Escape the confines of your office, hear from experts and network with fellow retailers – there’s no better way to grow your ecommerce IQ
When you have an online business it’s easy to spend all day staring at a computer screen, devoid of real human contact, especially if you work alone. You know there’s events out there, but attending is a big step when you have a growing business taking up all your time.
It does take time and effort to attend a conference, there’s no denying that. But nothing can beat learning and interacting in person. A webinar, for example, can’t replace the experience of hearing from a range of experts in a room full of like-minded people, who you have the opportunity to network with face-to-face.
Industries like blogging and cyber security, which could not be more rooted in the online world, have huge and successful conferences with tens of thousands of people attending. Conferences are just as valuable to businesses who sell through Amazon, eBay and their own online stores.
That’s where Retail Global comes in. Now in its third year, it gives sellers a chance to learn, network and interact with industry experts and fellow sellers. It provides two dedicated tracks for marketplace sellers alongside keynote speeches, panel discussions, intensive workshops and even a gala pool party.
Online Selling in the DNA
The story starts way back in 2001, when Phil Leahy, the CEO of Retail Global, began selling on eBay. He quickly built up a profitable business and began searching for answers about how to grow further. But he soon realized that there was a real lack of information about how to sell online.
When he found out that there was an eBay conference in America, he was over there like a shot. Phil met many other sellers at the event, and they formed a strong bond as they helped solve each others’ problems and grow their sales together.
Phil soon became the number one eBay seller in Australia and a top five seller on eBay in the UK. How did he get so successful? By attending conferences, listening to and meeting people doing better than him, and learning from them.
So, in 2005, he held the first online selling conference in Australia. Twelve years later, the conference is now a market leader and has morphed into a broad ecommerce conference.
Retail Global USA
From the very start of the Australian conferences, many speakers were flown in from the U.S. It wasn’t long before those speakers, and companies exhibiting at the event, started asking why Retail Global wasn’t also held in America. The questions continued and, eventually, three years ago, Retail Global came over to the States.
What’s the Conference Like?
The conference lasts three days and starts with a series of intensive workshops in small groups on the first day. These are optional extras and there are five to choose from, including an Amazon workshop with Jeff Cohen, an eBay workshop with Tim Davies and a Facebook product launch workshop with John Lawson. The conference opens officially in the afternoon, with keynote speeches followed by welcome drinks.
Days two and three include a wide variety of talks and panel discussions in five separate streams. There are two dedicated tracks for marketplace sellers: Marketplaces and Marketplaces Plus, with around 80% of the content geared towards Amazon sellers. The cross-border track may be of interest to marketplace sellers too.
Day two ends with a gala pool party, with music, entertainment and a charity auction in support of Retail Orphan Initiative – so make sure you pack your swimming costume!
While the core purpose of Retail Global is education, there are also ecommerce vendors exhibiting, and attendees can visit their stands during the breaks.
Retail Global have strict criteria for selecting speakers, to ensure that attendees take away actionable advice. Phil spends a large chunk of the year attending conferences around the world, to hand-pick speakers for the conference. No one gets on stage at Retail Global without proving their ecommerce knowledge and skill as communicators.
The overall philosophy is that attendees will be learning from speakers who have demonstrated success themselves – they have walked the walk and not just talked the talk!
This year’s speakers include some well-known names both on Web Retailer and in the wider ecommerce world:
- Danny McMillan, host of Seller Sessions
- Cynthia Stine, founder of eGrowth Partners
- John Lawson, CEO of ColderIce
- Chad Rubin, co-founder of Skubana
- Rachel Greer, former Amazonian and founder of Cascadia Seller Solutions
- Jeff Cohen, CMO of Seller Labs
Also speaking are George Lawrence, Taylor Benterud, Brandon Dupsky, Shaun O’Brien, Ashlin Hadden, Jonathan Pollard, Victor Rosenman, Kathy Terrill, Peter Kearns and more.
The speakers don’t just cover marketplaces, there are also a number of talks on broader ecommerce from renowned experts such as Tim Ash, founder of SiteTuners, Dr Debra Jasper, founder of Mindset Digital and Brett Tabke, CEO of Pubcon.
The Important Details
This year’s Retail Global will be held from the 12-14th September at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Tickets are currently on sale for $895, which will go up at the end of this month. Web Retailer readers can save $100 by entering the code “webretailer”.
The tickets give you access to all three days of the conference and the pool party, but the intensive workshops held on the first day are an optional extra.
Attendees are well-fed at the event, so there’s little more to pay on top of your ticket apart from getting to Vegas and booking accommodation, which is incredibly inexpensive at around $60 per night at the Rio.
You Are Not Alone
The idea of Retail Global is to build a community, so that attendees can make lasting friendships, just like Phil did when he traveled to the U.S. for his first eBay conference. The atmosphere is welcoming and the people friendly – even the speakers typically stick around to attend sessions and network.
Around 50% of conference attendees come on their own, so there are plenty of people in the same boat and lots of ways to be social. Whether it’s in the bar in the evening, at the gala pool party on the second day, or exploring Vegas with people you’ve met at the conference, you can hang out with fellow sellers, swap war stories and trade tips.
You’ll make friends, build lasting business contacts, and come back home buzzing with ideas to grow your business.
This post was sponsored by Retail Global.