the Fast Track

Dana Alvarenga
VP of Customer Experience @ SlapFive

Ari Hoffman
VP of Customer Marketing & Advocacy @ Influitive

View slides

Are you ready to kickstart your journey towards customer engagement excellence? Welcome to CustomerXCon 2023: Accelerate!  We’re here to Accelerate! your growth and help you zoom past your competition. Just like in Formula 1 and NASCAR racing, we’re putting you in the driver’s seat to get your adrenaline pumping.

But first, let’s dive into the numbers and stats that matter. Ever wondered how fast your customer marketing team fulfills references? Or how many weeks it takes for a customer case study to get published? And let’s not forget, how often does sales use a back-pocket reference? We’ll share these metrics and more to help you understand the need for speed in today’s customer-centric world.

It’s time to shift gears and accelerate into the future. We’re moving from being reactive to becoming proactive and customer-led. Throughout this week, you’ll embark on three tracks designed to supercharge your goals, elevate your role, propel your career, empower your team, delight your customers, turbocharge your programs, and amplify your impact.

We will close out our welcome with a fun interactive game that gets you all off your feet, we will have a little “shake” and a little “bake” to help you keep the wheels turning at full speed over the two day event.

So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to accelerate your success at CustomerXCon 2023!

ACCELERATE the Value and Impact You Deliver to Your Company

Jeff Ernst
Founder @ CustomerX Community
Producer @ CustomerXCon
Founder & CEO @ SlapFive

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It may not feel like it to you, but there’s never been a better time to be in Customer Marketing…as long as we adapt to the new reality of what’s going on in our industry and company.

How do we adapt? Buy fully embracing and driving Customer-Led Growth (CLG).

In last year’s opening session, I defined CLG, showed you the steps in the process for leading a CLG initiative, and gave you lots of examples of C-level growth priorities that I’ve accelerated with CLG. In coaching my clients to embrace CLG, they encounter several obstacles that get in the way. In this session I’ll show you how to break through those obstacles and preview how we’ll be tackling these issues in greater detail over the next two days.

A Customer-Led CMO's Path to the C-Suite

Carol Meyers
Serial CMO | Independent Board Director | Executive Coach

Driving Customer-Led Growth is not easy. It takes a bold vision for creative ways to mobilize customers. It requires clear, confident and persuasive communication with executives. It forces cultural change and overcoming obstacles. Jeff Ernst sits down with Carol Meyers for a fireside chat about how she became customer-centric, her career path to the C-suite, and the skills and behaviors she needed to develop along the way. Carol is former CMO of Rapid7, Workhuman, LogMeIn, and Unica. She now serves as an advisor and director for dozens of high growth companies.

Elevating the Customer to the Center of Your Business

Kristi Faltorusso
Chief Customer Officer @ ClientSuccess

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The challenge that most organizations face is that product, process and people are often designed and operating on behalf of the business and not the customer – They spend time and cycles optimizing for this strategy before they realize it’s ineffective. The missing link to a strong high performing business is the customer. Join Kristi Faltorusso, CCO at ClientSuccess and 3 time Top 25 Customer Success Influencer, as she walks through moving the customer to the center of your business. Her stories of success and failure will highlight how hyper growth SaaS companies are making the change to survive and thrive.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love: What Have You Done to Earn Your Customers' Trust?

Angela Wells
Head of Customer Advocacy and Executive Programs @ Splunk

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Angela will share real examples of pursuing customer advocacy with a number of the world’s largest brands, including Starbucks, Motorola Solutions, Mack Trucks, and more. Through these stories, she’ll share applicable insights whether you’re leading a global team or managing advocacy as an “army of one.” In this keynote we will travel back 10 years and then forward 10 years to examine the underlying principles of relationship building for customer advocacy and the future of marketing. One hint: Love has everything to do with it.


New This Year: A track specifically for CMOs, CCOs and CCXOs who drive customer-led transformations and work cross-functionally to design & deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Advocacy & Customer Retention: Correlation or Causation?

