CXE³ is an annual educational and networking conference for companies involved in the customer experience industry. You can expect top-notch industry speakers, the sharing of great ideas, the discovery of new resources and the cultivation of new contacts and colleagues. This conference brings you the latest in industry trends. Our structure is an exciting one with general information and breakout sessions as well as multiple sessions with the TED-Talks format.


Top leadership teams representing the world’s leading companies in customer service, market research, marketing, mystery shopping, merchandising and guest satisfaction researchers. The conference attracts industry leaders largely from North America, but also attracts organizations from Central and South America, Europe and Asia.


CXE³ is an opportunity to network with leadership from some of the worlds most renowned companies, expand partnerships through connections, learn industry best practices, discover new resources to help your customers, explore the latest technology, learn through a variety of educational seminars and connect with experts in a variety of industry related fields.


The conference registration fee includes the cost of attendance at all general and concurrent sessions, networking and social functions on Wednesday night. The Thursday evening social function is an additional cost and will be announced in a few weeks.
Service Provider, Candidate and Academic Members
First Attendee - $850
Additional Attendee(s) - $650
Save $200 on additional attendees!
Service Provider, Candidate and Academic Non-Members
First Attendee - $950
Additional Attendee(s) - $750
Click here to contact us about joining the association and saving
Associate and Client Members
First Attendee - $950
Additional Attendee(s) - $750
Save $200 on additional attendees!
Associate and Client Non-Members
First Attendee - $1,050
Additional Attendee(s) - $950
Click here to contact us about joining the association and saving


If you have ever considered checking out MSPA Americas, this is the year for you! We have a day pass available to non-member companies who are in the customer experience industry. You can join us on Thursday, October 10th and get to know our membership, sponsors and how your membership in MSPA Americas could benefit. The rate is $195 and includes Breakfast, Lunch and the Cocktail Reception. Tickets for the Optional Event are available at an additional cost.


Registration forms must be received no later than 4:00 pm ET on October 4, 2019. After that time all registrations must be made onsite. No registration will be processed without proper payment. After your registration has been processed, you will receive an automatic confirmation email.



Cancellations submitted in writing to MSPA Americas by September 30, 2019, will be refunded, less a $75 processing fee. There will be no refunds for cancellations received after this date. “No shows” will be charged at the full conference rate. All refunds will be processed after the completion of the conference.


3:00 pm - 7:00 pm Registration
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm Opening Night Welcome Dinner Party
Join us on the beach for a rocking reception!
8:00 am - 4:30 pm Registration
8:15 am - 9:15 am Networking Breakfast
9:15 am - 9:30 am Conference Welcome
Presented by MSPA Americas President Charles Stiles, Mystery Shopper Services
9:30 am - 10:15 am General Session - The Pricing Paradox - How to Keep your Pricing Agile and Profitable
Presented by Steven Di Pietro, Service Integrity Mystery Shopping

This keynote session will be an interactive group session simulating real-life pricing challenges. Attendees will learn how to stay strong with radically changing client requirements, hidden pricing traps and undiscovered pricing opportunities.
Sponsored by LiveShopper
10:15 am - 10:20 am Intro to Talks Session
Presented by MSPA Americas President Charles Stiles, Mystery Shopper Services
10:20 am - 10:35 am Talk #1 - The Challenges of Truly Effective Communication
Presented by Brad Raney
10:36 am - 10:50 am Talk #2 - Finding UX/CX Pain Points: Mystery Shopping Intertwined Human and Machine "Unknown" Processes
Presented by Elaine Buxton, Confero
10:50 am - 11:15 am Morning Networking Break
11:15 am - 11:45 am General Session - Major Changes to Privacy Laws: Are you Vulnerable?
Presented by Veronica Boxberg-Karlsson, Better Business World Wide, Erik Brooks, Research Metrics, Tony Felos, Sassie and moderated by Mike Mershimer, HS Brands Global
11:45 am - 12:30 pm General Session - Maintaining An Entrepreneurial Edge in A Changing World
Presented by Brett Beveridge, The Revenue Optimization Companies
Sponsored by Research Metrics
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm Legislative Lunch - A – Z on AB5: What you NEED to Know and Know NOW
Presented by Russ Hollrah, Hollrah LLC and Paul Ryan, Secret Shopper

