Cisco Global Sales Experience (GSX)


As the world's foremost provider of intelligent network solutions, Cisco is constantly challenging itself and its agency partners to invent new ways of engaging audiences through experiential activities. No where is this more obvious than its Global Sales Experience (GSX) - a formerly physical event with a 20-year history that for the last five years has been completely re-invented as the industry’s most innovative virtual-hybrid event.

Every year the brand challenges its partners at GPJ and our sister agency JUXT to raise the bar. And in the process they have set the standard for the “hybrid” event format, most recently engaging more than 20,000 attendees, reducing costs by over 70%, and achieving audience satisfaction results once deemed possible only at a traditional face-to-face experience.

GSX 2012 once again broke new ground in a variety of new areas. Getting there required re-imagining the attendee experience in order to break down the barriers of time and distance inherent in the virtual-hybrid format. So Cisco partnered with our Strategy + Planning practice as well as our experience design and technology consulting services, while working with JUXT on digital experience and development.

As a result of this collaboration, attendees were provided numerous choices for how to consume GSX content: to join gatherings of hundreds at major Cisco offices; participate in smaller groups in conference rooms; or watch independently from home office or by mobile device while on the road. And every aspect of the experience was created to bolster Cisco's specific communication objectives. 

Signature new elements of GSX included use of GPJ’s Listen, Engage and Activate program (LEAp) staff to manage social media monitoring and response; a new “Make Connections” app that solved the problem of how best to enable employees to find one another and network (a technology that more than 11,000 employees adopted); and a Team Appreciation app that enabled the “best of the best” in sales to create customized multimedia messages, including a personal video, to acknowledge the unsung heroes who contributed to their success. Using the latter technology, nearly half of the global sales team was thus recognized, and another 23,000 individual congratulations were given in the form of on-line “high fives” or “fist bumps.”

This innovation in the online experience was complemented by excellence in the delivery of globally consistent, yet locally relevant celebration events around the world, where GPJ provided creative, management and execution services for high-energy celebrations at Cisco’s largest locations. And of course, for those on the road, the mobile experience of GSX was delivered using Cisco technology wherever possible, making a virtual event a viable experience "on the go" and extending the GSX brand in new ways.

GSX, driven by the impact of these and other experience innovations, has become a critical kickoff activity for the global sales team at Cisco. This year, GSX drove satisfaction to its highest levels since 2007, and for the first time, exceeded a number of program measures when compared to their last traditional (i.e. face-to-face, higher cost) global sales meeting.