Warning: this is a long blog post. Grab a cup of coffee, a pop, or a cold beer or drink, sit back, relax and enjoy!
As many of you know I was hit with the entrepreneurial bug when I started selling on eBay many years ago. I’ve always been very proud to say “eBay made me an Accidental Entrepreneur.” What a pleasure it was to celebrate with eBay at their 20th Birthday party / Anniversary party. No matter how you want to title it…it was one heck of a celebration!
Day 1 included a Keynote by Devin Wenig (President and CEO), presentations by eBay VP’s, and a surprise appearance from Pierre Omidyar (Founder of eBay)!
This Seller Summit and 20th Birthday Celebration was a very important time for eBay to reconnect, face to face, with around 2,000 sellers. This is something eBay hasn’t done in a number of years, in this magnitude, like they used to with eBay Live Events. I’ve been to a couple of those and I can tell you there is an energy that is unlike any other. It’s not just amongst the Sellers, with each other. It’s also with the eBay Executives and the hundreds of eBay employees that attend. I especially enjoyed seeing the reactions from newbie attendees, both sellers and eBay people. Until you experience an event like this you can not truly understand and comprehend just how invaluable this in-person interaction is.
With the major seller changes coming up this was the ideal time to have an event such as this. The changes are huge, and sellers wanted to know all the details, and ask lots of questions. There is no better way than speaking directly to those involved with developing the changes, and those in charge of the various areas. A recap of the changes can be found on my previous blog post – eBay Celebrates 20th Birthday, Grants Huge Wishes to Sellers
After Day 1’s business was done it was time to party! In the past at eBay Live Events there was an eBay Employee Tunnel – hundreds of employees clapping, cheering, high-fives and Thank You’s for all the Sellers walking by. As you can see from the video below they did it again!
Day 2 was full of sessions. There were a large variety to choose from, ranging from learning about the upcoming changes to improving on your current use of eBay tools and listings. I attended sessions on the new Seller Hub, Search, and two Seller Panels. I was very intrigued by the Seller Hub information and really look forward to using it. I think it will be very helpful in expediting the information needed by having it all in one general area, and hope that it is user friendly. The session was very informative, showing many screen shots and sharing a few process flows. I was a bit disappointed in the Search session, as it really felt more like a session for beginners than seasoned users. Of course this is often a dilemma when setting up sessions…at what level of seller do you focus on? I felt many people wanted more. More real life examples, especially with writing listing Titles and how to format listings. I really enjoyed both Seller Panels, with both sessions packed with attendees. It’s always great to hear from people who have used eBay for many years, and have spent a lot of time growing their businesses (with ups and downs) and ideas they came up with to keep growing and being more efficient.
If I could have added any sessions it would have been on using Social Media – no surprise there, right? I loved how eBay as a business used Social Media channels to promote the Seller Summit and 20th Anniversary before, during and after, including a #eBay20 hashtag, and also the use of QR codes. The hashtag and QR codes were also used in the program, which was perfect to get in the eyes of the attendees. I feel a Social Media session on how to effectively use Social Media for your eBay business should have been offered. It has become a vital part of businesses across all platforms.
I am forever grateful to Pierre for his vision of selling online, and creating eBay. I was hoping to fulfill my Bucket List item by meeting Pierre in person, and thanking him for making me an Accidental Entrepreneur. I’ll leave it on the list for another day and time.
Overall I had a terrific time! It was great fun, great food, great people! Along with being incredibly grateful as an entrepreneur I reflected on how fortunate I am to have so many of my friends because of eBay. I review my Facebook friends and am in awe of all the amazing people I’ve met throughout the years, as sellers and also eBay employees, past and present! When I attend eBay events its great to see current friends, but I always have new ones to meet in person that I’ve already known online, and to make new ones for the first time.
Keep up the great work eBay, and please keep staying connected…in person…with the thousands of people eBay has helped become Entrepreneurs, and in return have helped make eBay what it is today! Together We Are eBay!