High on our radar has been California’s passage of AB5, an onerous piece of legislation that could have long-term serious effects on our industry in the Golden State and other jurisdictions. You need to be aware of the potential threats that this new law poses, as well as the best practices to follow to reduce potential liabilities for your company. Bring your questions for MSPA lobbyist Russ Hollrah and MSPA Legislative chair Paul Ryan to this important lunchtime session dedicated solely to this critical topic. 
2:00 pm - 2:14 pm Talk #3 - 3.5 Shocking Truths about Cyber Attacks on Small Business…and How to Protect Yourself
Presented by Craig Balco, Strategic Insurance Services

20% of all cyber attacks hit businesses with LESS than 250 employees; roughly 60% of those businesses close within 6 months of the attack. Join noted cyber security expert Craig Balco for a powerful overview of the realities of cyber attacks and what you can do to best position your business for safety.
2:15 pm - 2:29 pm Talk #4 - Navigating the Lobbying Process: A First Person Perspective
Presented by Jane Edwards-Hall, Grove Partnerships
2:30 pm - 2:44 pm Talk #5 - Inside the World of CX Research
Presented by Mark Michelson

Join Mark Michelson, co-founder of MSPA and Producer of CX Talks: The Customer Experience Summit, in a review of CX research metrics and methods. During this talk you will learn the differences between NPS and CSAT scores, “X” and “O” data, and how mystery shopping fits in the spectrum of XM (Experience Management). Beyond performance metrics, Mark will show how qualitative, or unstructured data, helps to provide insights that help our clients design better experiences.
2:45 pm - 3:00 pm  Talk #6 - The "Meaning" Scam
Presented by Steven Di Pietro, Service Integrity Mystery Shopping

Everyone knows that connecting with a "why" is important. But it remains as elusive as grabbing fog. It's there but can you get it? Steven reveals a simple way to grab the unattainable for both work and in life. 
3:00 pm - 3:30 pm Afternoon Networking Break
3:30 pm - 4:15 pm General Session - Opening the Box-Reinventing Your Business in Plain Sight
Presented by Karen Bowling, University of North Florida
Sponsored by Sassie
4:15 pm - 4:30 pm Wrap Up and Closing
Presented by MSPA Americas President Charles Stiles, Mystery Shopper Services
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Networking Cocktail Party
Join MSPA members and guests for a networking gathering. Be sure to bring your business cards to exchange!
6:30 pm - 10:30 pm Calypso Breeze Dinner Cruise (OPTIONAL EVENT)

Get more than just education out of your conference experience! Enhance your business connections by engaging with industry leaders through our optional dinner cruise on the Calypso Breeze! The Calypso Breeze, a 72-foot triple decked ship, specifically designed for cruising in the intracoastal waterways, offers casual sightseeing and dinner cruises. This colorfully appointed vessel with a Caribbean theme, boasts two decks that are enclosed, air-conditioned and contain guest seating. The third level is an open-air deck that provides beautiful views of the waterfront!

Guests are welcome to join us and the rate is $90 per person. Ticket includes transportation to/from The Calypso Breeze and the dinner cruise.
8:00 am - 1:30 pm Registration
8:30 am - 9:30 am Networking Breakfast
9:30 am - 9:35 am President's Call to Order and Welcome
Presented by MSPA Americas President Charles Stiles, Mystery Shopper Services
9:35 am - 10:15 am General Session - How Branding Enhances the Customer Experience and Creates Loyalty and Engagement
Presented by David Welday, The Savage Group

How do you get noticed in today’s fast-paced, media-saturated culture?  What builds customer loyalty that keeps them coming back?  How does your customer experience build your brand? In this session you will discover keys to:
  • Finding your distinction
  • Communicating your benefits
  • See your company through the eyes of your audience
  • Enhance your value proposition
10:20 am - 11:00 am General Session - Tried, True + New: Local Companies Share What's Working
Presented by Karen Bowling, University of North Florida
11:20 am - 12:00 pm Concurrent Sessions

The Pricing Paradox - Building Your Custom Strategy
Presented by Steven Di Pietro, Service Integrity Mystery Shopping

