Leading Marketing and Customer Service Experts to Deliver Keynotes at PeopleMatter’s Collaborate Conference

January 21, 2016

Social Media Guru Scott Stratten and Dave Ridley from Southwest Airlines Will Headline 2016 Meet-Up Event

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 21, 2016) – Today PeopleMatter announced that Scott Stratten, one of the world’s leading experts in viral, social and authentic marketing, and Dave Ridley, currently serving as senior advisor to the CEO at Southwest Airlines, will share their professional experience with attendees of PeopleMatter’s can’t-miss, annual meet-up, Collaborate. This year’s event, set to attract the biggest service-industry leaders, ideas and brands ­– such as Del Taco, Golden Pantry, Texas Roadhouse, Pizza Hut and Flash Foods – will take place Wednesday, May 4 – Friday, May 6, 2016 in Charleston, S.C.

Drawing on their unique backgrounds, Stratten and Ridley will both explore today’s rapidly evolving business climate and share actionable advice for spotting trends, delivering best-in-class customer service, understanding and leveraging the latest technologies, and promoting growth.

As a former music industry marketer, national sales training manager and business school professor, Scott Stratten practices and preaches about the tenets of “UnMarketing.” Having coined the concept while running his own agency, Stratten explains that it is about positioning yourself as a trusted expert so that when your target market needs you, they choose you.

 “Engagement is what’s key in ‘UnMarketing,’” said Stratten. “New strategies, social media platforms and technologies enter the market every week; it’s critical that companies understand that having a solid connection with their audience, one that’s built on trust, consistency and service, is what will carry their business forward in spite of any distractions.”

At Collaborate, Stratten will present “Everything is Changed and Nothing is Different,” covering three of the hottest topics impacting companies today: the myth that Millennials are creating new challenges for business, the reality of social media and its benefits, and helping the market make buying decisions by getting in front of them as they make their selections. Also a best-selling author, Stratten has published four books: “The UnMarketing Book,” “The Book of Business Awesome and UnAwesome,” “QR Codes Kill Kittens” and “UnSelling: The New Customer Experience.”

Dave Ridley, senior advisor to the CEO at Southwest Airlines, will also keynote during the conference. Though he officially retired from Southwest in January 2015 after a 27-year career, Ridley continues to stay engaged with the airline on a regular basis. Ridley held a number of senior executive positions with the airline in a variety of operational, commercial, and staff functions, including senior vice president and chief marketing officer; senior vice president, People and Leadership Development; senior vice president, Business Development; and vice president of Ground (Airport) Operations.

During Collaborate, Ridley will present “LUV Lessons: Customer Service from the Inside Out,” focused on his work at Southwest. Consistently ranked one of Fortune’s Top 10 Most Admired Companies in the World, Ridley will speak to Southwest’s unique corporate culture and what he learned building a world-class brand based on service excellence.

 Ridley commented, “Exceptional customer service can be the key differentiator between brands; it certainly has been a hallmark of Southwest Airlines’ success and brand reputation. This powerful lever starts with creating a culture where employees love the company, and that love is then reflected to the customer in consistent, memorable service experiences.”

“We are excited to have Scott Stratten and Dave Ridley joining us for Collaborate ’16,” said Jay Nathan, senior vice president, Customer Success for PeopleMatter. “They have extensive professional backgrounds and deep subject matter expertise that can be applied to all facets of the service industry. Our customers and attendees will learn how to think expansively about their organizations and the industry in general, taking home new ways to improve and enhance their own operations and performance.”

Collaborate ’16 will also feature more than a dozen sessions on today’s hottest topics, including talent acquisition and retention, culture and engagement, compliance, 2016 service industry trends, and more. To register for Collaborate ’16 and take advantage of early bird pricing (available until March 15), as well as access additional information about this year’s event, including FAQs and a look back at Collaborate ’15, click here.


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