2022 Amazon & eCommerce Conferences⎜ Teikametrics ⎜ EP 194
Ryan Cramer: What's up everyone. Welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer, and this is Crossover Commerce presented by PingPong Payments, the leading global payments provider, helping sellers keep more of their hard- earned money. Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of Crossover Commerce. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer. If you haven't heard of me or know what we are talking about or where you are today, this is Crossover Commerce. This is my corner of the internet, where I bring the best and brightest in Amazon and e- commerce industry. That's right, 194 episodes dedicated to helping you grow your business, helping you move your business forward one step at a time. That could be talking about logistics, supply chain, manufacturing, marketing, advertising, D2C, Amazon, multiple marketplaces, saving time, money, and effort, however that looks, we're going to be talking about it here on this show. With that being said, want to go ahead and give a quick shout out before we get into the nitty- gritty of today's topic, and that is to talk quickly about our presenting sponsor PingPong Payments. PingPong Payments, helping people save time, money, and effort in a world where it seems like money just doesn't seem the same anymore. Lots of people are going through tough times, their inventory stuck on water, or they're trying to scale their business, or just trying to put more money to their bottom line. How do you effectively do that for free and not spend on fees? Well, you can do that with a PingPong account. If you're paying out a supplier, a manufacturer, a VA maybe, or even just an international entity of your employees, it's important to know that there are options available when talking about money. So if you want to save money in the percentages that you can and put that back to your bottom line, go ahead and sign them for PingPong Payments. It's free to do, just go to usa. pingpongpayments. com/ podcast. And that's where you can get all past 193 episodes. And we'll include today's episode. Once we get that downloaded, you'll be able to listen to audio, video format in case you happen to miss a great episode. But that being said, this is episode 194, we're trucking along, again to 200, been talking about it, I'm going to keep amping it up until we get to next Thursday, again, that's when we're shooting for it. So hopefully you join us for that event, stay tuned and subscribe to our events and our social media pages to be notified when we do go live for all the episodes leading up to that, as well as that one. So if you're new to the space, welcome, we appreciate you tuning in today on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, or if you're listening to us on your favorite podcast destination, thank you for letting me talk to your ears today, hopefully you learn something new today. And we appreciate you spending the next hour or so with us. That being said, we talk about a bunch of different topics on this podcast. And like I mentioned previously, today we're going to be looking a little bit into the future, not crystal- ball mentality, but we're going to be talking about how you should plan for networking in the future. What does networking look like in the space of entrepreneurship? It might be a lonely space of you as the Amazon seller, you've might be working by yourself or in a small team, or everyone's working remotely, how do people get in touch with other individuals, thought leaders as well as people in this space? Well, that is you can go to events. Now, again, events have evolved in the last two years or so, both digitally and in person. A lot of those in- person ones happened at the tail end of this last year. And 2022, if you're listening to this, 2022 is leading up to a very big year of events. And that is hopefully safety, but also just meeting new people, new businesses, growing your businesses, trying to learn about new, innovative ideas, software, service providers, sellers, you name it, that's where a lot of these handshakes, virtually or not, happen. So with that being said, just want to bring on one of the leaders in this space who's on multiple boards, multiple events that are going on in the space, and she has her pulse, not just on, e- commerce, not just on Walmart, but also in events. She's a great friend, I call them friends of the show, always putting out great content and information, wanted to bring back Liz Downing of Teikametrics. And, Liz, as I bring you on, I know you're going to be proud because last time you were on the podcast, I flubbed up Teikametrics's name quite often. So it's never, ever going to happen again. So that being said, welcome back to the podcast.
Liz Downing: Thanks, Ryan, I'm happy to be here. And you did great. I was holding my breath," Is he going to do Teeka or Teika, but you did Teika, so that's awesome.
Ryan Cramer: Speaking of a little side note, you guys did an amazing video, which I think was hilarious, at an event which we're talking about today at the last Prosper Show, where one of your colleagues went around, a former colleague of myself actually, went around and said," How do you pronounce our name, or the name on my shirt?" And I thought was the funniest piece of content that had nothing to do with any sort of leveling up or education, just on how to pronounce the name. Super funny, super thoughtful, and I think a lot of people will not forget after encountering that video. So props to you and Cameron and the team over there for coming up with that content.
Liz Downing: Cameron Yoder, he's got so many great ideas. He's our senior manager of content and community here at Teikametrics. And he was just on the show floor and he just decided that was a great idea. So we've had a lot of fun with that video. So hi, Ryan, thanks for having me, it's good to be here again.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, of course. Yeah, sorry, just jumped right into it. So welcome back. You were on past and we talked about growing brands on Amazon last time, but you're so involved in the space and it seems that in the last six months or so, there's just been this plethora of, you and I are in the service- provider space, sponsorships. There is events that are happening, there is meetups that are happening. And the difference between all those is, no one really knows. There's just always something happening. And it feels like people are traveling, people are getting together, whether it's in their own city, their own region, internationally even. I've seen people over in London, parts of the UK this past week. It's crazy to think that there's so many different opportunities for people to engage with new businesses, new providers and even sellers. So what's been your take since the last time you've been on, what's going on with you and the team in that space?