This is an interactive session with both group discussion and private strategizing. In this session Steven will cover an overview of industry standard pricing structures, 13 different price strategy options for your business and individualized strategies each participant company can adopt. Each participant will leave the workshop with a defensive and offensive pricing strategy with higher margins.
Sponsored by BARE International

Are They Hearing What You Said - or Something Completely Different?!
Presented by Brad Raney
Sponsored by HS Brands Global

Creating Your Contagious Brand 
Presented by David Welday, The Savage Group

Branding is a popular “buzzword” in entrepreneurial, business, and marketing circles.  But just what is your brand? More importantly, how can you develop it to become a top-of-mind company, author, speaker or organization?  Discover why Fortune 500 companies spend millions on brand development – and how you can learn their strategies!  Branding is more than simply making sure your website matches your letterhead, or having an attractive logo and tag line. This session will give you clues on:
  • Getting your leadership team clearly aligned behind your brand
  • Defining your brand position
  • How your customers feel about themselves based on your brand
  • Creating a winning brand strategy
Sponsored by Wordsmith Pros
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Annual Meeting and Closing Luncheon


Balco Craig Balco, Strategic Insurance Services

Craig Balco was born and raised in Philadelphia and relocated to South Florida to attend Barry University and moved to Clearwater, FL to complete his bachelor’s degree in business management at St. Petersburg College. After spending most of his teens and early twenties in the hospitality industry, Craig started working with a computer and office supply company located in the Tampa Bay area. Over the next 9 years, he consistently set company sales records helping the company grow from 15 employees to over 55, eventually becoming Vice President and minority owner.

In 2011, Craig decided to take his passion for sales and service and embark upon a career in insurance, obtaining his Property and Casualty Insurance license. Over his nearly eight-year career in Insurance, he obtained additional professional insurance designations, adding Certified Professional Insurance Agent and Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist to his impressive credentials. He is currently on the board of the Pinellas Association of Independent Agents, in line to be the next board President.
Beveridge Brett Beveridge, The Revenue Optimization Companies

Brett Beveridge is an entrepreneurial, results-driven executive with over 20 years of experience and success in the wireless and technology industries.He has hands-on success in start-ups, profit turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and fundraising and is the driving force behind T-ROC’s ambitious growth.In various capacities, Brett has been directly involved with the development, opening and operating of over 1,000 retail communications stores nationwide, as well as the management of large-scale, high performance field sales teams.
Bowling Karen Bowling, University of North Florida

Karen is the Director for the University of North Florida Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She is formerly a consultant in healthcare, healthcare technology and government relations. Karen was the co-founder and CEO of Solantic Urgent Care centers along with immediate past Florida Governor and current US Senator, Rick Scott, and has served in senior executive positions with Columbia Healthcare, FOX Entertainment Group and CyberGuard. She is a former news anchor at WJXT-TV Jacksonville and former Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Jacksonville, Florida’s largest city.
Boxberg Karlsson Veronica Boxberg Karlsson, Better Business World Wide

Veronica has written several books about mystery shopping, service and leadership for the industry, for managers, and for the employees that will be evaluated by mystery shoppers. Veronica is the founder of SSQ Award, the Scandinavian Service & Quality Award which is a quality program for Hotels and Conference Venues, accredited under the European Hospitality Quality scheme by HOTREC. Better Business World Wide is a specialist in developing and coordinating global mystery shopping projects. Better Business can report from the moment of truth in real time, in local language, worldwide. Better Business unique reports are efficient and concise enabling employees and managers at all levels within the organization to understand them.  

Veronica is also the founder of The Smiling Report which annually since 2004 has aggregated mystery shopping data about Smiling, Greeting, and Add-on Sales per country and industry. So far, 69 mystery shopping companies have joined the report. Founder of MSPA Europe (2001) and Better Business World Wide (1995), Veronica served as is a standing member of the MSPA Global Advisory Board.
Brooks Erik Brooks, Research Metrics

Erik Brooks is the Vice President of Product Development and Engineering at Research Metrics. Erik provides leadership for Research Metrics' constantly evolving suite of technologies, including the Shopmetrics mystery shopping and market research system, the GigSpot and MobiAudit mobile scheduling and online/offline data collection apps, the Mobalytics reporting mobile app, and the Surveo survey platform. For over 20 years his technical leadership and constant innovation has pushed the industry’s technology forward. He plays a key role in Research Metrics’ ISO certifications and is an industry expert in the areas of compliance, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Buxton Elaine Buxton, Confero, Inc.

