What is Gel?

Mark Hurst

The Gel conference was founded in 2003 by Mark Hurst to spotlight people and projects that create a good experience across diverse fields (technology, business, healthcare, education, the arts, or elsewhere).

Gel speakers over the past 14 years have represented an incredible diversity of accomplishment and thought. They include This American Life host Ira Glass, Harlem Children's Zone founder Geoffrey Canada, The New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, and others.

Gel is also known for finding new voices and putting them on a major conference stage for the first time. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, performance artist Ze Frank, Khan Academy founder Sal Khan, and many others spoke first at Gel, before presenting at other top events.


Who Attends Gel?

Gel Conference audience

Each year, Gel brings together over hundreds of people who are interested in "creating the experience," whether it's for a customer, user, citizen, patient, student, or some other constituency. In an increasingly digital and interconnected world, creating a good experience is vitally important. Gel is the world's top event in exploring who's doing it right, and how.

Gel attendees are executives or product managers on teams that create or manage a product or service with customers. A typical Gel event will bring together several CEOs, lots of VPs and SVPs, some number of managers and directors, and some more junior roles.

Companies attending Gel 2015, our most recent event: Google, Dropbox, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, Kaiser Permanente, CITI, Wells Fargo, Nordstrom, MTV, GE Capital, Consumer Reports, and dozens of others.

Acclaim from Attendees

Gel gathers a fascinating group of innovative and energetic individuals who are trailblazers in their respective fields.”

Gel is unexpectedly extremely relevant to how I approach my everyday job.”

Gel is unlike any other conference you will ever attend. It won't tell you how to improve your business or life, but it will expand your horizons enough so you can do it on your own.”

About the Venue


In May 2016, Gel proudly returned to the TimesCenter – the beautiful theater on West 41st Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. (The viral video Gotta Share: The Musical, created at Gel 2011 by our friends at Improv Everywhere, shows the TimesCenter theater from several angles.)

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