I’ve been at every Pulse since 2016, so this will be my eighth. There’s really no experience like it, so in honor of Pulse’s 10th year, I took a nostalgic trip into the depths of my photo library...
When I walked into my first opening keynote, I remember my primary reaction was WHAT IS HAPPENING
That year, I also received a Sally Award (a precursor to the GameChanger Awards), which was a delight, though I remember did not fit easily in my very very full carry-on.
The next year had a rockin’ theme of the 90’s, and then Vanilla Ice took the stage and I remember thinking WHAT IS HAPPENING
That was a great year for music. Pulse had a party on an aircraft carrier with a cover band. (I also remember that the snacks included Pop-Tarts. That memory -- it’s fond.)
I took the photo below at Pulse 2018, on my 36th birthday, a Monday. I had taken the long, early-morning flight from Boston that morning, coming to Pulse as a presenter (CS Ops presentation theme = Julia Child ), as a recipient of another Sally Award ( ♂️ ), and as a candidate to work at Gainsight. My interview with Ashvin was a lackadaisical, aimless stroll around the venue in the warm sunshine. The JetBlue flight attendants knew it was my birthday, and gave me a free bottle of sparkling wine with the cheese plate I had for lunch. It was an exceptional day of an exceptional trip.
Pulse 2019 was our first year in the city of San Francisco, at the Moscone Center, and also THE DEBUT OF PUPPIES OF PULSE. It was a total surprise and delight that several of the doggos were actually adopted and brought back to their forever-homes.
That same year, folks shuttled to City Hall for the most insane party. Honestly, it was overwhelming, so I was grateful to have things to watch, for example ACROBATS WHAT IS HAPPENING
Pulse 2020 and 2021 were virtual, but they had that old, early-pandemic sheen of “Wow we’re all doing this from home!” They were a wonderfully jarring shift from the sense of EVERY DAY IS IDENTICAL.
By 2022, I had shifted to a new role, running our community for CS Ops and Gainsight Admins, which meant my Pulse was completely focused on connecting people to each other (happy hours, breakfasts, roundtables...), and what a joy to have that role for our first time back in person. My week started with an impromptu dinner where they ended up having to kick us out of our table…
...and it ended with a party where a couple folks jogged across the venue to grab me, to make sure I was in a photo of Gainsight Admins. It was an incredible, affirming moment for me.
For me, Pulse is an annual celebration that tells me, “The work I do matters.”
Pulse piles me up with tactical inspiration (check out the mere tables of contents for my notes from my first two years, below), and it creates and strengthens relationships that I depend on every day. But I’m most grateful for its power-dose of the sense that I belong, and that this community needs the skills that I have to offer and love to use.
I’d love to see your own favorite memories and photos from Pulse! Feel free to comment below.
See you at Pulse 2023. You can register here ️.