Brittany Pais
VP of Customer Experience @ Lytho

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Struggling to improve GRR and NRR? Need a better indicator of retention? With the proper approach, advocacy not only celebrates customer achievements, but also strengthens relationships and the outcomes your product delivers! Which not surprisingly leads to higher retention no matter how you measure it.

Join Brittany Pais, VP of Customer Experience at Lytho as she shares how her Customer Success Team identified organizational disconnects, recalibrated their cross-departmental processes, and established advocacy to be one of the strongest indicators of customer health – ultimately doubling their customer advocacy participation and impact year over year.

How to Pilot an Effective CX Program: A Guide That Gets You from Take-Off to Landing

Amanda Armstrong
Vice President, Global Customer Renewals @ Eptura

Are you ready to become the “chaos pilot” of your organization? Don’t miss our interactive session where you can learn a 5-step CX program that can help you break down silos and bring teams together. We’ll even tackle an audience-suggested problem together and give you freebies to jumpstart your journey towards becoming a CX mastermind. Transform your organization’s customer experience by joining us now!

The C-change Diagnostic - Part 1: Understand the 10 Elements of the C-change Growth Engine

Chris Adlard
Founder, The C-change Diagnostic

In today’s Customer Economy, the primary route to sustainable business growth is to put customers at the heart of your business. The C-change diagnostic is a self-assessment tool that lets you to assess, quantify and easily report on the customer-centric readiness and growth status of your organization, define its path to growth, and help you on your own career path to Chief Customer Officer. In this session, you will see the C-change diagnostic up close and personal to understand the 10 elements of the C-change growth engine.

The C-change Diagnostic - Part 2: Workshop on How to Apply the Assessment to Drive Customer-Led Transformation

Chris Adlard
Founder, The C-change Diagnostic

In today’s Customer Economy, the primary route to sustainable business growth is to put customers at the heart of your business. The C-change diagnostic is a self-assessment tool that lets you to assess, quantify and easily report on the customer-centric readiness and growth status of your organization, define its path to growth, and help you on your own career path to Chief Customer Officer. In this workshop you will carry out a free C-change diagnostic of your organization, and participate in a lively discussion about how to use the findings to focus a customer-led transformation in your company.

C is Not not a Bad Grade - When it Stands for Customer

Sophia Augustina
Global Brand-to-Demand Strategy @ IBM

Margaret Safford
Head of US Community @ greyhairworks!

New technologies, new tools, and new GTM strategies emerge almost every day that promise to help us get closer to customers. AI, marketing automation, personalization and intent-based capabilities get us closer than ever before. This allows us to better understand and even anticipate customer needs and wants. With evolving technology, however, there are also new challenges to keep pace with and adopt…especially as customers become more advanced in their purchasing decisions. How do businesses that are constantly challenged to generate revenue and customer engagement pick an appropriate framework to meet and exceed their goals?

In this session, Margaret Safford and Sophia Agustina will introduce their 9 C’s framework that has the customer in the center of it all as a tool to build and accelerate customer engagement. Margaret and Sophia will provide thoughts around topics such as:

  • How do you decide which tools and GTM approaches to focus on for your multiple buying groups?
  • Are you experiencing conflicting budget allocation and campaign priorities?
  • What big bets are you placing to get a deeper understanding of your target customer?
  • What excites your customers to follow you and your initiatives?
  • Are you relevant to them such that they want to give you their mindshare?
  • What’s in it for them to spend a minute to read more about you, your products, services and your mission?
  • Will they spend more time with you after seeing your ads or social posts
  • How can you better their lives and needs?

Data-Driven Champion Building: Easy Wins with Analytics

Josh Levin
Head of Customer Success @

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When building customer champions, too often Customer Success pros lean into oversimplified, “rah rah”-style tactics.  Make sure they have proper resources?  Check. Ensure you “train the trainer”?  Done.  But what about usage patterns, paths to resolving problems most simply (i.e. product paths of least resistance), and expertise thresholds?

