Everything you need to know about Conversation 2020

20min read - Hélène Lepelletier

For its fourth edition, Conversation®, Europe's largest event dedicated to the conversational economy, got a complete digital makeover. The iAdvize event initially scheduled for May 28, 2020, at Station F, was reimagined into a series of 7 online meetings from September 10 to December 10. Let's take a look back at this exceptional edition and its many highlights, here for you to watch over and over!

In 2020, nothing went as planned, and the Conversation® event was no exception. This fourth edition, which was due to bring together the pioneers of the conversational economy for a day of inspiring interviews and talks, did not in fact take place in Paris, in the spring, nor in the prestigious Station F. It was redesigned completely to comply with health requirements – with the unexpected result that it reached an even larger audience!

Over the summer, Conversation® 2020 was completely reworked and digitized to become the largest European online event dedicated to the conversational economy. It’s evolved into a series of 7 online events, every other week, from September 10 to December 10, 2020. We’ve put together this article to let you relive the highlights of this undeniably special 2020 edition, via our most popular replays. 

A massive audience increase in 3 months

But first, let's go back over a few figures. Conversation® 2020 ran for 3 months, every other Thursday, in French in the morning and in English in the afternoon. Each day was dedicated to a major customer experience challenge (humanizing the digital experience, artificial intelligence, flexibility) or to a sector we support (Consumer Products/Tourism/Finance & Insurance/Services). 

Using this new, long-term virtual format, we wanted not only to respond to the health situation, but also and most importantly, to offer even more content dedicated to online conversation. With its theme of ‘the future of customer experience in the digital age,’ which was totally inline with current events, Conversation® online quickly found its audience. 

In 3 months: 

  • 16,000 people accessed Conversation content (16 times more than the audience originally expected at Station F)
  • 2,000 viewing hours have been logged for our presentations, either live or on replay
  • 47 live presentations were on offer, in French or English
  • 31 speakers took turns virtually on our set to present a keynote or take part in our interviews.

Conversation® in 8 presentations

Feel like watching the event on video, but don't know where to begin? Why not start with this selection of 8 presentations, illustrating the diversity of the guests and richness of content of Conversation® 2020.

1. Julien Hervouët, CEO and co-founder - iAdvize:  CEO’s conference: taking AI to the next level

It has been THE most attended conference of this 2020 edition. Our CEO presented his vision of the impact of the COVID crisis on e-commerce and the digital economy, before presenting Augmented Intelligence, iAdvize's major 2020 innovation that enables companies to offer a quality customer experience on a huge scale: 

" Our Augmented Intelligence combines the best of both worlds, human expertise and authenticity with the power of artificial intelligence. "

Julien Hervouët, CEO and co-founder - iAdvize

2. Thomas Husson, Vice President and Principal Analyst - Forrester: How AI will change the customer experience game

Forrester's VP Senior Analyst Thomas Husson gave a fascinating analysis of the effects of 2020 on customer experience, before going on to examine the prospects for reinventing the digital relationship in 2021 using artificial intelligence. This powerful technology can address several key challenges, such as the transformation of data into insights, or the creation of "super agents."  

" If some of their simple, manual tasks are automated, it means they have more time to respond to complex, higher value-added cases. "

Thomas Husson, Vice President and Principal Analyst - Forrester

3. Ed Billmaier, Director of e-Commerce Customer Service Samsung Electronics America: Drive online sales with incremental authenticity and expertise, Lessons from Samsung

Smartphones, home appliances and smart TVs are all products that require expert advice before making a purchase decision. How do you offer an equivalent level of customer advice on an e-commerce site as that offered in a store, in a market as competitive as consumer technology products? That’s the challenge that Ed Billmaier, Director of E-commerce Customer Service at Samsung Electronics America, took up in 2019. In this exclusive interview, he details the conversational strategy he put in place to increase online sales volume tenfold by 2020, while at the same time increasing customer satisfaction levels. 

" From last year to this year, we have grown sales by 10x [...] and we attribute this to the ePromoter program. "

Ed Billmaier, Director of e-Commerce Customer Service - Samsung Electronics America

4. Brian Solis: Closing the Experience Divide - Addressing the growing gap between COVID responses and COVID’s effect on customer behaviors

How can we effectively respond to customers’ needs in the midst of a health crisis, when everything or almost everything requires more attention? In this memorable keynote, world-renowned speaker Brian Solis assessed the evolution in consumer behavior in 2020. Much more volatile, “Generation-N" (for "Novel") is "half technology, half psychology". Companies that adapt their response to these changes optimize their growth.

" The customer experience divide is your vulnerability. You have to be the one to build bridges with customers. "

Brian Solis, Digital anthropologist and Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce

5. Nikolai Berenbrock, Product Manager Interactive Communication - E.ON: Delivering a frictionless customer experience through messaging.

Nikolai Berenbrock is Product Manager - Interactive Communication at E.ON Business Services, but he is also passionate about new technologies and marketing. Following on from his attendance at the 2019 edition of Conversation®, he accepted the invitation to this new virtual meeting and shared with us his best practice in the use of chatbots, the implementation of a conversational strategy and his vision for messaging. A must-see.

" 2020 has definitively changed the game in the field of conversation and conversational solutions. "

Nikolai Berenbrock, Product Manager Interactive Communication - E.ON

6. Nathalie Nahai, Best-selling author of "Webs of Influence": The psychology behind emotionally resonant conversations

Known as the "Web Psychologist”, Nathalie did us the honor of opening the event in English with a fascinating talk on the psychological mechanisms at work behind high-impact digital conversations. From persuasive language and "mirroring" to building trust with the client, she detailed everything you need to know to bring a more human approach to online communication. Through examples drawn from real online conversations, she shows us in very practical terms how to improve the way we change dissatisfaction into satisfaction. Not to be missed!

" Emotionally resonant conversations have to be not only persuasive, but also compassionate. "

Nathalie Nahai, Best-selling author of "Webs of Influence". Public Speaker, host of The Hive Podcast: The psychology behind emotionally resonant conversations

7. Ken Hughes, Better Bend than Break: How Flexibility Has Become the New Competitive Advantage

Ken Hughes is a great friend of iAdvize, a true Irish showman who charmed and inspired us at Conversation® 2019 in Nantes. In 2020, this amazing performer managed to reimagine his talks in a digital format, and once again we were blown away! Ken’s sharp and creative look at 2020 and all the changes that the pandemic has brought for our industries, our businesses and, ultimately, for our customers’ experience should be watched and re-watched, if only for the energy he manages to communicate, even virtually.

" Unless you're part of the digital conversational economy, you're not saying anything. "

Ken Hughes - Consumer & Shopper Behavioralist and CX Strategist

8. Adriano Napoli, Transforming CX in the Travel & Tourism industry in the aftermath of COVID

With the cruise holiday world totally turned upside down by the COVID-19 crisis, Adriano Napoli, Head of Customer Service Development at TUI Cruises gave us a very valuable and genuine account of his experiences. This decision-maker reveals how the brand, having taken stock of the impact of the crisis on its sector, now relies on messaging and technology to respond to a greater volume of requests and maintain links with its customers... and with a Q3 satisfaction rate of 77%. Great job!

" That cost us to shut down our telephone services. With time, we focused on the chat channel. It is way more efficient for us to communicate with the chat. "

Adriano Napoli - Head of Customer Service Development at TUI Cruises



We bring this 2020 edition to a close, feeling happy and already a little nostalgic. We’re looking forward to being back in 2021 with an even more ambitious project and new digital formats. More about this very soon!

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