Elaine earned her BS Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Tarheels!) and her MBA from Meredith College. Elaine currently serves on the board of directors of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Eastern North Carolina (and was Chair in 2016) and on the Business School Advisory Committee at Meredith College. Her work has been recognized by Enterprising Women Magazine as Enterprising Woman of the Year 2010, Greater Women’s Business Council Trailblazer Award 2016, the Stevie Award for Customer Service Consulting Practice of the Year 2011 and BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics 2019.
Di Pietro Steven Di Pietro, Service Integrity Mystery Shopping

Steven founded Service Integrity Mystery Shopping 15 years ago after a career in merchant banking. He has been an active participant on MSPA Boards for many years and authored the book "Mystery Shopping Mastery." He now runs Mystery Shopping businesses in Australia the Pacific and Asia. Steven came from the Banking industry having worked in retail banking and merchant banking at Macquarie Bank. In the Mystery Shopping industry he founded Service Integrity and has been actively involved in the peak international industry body, the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association where he served as a Director and President of the Asia Pacific chapter of the Association.
Edwards-Hall Jane Edwards-Hall, Grove Partnerships

Jane has over 30 years of global market research and mystery shopping experience. Jane has set-up and managed global mystery shopping programs for Fortune 500 and 100 companies and across all industries including retail, hospitality, finance, automotive, CPG and telecoms and tech manufacturing. Jane has lived and worked in the UK, Greece, Czech & Slovak Republics, Hungary and has now been in the US for the last 10 years. She has previously worked at Kantar, Nielsen, IMS Health, GfK and Ipsos.
Felos Tony Felos, Sassie

Tony Felos is managing partner and co-founder of Surfmerchants, the maker of SASSIE Mystery shopping software and Presto Insta-shopping platform. Tony has worked in the mystery shopping industry since 2000.
Hollrah Russ Hollrah, Hollrah LLC

Russ is an attorney with a national practice dedicated to employee-benefits, employment taxes and the application of those laws to independent professionals and contract workers. His clients include both the companies for which independent professionals work, as well as the companies that engage and refer or assign them to other companies. His practice, Hollrah LLC, has been MSPA Americas' legal and legislative counsel, focusing on issues relating to independent contractors, private investigator issues, and other industry-specific concerns, since 2005.
Mershimer Mike Mershimer, HS Brands Global

Over the past 25 years, Mike Mershimer, the founding principal of The Mershimer Group, and President & COO of HS Brands International has designed, managed, and consulted on loss prevention programs for worldwide food service, franchise and retail brands including Bob’s Stores, Baskin-Robbins, Arby’s, GNC, Dunkin’ Donuts, American Greetings, Friendly’s Ice Cream, Bath and Body Works, Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, and many others. Mike has been a member of the National Restaurant Association’s Audit and Loss Prevention Executive Study Groups, where he has served as past chairman of both groups, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the National Food Service Security Council, where Mike is a past Board Member. The Mershimer Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of HS Brands Global, a global loss prevention, mystery shopping and franchise support organization with offices in Boston, Las Vegas, India, Turkey, France and Argentina.
Michelson Mark Michelson, Producer and CEO, CX Talks

Mark Michelson is the producer of CX Talks, a highly acclaimed series of regional events focused on the customer experience industry. Mark is also the co-founder of MSPA and the Mobile Marketing Research Association (MMRA). In addition to managing CX Talks, Mark is the Principal of Threads Qualitative Research and SVP with, a data management service that helps mystery shop companies with quality control and report editing. Mark's experience as a market researcher includes 35 years of developing and implementing customer experience studies for many of the world’s leading brands in a variety of industries including technology, food service, healthcare, retail and CPG.
Raney Brad Raney

Passionate Presenter, Creative Communicator, Brad combines over 25 years of live performance experience in radio, television, and stage events, with a razor sharp wit and powerful messages designed to entertain and inform audiences of all types. 
Ryan Paul Ryan, Secret Shopper

Paul is an accomplished Senior Executive with a sales & marketing background, website & mobile platform development experience, and consults on legislative and regulatory issues. He currently serves on the MSPA Americas Board of Directors and chairs the Government Relations initiatives.