Advocacy isn’t simply soft science and cheerleading, but a great opportunity to leverage data and an understanding of the customer’s key outcomes to build a passionate user base. In this workshop you will learn:

  • How to rationalize and prioritize metrics for customer engagement and expertise
  • Methods for operationalizing and evangelizing your findings across your org
  • Common mistakes in usage analytics, and how to avoid them

Customer Success + Customer Advocacy = The Dream Team

Jillian Cullinane
Senior Director of Customer Success @ Paycor

Gina Leranth
Senior Director, Customer & Product Marketing @ Paycor

There is a giant gap between Customer Success and Customer Advocacy in most companies. Why? Because Customer Advocacy folks only go to Customer Success to ask for more customers who are ready to do case studies or testimonial videos and complain because they don’t get any help. Meanwhile Customer Success is trying to do more with less and take care of a large number of customers per CSM so they can’t afford to take time away from that goal.

If this describes your company, then change is essential. When Customer Success and Customer Advocacy work together in a two-way exchange of value, to run customer programs that provide customers with a two-way exchange of value, the results are amazing.

This session explores the strategic importance of partnership between customer marketing and customer success. You will be guided through a maturity model with practical ideas to transition from a basic initial partnership to a more sophisticated and mutually beneficial relationship. By aligning objectives and leveraging each other’s strengths, both teams can optimize customer engagement and drive long-term success.

Success Plans: The Untapped Pipeline To Customer Stories (If Done Right)

Diana De Jesus
CEO & Founder @ The Customer Success Project

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Success Plans are a critical tool for holding Customer Success teams and their customers accountable for achieving great outcomes. But guess what else they can do? They can be one of our best pipelines for customer advocacy and customer stories. This is another big reason you need to bridge the gap and build better collaboration between Customer Marketing and Customer Success.

In this session Diana De Jesus discusses:

  • How Customer Success teams use Success Plans to drive customer value realization through lifecycle management.
  • The types of resources and intel that Customer Success teams have about your customers.
  • Why and how Customer Marketers and Customer Success can join forces to unleash the power of Success Plans as a source for customer stories and social proof.

Opening the Referral Floodgates: The Right Audience, Engagement, and Incentive

Will Stevenson
Founder & COO @

Customer referrals are gold. They are the smoothest path to new business. But they are also hard to get. Customers don’t want to “throw their friends to the wolves” so your sales reps can pounce on them. So what do you do? In this workshop you will learn about:

  • Understanding the importance of identifying the right audience for referral efforts
  • Strategies and tactics to engage customers at the right time
  • Designing effective incentives to motivate customers
  • Overcoming common challenges in referral program implementations
  • Best practices for measuring and tracking the impact of referral initiatives


These sessions are led by senior-level practitioners who lead interactive, immersive workshops in which they share tools, templates and methodologies that you will put into practice and take back to your company.

Elevate Your Game: Design and execute customer programs that your entire company values

Janette Hausler
Head of Global Customer Advocacy @ UiPath

Tony Lombardo
VP of Customer Marketing @ Commvault

Maureen Plowman
Senior Vice President, Brand & Corporate Communications @ SmartBear

Many of you said that your biggest, hairiest challenge that you want to make sure is covered at CustomerXCon is: getting your C-level executives and other key stakeholders to value your program.

To do this, you need to go beyond the traditional Customer Marketing activities and deliverables. You need to design programs that drive the company’s top growth priorities and that get everyone in the company excited to support.

In this session, you’ll learn from 3 VP-level Customer Marketing & Advocacy Leaders about how they have elevated their game, including how they:

  • Connect their work to the strategic growth initiatives set by the C-Suite.
  • Select what to work on (and not) to have the greatest impact.
  • Build enthusiasm and passion for their programs across the entire organization.
  • Measure and communicate the value they deliver.

