eComEngine's Adventure at ecomChicago
We recently attended the third annual ecomChicago event. As a long-time eComEngine friend and new full-time Business Development Lead, I was excited about my first show with the company. It was truly an amazing experience. I can't think of a better event for meeting and networking with sellers and service providers. This was a great opportunity to get a real sense of their biggest pain points and to enjoy the camaraderie that exists within this extraordinary group of entrepreneurs and the businesses who cater to them.
In light of the recent announcement by Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon") regarding incentivized product reviews, eComEngine was fortunate to speak on that hot topic; but before I get to that, let me tell you a little about ecomChicago's 2016 Chicagoland conference.
Learning and Networking
Formed and operated by Mark and Robin Le Vine of bubbleFAST!, and Rich and Nila Siok of Appealing Signs, ecomChicago is an event designed to help all eCommerce sellers learn. The presenters and participants collaborate in a robust two-day conference that educates and provides a great atmosphere for networking and, well, fellowship.
One of the things that I found to be so great about ecomChicago was how enthusiastic and involved everyone was. The Le Vines and Sioks have created a place where eCommerce professionals can gain a lot of applicable knowledge and have fun while they're learning. Dean Kagan, one of our RestockPro super users, said, "My favorite parts were networking, hearing how others utilize various tools in their business and what they're planning for the upcoming year. I also found Peter Kearns' speech interesting, as he worked at Amazon."
Awesome Speakers, Great Karaoke
The agenda was packed with fantastic speakers. On Day one, Eddie Levine of Hub Dub, Ltd. kicked everything off with a talk called "Building the Backbone of a Multimillion Dollar Wholesale Business." Chris Green, founder of ScanPower, also gave a presentation on Merch by Amazon, a new service to help sellers increase revenue through the sale of branded t-shirts that are designed by you, but produced, sold and shipped by the Amazon marketplace.
Throughout the day sellers also heard great stuff from a lot of awesome presenters like Cordelia Blake (Amazon seller and Queen Monkey at Scanner Monkey) and attorney Cliff Ennico. Cliff, by the way, did a great rendition of "Tax Man" with custom lyrics at the karaoke party, sponsored by the awesome seller group Scanner Monkey that night.
Day two included more excellent presentations. John Lawson gave a talk called "The FORCE Awakens: The Future of Online Retailing and eCommerce." Among many other compelling talks, Dan Meadors and Eric Lambert (The Wholesale Formula) presented on transitioning to wholesale. Our own Laura Pugliese (Product Owner for our flagship tool, FeedbackFive) gave a timely presentation on getting more product reviews in Q4.
Product - and Conference - Reviews
In her talk, Laura explained that now, more than ever, is an important time to request honest product reviews from your customers, and how FeedbackFive can help. Laura gave a great presentation with her deep knowledge of FeedbackFive and eCommerce and addressed news concerning Amazon's ban of incentivized reviews. (For more on the policy change, see this recent post by Liz Adamson.
All in all, our team was psyched about the event. "It was an extremely valuable meeting to talk with sellers in such a relaxed and friendly environment," Laura said. "Nothing gets you more ramped up about eCommerce," said our Product Director Ken Furlong, "than being surrounded by such smart and entrepreneurial people."
I asked Shawn Mayo, head of Groceries on FBA and one of our valued customers, about what takeaway he'd like to share. "The most important part of any conference you attend is to follow up," Shawn said. "If you go back to your 9-to-5 and don't implement your changes, you may have wasted your time and money." I'd say that so much knowledge was acquired by this conference's participants that many people found that their to-do lists had grown exponentially by the time they got back. I know mine did.
We were honored to be a part of such a super event, and we're planning great things for next year. Until then?
Next stop is PROSPER!
Originally published on November 25, 2016, updated August 7, 2019
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.