Paul received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota and attended Nankai University in Tianjin, China for a number of years.
Stiles Charles Stiles, Mystery Shopper Services

Charles Stiles owned, managed, and grew numerous retail gourmet food and gift shops with world-class customer service. In 1996, his success led to the creation of one of the most respected and comprehensive mystery shopping and business evaluation companies in North America. In 2014, BES acquired two of the most notable brands in the industry (Customer 1st and BMA). They service a growing cadre of national and international clients, such as Disney, Microsoft, YMCA, and many more. As the host of Food Network’s “Mystery Diners”, he continues to elevate the customer service evaluation industry by bringing awareness to the importance of customer service to business success. Charles speaks nationally on customer service and culture building topics to leaders and the media. Charles has been an active member of MSPA, since 2001.
Welday David Welday, The Savage Group

As the Message and Marketing Strategist and Consultant with The Savage Group, David is an out-of-the-box thinker, gifted communicator, marketing strategist, copywriter, publisher and coach. In addition to his role with The Savage Group he is President of HigherLife Publishing and Marketing, Inc. Providing professionals, business owners, authors and non-profit organizations with creative and compelling marketing and brand strategies that lead to more profitable connections. Through his work with The Savage Group, David is committed to bringing to the culture innovative strategies and resources built on positive, life-changing messages. David has served in the publishing and marketing world for more than 30 years and has vast experience in; direct response marketing, magazine publishing, book publishing, curriculum and digital resource development and organizational development.



Engage Key Decision Makers - The right people. The right place.

MSPA Americas represents companies operating in the customer experience industry and works to protect the credibility of our profession, while providing our members with the tools and resources needed for success. Our members’ businesses are involved with every aspect of the customer experience in today’s marketplace. The event is highly attended by our member company executives and key staff members. You will have the ability to directly promote and exhibit your products/services in a dedicated environment. to the key decision makers and build mutually beneficial relationships. Limited spots, per product/service, are available so don’t hesitate. Act today and reserve your spot for this great event!

Click here to Learn More about becoming a CXE3 Sponsor.

 (Updated 9-27-2019)


LiveShopper     Research Metrics     



BARE International          HS Brands    WordSmith Pros


Choice Screening


BARE International


Visit this magical expanse of sand and you’ll understand why Trip Advisor’s community of travelers love St. Pete Beach, naming it the No. 4 beach in the U.S. in 2019.

St. Pete Beach’s shores include the longest undeveloped stretch of public beach in the St. Pete/Clearwater area at Pass-a-Grille Beach. Live it up with a variety of watersports, from parasailing and stand-up paddleboarding to windsurfing and kiteboarding. For lively diversions away from the shore, head to the Corey Avenue district. For over six decades, Corey Avenue has thrived at the heart of St. Pete Beach. There’s a variety of funky specialty shops, galleries, restaurants and more.


TradeWinds Island Grand
5500 Gulf Boulevard
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

The conference hotel reservation deadline was September 18. If you have not previously arranged your sleeping room accommodations, please call Tradewinds Island Resort at (800) 808-9833 to inquire about availability and pricing of guest room accommodations. TradeWinds Island Grand has made some upgraded rooms available and ask the hotel if you are interested in those.

Check-In Time: 4:00 pm ET
Check-Out Time: 11:00 am ET


Conference Attire
The conference attire is business casual. Meeting rooms may feel cool to some attendees, so a light jacket or sweater is recommended.

Distribution of Publications and Promotional Materials
Distribution of brochures, fact sheets, advertising, industry publications and promotional materials is not allowed during the conference except for companies participating in the official conference sponsorship program. Distribution of these materials by sponsors is allowed only within the guidelines of the sponsorship program.

Scheduling Non-­MSPA Americas Functions
Events that conflict with official MSPA Americas events or educational programming are not allowed during the conference. This includes hospitality suites, special breakfasts, focus groups or similar events.


Jessica Link
(502) 574-9936
Savannah Wafford
(502) 574-9948
Sponsorship & Media
Michelle Romero
(502) 574-9036
Sarah Saar
(502) 574-9041