Accelerate Your B2B SaaS Growth: Mastering Customer Expansion

Alyse Chiariello
Director of Customer Marketing @ Responsive

Rachel Ward
Director of Global Customer Lifecycle Marketing @ Allbound

View slides

As customer revenue growth becomes increasingly vital, the role of Customer Marketers has expanded to include owning the customer expansion strategy. Are you ready to take charge? This session will provide you with the essential knowledge and skills to develop a successful expansion program for your existing B2B SaaS customers. Join us to learn where to begin and how to measure the efforts of your expansion programs for maximum revenue growth. From harnessing customer data and attributing it to opportunities, to adapting demand generation techniques specifically for your customer base, we will cover it all. Leave equipped with the tools you need to establish a strong foundation for your expansion strategy.

Bring on Your Toughest Customers: Create the Right Opportunities and They Can't Say No

Angela Wells
Head of Customer Advocacy and Executive Programs @ Splunk

Hugh Scholey
Senior Account Manager @ Big Sky Communications

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Your executive team expects you to turn your biggest brand into an advocate even though this elusive customer says they don’t do advocacy, give references, or co-market because you don’t enhance their brand enough. At Splunk this is a daily experience and, while there’s no silver bullet, we have convinced reticent global brands to participate in advocacy and talk about the sensitive topic of their cyber security.

The reality is some of the people behind the brand at your big customer are motivated to boost their own recognition and for their team. So while they don’t have time for the hundreds of generic asks from other vendors, experience tells us they are open to well-designed advocacy opportunities that are highly strategic for them. In this session we’ll discuss topics such as:

  • How to analyze your elusive customer’s motivations and non-starters for insights
  • How to design unique ideal opportunities that are hard to pass up
  • Why building multiple relationships at all levels in your customer’s org is crucial
  • Why your Communications and PR team is a critical ally to succeeding
  • How to make your executive team equally responsible for securing advocacy participation
  • Real-life examples of elusive customers who said yes to customer advocacy
  • Invite questions about your real-life elusive customers for discussion

Elevate Your Customer Advisory Board (CAB): Driving Value and Ongoing Engagement

Melanie Gomez
Sr. Customer Retention Marketing Manager @ F5

Gavin Nathan
Partner & Senior Consultant @ Ignite Advisory Group

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As a B2B marketing leader, you understand the value of a strategic customer advisory board (CAB). A CAB is an ideal method to validate corporate strategies, collect input to product development, and deepen relationships with key customers to grow revenue opportunities.

But how confident are you that the CAB meetings will go well? Will it uncover priceless insights for your corporate, product and service strategies?
To be effective, a CAB program must be properly established, resourced and managed, or the initiative can do more harm than good.

In this interactive workshop, you’ll understand what a best-in-class CAB program looks like and tips to take your CAB meeting engagement and impact to the next level. In breakout groups, you’ll discuss your biggest CAB challenges and brainstorm solutions with your peers. Workshop topics we’ll touch on include:

  • Gathering executive-level support of your CAB initiative
  • Running effective CAB meetings
  • Creating mutually beneficial CAB meeting agendas
  • Fostering ongoing engagement
  • Measuring CAB impact
  • Leveraging the CAB for customer advocacy

Building your Advocacy Ecosystem: People, Processes, & Tools

Cache Walker
Sr. Customer Advocacy Manager @ Netskope

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View worksheet

Let’s have some fun while we delve into the fundamental pillars – people, processes, and tools – that form the foundation of a robust Advocacy ecosystem. Each element’s pivotal role in shaping remarkable outcomes will be revealed. You will be provided with handouts designed to assist you in charting your course. Dive deep into assessing your current advocacy landscape, identifying strengths, and uncovering potential areas for growth.

After attending this workshop, you will gain a clear perspective on your current position, your desired destination, and the path to achieve it. Get ready to spark transformative change!

