If you’ve recently stepped foot into the BetterWorks headquarters, you’ve probably noticed a particular “buzz” in the air. It’s been about 2 weeks since our third annual Goal Summit and our team is still talking about the “totchos,” the chai cart and of course, the cultural revolution happening across workplaces worldwide.

Goal Summit brought together business leaders, HR managers and industry influencers from 34 countries representing some 50 million workers. With more than 1,000 attendees, it was our biggest Goal Summit to date. Everyone seemed to agree that we need a better way to manage employees, align performance and give feedback.

The event helped us catch a glimpse into how businesses are embracing the future of performance management and feedback. While it’s impossible to capture every Goal Summit detail in just one blog post, I’ll do my best with these 10 shining moments:

1. Preview of Measure What Matters

Goal Summit attendees who made it to their seat on time (or in other words, who were able to pull themselves away from the amazing Ritual coffee and hot breakfast) had the privilege of catching BetterWorks CEO Kris Duggan interview Donna Morris, the EVP of Customer and Employee Experience at Adobe. Adobe is famous for publicly leading the charge in replacing its outdated annual review process with a more continuous, regular system for feedback. Not only did Donna discuss Adobe’s internal HR processes on stage, but each attendee received a free preview of the first couple chapters of Measure What Matters, authored by John Doerr and Kris Duggan. The book will be available for purchase in the Fall of 2017 and features Adobe, the Gates Foundation and Bono.  

2. Convergence of Worldwide Leaders

All day, Goal Summit attendees were bustling with new ideas and fresh perspectives on outdated HR and operational processes. Did you know that 13% of the folks in the room are already BetterWorks customers? Some of the companies represented include Google, Facebook, Walmart, BMW, Visa, Warby Parker, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Kaiser Permanente and hundreds more. Attendees had plenty of networking opportunities, while eating snacks or grabbing coffee, between sessions or during a stroll between stages.

3. Unique Venue with Stunning Walk Between Stages

Speaking of the stroll between stages, the Palace of Fine Arts was the ideal location for this year’s summit. The venue provided plenty of space for two large stages, as well as ample room for breakout sessions, coffee and chai carts and tables for mingling. A highlight of the day, according to many attendees, was chatting with other attendees in the sunshine while walking through the Palace of Fine Arts rotunda outside.

4. Kick-Ass Speakers

I’m proud of our team (especially the woman behind the success of Goal Summit, Kate Orrin) for securing some of the industry’s most prominent and influential thought leaders to take the stage at Goal Summit. This year, we hosted 39 speakers, half of which were women. You should check out the full lineup here. Crowd favorites included: John Doerr (KPCB), Bing Gordon (KPCB), Donna Morris (Adobe), Atticus Tysen (Intuit), Kamilah Thomas (A+E Networks), Dr. David Rock (NeuroLeadership Institute), Bill Kutik (HR Technology Conference) and leaders from Evernote, Lyft, Beachbody, Walmart, Pact and more.


5. Nursing Mom’s Room 

I bet no other industry event, ever, has highlighted the Nursing Mom’s room as a “shining moment.” But I happen to be a nursing mom, so I understand the true pain of feeling secluded, or not completely welcomed at an event. We made it a point to go above and beyond, ensuring nursing moms could attend the summit all day without having to worry about where they could pump.


6. Actionable Content

Two words to describe this year’s speaker content: variety and actionable. It was a powerful blend of BetterWorks customer stories (33% of the speakers were our customers) and well-known thought leaders. Whether you attended a presentation on meditation at work or implementing a performance management strategy, you should have walked away with ideas and actions to make changes today.


7. Top-Notch Sponsors

For the first time in Goal Summit history, we secured the support of sponsors, including Bersin by Deloitte, Greenhouse and PwC (full list here). We couldn’t have pulled off a successful event without their financial backing and partnership. As Goal Summit continues to grow as a leading event for operational and HR leaders, we’ll lean heavily on support and sponsorship from innovative companies and partners.

8. Sold Out Workshops

Following Goal Summit 2016, our customers suggested we offer more hands-on workshops at the next summit. You asked, we delivered! This year’s workshops were focused on OKR programs and implementing manager conversations vs. annual reviews, and the change management that happens in between. The workshops were customized to address the hottest topics we’re hearing regularly from customers, and were led by our own customer success team. The workshops were not only sold out, but had a wait list. We’ll be adding additional workshops and individualized content next year.

9. The “Totchos” (and all the Other Food and Drinks)

The ONLY complaint we heard about the food and drinks at Goal Summit was that there were not enough hours in the day to try everything. The food was clearly a crowd favorite. From the chai cart to Ritual coffee to fresh juice from the Juice Shop to ‘totchos’ (yes, those are nachos with a tater tot base), attendees had plenty of delicious options to choose from. We’ve set the (food) bar high for next year.


10. Enthusiasm for a Performance Management Overhaul

It would have been impossible to attend Goal Summit without feeling the change in the air. Our team had countless meetings and encounters with customers and industry thought leaders who are ready to revamp how they give feedback and motivate performance across their workforce. This shared enthusiasm was evident in networking conversations and on the stage at Goal Summit—and we’re excited to partner with companies to embrace this change.

Over the next few months, we’ll be distributing speaker content to attendees, and sharing it across our YouTube and other social channels. Whether you missed the event or want to relive the moment, we’re ready to share and keep the conversation going.

Who is ready for Goal Summit 2018?