5 Must-Ask Questions That Will Unlock What Your CEO, Sales Team and Buyers Want Most from Your Customer Programs

Steve Rankel
Voice of Customer Expert @ Winalytics

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After a decade of striving to get C-level and sales buy-in, I discovered 5 key questions that went on to generate 80% of the content and sales wins my critics couldn’t ignore. And revenue.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • What are the 5 questions?
  • How you can use them to guess less, and win more
  • Case stories where you’ll hear from C-level buyers on the revenue and results generated
  • Practical tips to use these to generate wins & results from your own programs

Customer Journey Mapping: It's the Journey, not the Destination that Matters

Katlin Hess
Director of Customer Marketing @ G2

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All good adventures start with a map, and on the road to understanding customer experiences, needs, motivations and pain points a good customer journey map is key! Visualizing the entire customer journey gives you the chance to identify gaps, challenges, and opportunities to improve engagement and create positive experiences. In this workshop, we’ll leverage real-world journey mapping case studies and provide a template for developing your own customer journey map. Buckle up for a journey like no other!

ABM for CM: Building Custom(er) Marketing

Marie Elliott
ABM Manager, Customer Marketing @ Aprimo

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View worksheet

How to utilize Account Based Marketing for truly customized Customer Marketing with tips and tricks for getting internal alignment on metrics, strategy, and execution. This session includes example use cases for cross-sell/ up-sell, customer retention, and advocacy as well as what to be mindful of when building these multi-channel campaigns.

Customer Communications: How Big and Small CMA Teams Should Manage It

Shannon Howard
Director of Customer & Content Marketing @ Intellum

Jeanne Talbot
Head of Customer Marketing @ Motive

Daniel Palay
Senior Manager, Customer Advocacy @ Grafana Labs

Cara Peterson
Customer Advocacy Marketing Manager @ Celigo

Alison Zak
Customer Engagement & Advocacy Manager @ OwnBackup

Speaking to customers comes naturally to us customer x professionals, right? But who owns those communications? How often is too often to slide into their inboxes? And who is responsible for making the specific customer marketing asks that you have for them? Is it you, your team (if you have one), CSMs, reps, execs? And how does this all change when dealing with internal teams that are big vs. small? Suddenly that natural task is not that simple, eh?

 In this session, we’ll work to make a little more sense out of that morass as we welcome professionals with experience in both large and small teams to a panel to walk through all of those questions. They’ll share their perspectives on how best to navigate those communications to the benefit of all teams, how it can help result in deeper relationships, more attentive advocates, and even more business. But since we’re all about hands-on learning as well, we’ll use the second half of the session to break into interactive workshops to go in-depth into best practices for those who have small (1-2 people) and large (3+) customer teams, respectively.

Opening the Gatekeepers' Gates: How to win the hearts and minds of your CSMs

Ari Hoffman
Vice President of Customer Marketing & Advocacy @ Influitive

Victoria LaPlante
Director of Customer Marketing & Community

Kristi Faltorusso
Chief Customer Officer

Customer Success Managers play a crucial role in ensuring not only the success and satisfaction of your customers, but of your advocacy programs. Building and maintaining strong relationships between CSMs and customer marketers can sometimes be challenging, especially when they don’t have time to fully understand what you do. In this session, we’ll share actionable strategies you can use to build a strong rapport with your CS team so that your goals and programs are aligned and customer-centric.

Advocacy Acceleration: Setting Strategic KPIs for Business AND Career Advancement

Cristina Errico
Global Cybersecurity Customer Advocacy and Community Manager @ Cisco

Colleen Reidy
Director of Customer Advocacy @ Veracode

Laurie Timms
Sr. Customer Advocacy Manager @ Splunk

Bianca Del Vecchio
Customer Advocacy Consultant @ Captivate Collective

Alison Bukowski
Head of Marketing @ PeerSpot

We spend a lot of time preparing and executing our annual business goals; often they define our priorities, projects, and compensation outcomes. So why, when goals are so important, do we rarely have an active role in creating/modifying them?

In this workshop, we’ll cover a lot of ground from reviewing best practices around KPIs and how to draw on the power of storytelling to create compelling narratives around them. We’ll also hear from CMA leaders who have expertly crafted their own KPIs to include their personal career development goals. We’ll workshop, collaborate, and when we walk out the door, everyone will feel empowered, educated, and more confident in their ability to accelerate (and advance) their careers through their own KPIs.

Showcasing Our Impact: Measuring the ROI of Customer Marketing Programs

Kim Plank
Former Head of Customer Success Marketing @ Acumatica

Lauren Tonsi
Manager, Global Customer Engagement @ Nuance

Dylan Caraker
Manager of Customer Marketing at OnBoard

Hear from Leading CustomerX Pros on the ins and outs of reporting, analytics and ROI. We will cover advanced down to simple but effective spreadsheets and getting started. A main stage panel on experiences will lead to two breakout workshops based on your current state of reporting.

The Power of Language: Using ChatGPT for Strategic Customer Marketing and Advocacy

Lauren Turner
Director, Customer Marketing @ Alyce

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Are you ready to tap into the power of AI to elevate your customer marketing and advocacy efforts? Join us for our workshop, “The Power of Language: Using ChatGPT for Strategic Customer Marketing and Advocacy.” In this hands-on session, you’ll learn how to leverage ChatGPT to craft compelling messaging and create personalized experiences for your customers. Our panel will guide you through some real examples of ChatGPT in action, and leave you with three key takeaways, including how to:

  • Understand the capabilities and limitations of ChatGPT for customer marketing and advocacy.
  • Develop strategies to optimize customer engagement and advocacy using ChatGPT-generated content.
  • Leverage ChatGPT to deliver personalized experiences that drive customer loyalty and advocacy.

In the latter half of the workshop, we’ll break into small groups and dive deeper into specific use cases, giving you the chance to experiment with ChatGPT in a real-world setting. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to unlock the power of language and take your customer marketing and advocacy efforts to the next level.


Considered by most attendees to be the most valuable part of the conference, you will get with 5 to 10 peers at a round table to discuss a big, difficult challenge that we all deal with. The Steering Committee has selected several topics, and you are welcome to suggest a topic that you’d like to discuss and have people join you at a round table. Topics include:

Foster mutual value with your CAB

VOC Programs do's and don'ts

Getting the right types of Peer Reviews

Building a reference program from scratch

Doing more with less: making an impact when you're resource constrained

Where should we sit on our organization?

Partnering with Sales and Sales Enablement

Balancing tactical requests with strategic goals

Leveraging best-in-class expert interviews to better engage your customer base

Start with Employee Advocacy before Customer Advocacy Program

Customer Success and Customer Advocacy should be siblings not cousins

Referrals love to love them not hate them

Reporting and Metrics and KPIs, oh my!

Securing cybersecurity advocates: from customers to heroes

Governance Councils

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion + Customer Advocacy


Every year at CustomerXCon, we organize activities that enable you to do good and support a non-profit organization. This year, we have chosen The Center for Women & Enterprise, which provides training and resources that enable underprivileged women to improve their lives by starting a business.

During breakfast and lunch on Day 2, many of these women entrepreneurs will join us for mentoring sessions. As an attendee, you and a few of your peers have the awesome opportunity to sit with one of these women, listen to their growth challenges, and share your marketing and sales expertise with them.

Book Your Hotel Accommodations

For travel planning, the conference starts Tuesday at 8:30am and ends Wednesday at 5:00pm.

Westin Boston Seaport Hotel

The Westin is connected to the conference center. The CustomerXCon $369 room block rate is sold out. We were able to get an additional block at $499, but the two walkable hotels below have lower rates.

The Westin Boston Seaport District
425 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
T  +1 617-532-4881

Hampton Inn

A great hotel option is the Hampton Inn, which is less than a quarter mile from BCEC on the same street.
As of September 5, they have online booking rates less than the Westin’s room block rate.

Hampton Inn Boston Seaport District
670 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
T  +1 857-356-3033

Hyatt Seaport

An option closer to the water is the Hyatt Place, which is less than a half mile easy walk from BCEC.
As of September 5, they have online booking rates less than the Westin’s room block rate.

Hyatt Place Boston / Seaport District
295 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210
T  +1 857-328-1234

Contact Us with Questions