Liz Downing: It's been crazy since pretty much as soon as people could travel, people wanted to travel. So it started with Prosper Show in July of last year, which is a very warm time to be in Las Vegas, but it was a great show, great turnout. I think everybody who participated saw great results from it, plus the parties. Now that the aggregators are in this space, the parties are super good. So crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: I'm going to throw this up inaudible here. Yeah, a couple people already shooting, waiting all day for this. I don't know what your priorities are today, but the fact that we're at the top of that list, I'm just excited about. So crosstalk.
Liz Downing: So am I, that's awesome.
Ryan Cramer: We also have Lisa Kinski crosstalk.
Liz Downing: Hi, Lisa.
Ryan Cramer: Lisa is also connecting in real life in 2022, awesome. But yeah, you were saying, I think Prosper was that first event that, it's always traditionally for people who don't know what Prosper is, or if they're still learning about it, it's not traditionally in July. It would never be in July if people could help it, because of the heat, it's traditionally in March, correct?
Liz Downing: Correct. And it'll be in March in 2022. And that's one of the events we're going to talk about. We, unfortunately in an hour cannot possibly talk about all the events in e- commerce that are going to be happening in 2022. We're going to hit the highlights, I'm going to tell you some of the ones that Teikametrics is going to be involved in, not all of them, because we're still making huge decisions and-
Ryan Cramer: Stay tuned.
Liz Downing: ...little decisions. And yeah, stay tuned. And you'll be seeing from me on LinkedIn on anything that we're going to do, so that you can meet up with us and hang out and learn like we learn. But anybody who's tuning in, if you know of something that we're not mentioning, that you want us to talk about, then just pop it into the comments. We don't want this to be just a," Well, in January we're doing this, and February we're doing this."
Ryan Cramer: You crosstalk all the events that are happening. So this is an education conversation. I guess that would be if you're watching this live, in the comment section, why don't you put your favorite event that you've attended in the past, whether it be in this past year or prior before then, and which ones you're looking forward to, so we can start that conversation there. So 2022, I think a lot of people have started to amp up in terms of events, starting as recently, I want to say as January, events are still going on this year, but we're talking about 2022. And the first, I mean, just like our businesses, the first three months, couple main ones that really pop out to most Amazon and e- commerce sellers, and I'm going to assume that's going to be the Prosper Show. Is that the first one you guys are really focused on, not worried about, well, I guess you could be worried about it, really focused on and prepping for the beginning of the year, is that the first one or is there a couple other ones?
Liz Downing: Well, it's not the first one, but it's the big show. Prosper Show is the big show, it's the legacy conference in the industry, it's focus is on education, there are six tracks this year. I'm on the advisory council, so I have a little preview into what the agenda's looking like, and it's looking amazing. So we'll work backwards from there and then forwards from there, but Prosper Show takes place March 14th through the 16th. So in previous years, there's been that workshop day on the first day, and then the two show days after. This year, they're flipping it. So it's conference days, and then the workshop day is the third day on the 16th.
Ryan Cramer: Gotcha, okay.
Liz Downing: So for the very first time, Prosper Show themselves are doing a kickoff party on that Sunday night at the Mandalay Bay Pool. So there's a pool party for participants, which always stresses me out. Do I want to wear a bathing suit in front of e- commerce people? I don't know. Maybe I'll just wear a nice caftan and call it a day. Where are all the good moomoos on Amazon?
Ryan Cramer: Exactly, start your search and buying right now because it might get to your doorstep then.
Liz Downing: But the Mandalay Bay has a pretty rad pool, so it should be a good party. And then kicks off early on Monday morning, the 14th. And like I said, full of great content. We're definitely going to be there, we're sponsoring and we're going to have a booth and planning all sorts of stuff around that, so TBD in terms of... And I'm keeping an ear out to where all the good parties are. I know there's going to be a Casino in the Clouds part two up in the Strat, which is so high you can see the curvature of the earth. crosstalk. And I did not know I was afraid of heights until I went up there, I was like," Oh, wow. Okay. So this is scary." But that's something that SmartScout actually leads the charge on. So just keep an eye on LinkedIn, I think people are going to be talking about the parties they're going to be attending, but the show itself this year is going to be absolutely amazing. We've got, like I said, multiple tracks, we've got brand new speakers we've never heard of before, we've got some speakers that are super popular, we've got a couple new, different topics that we haven't covered in the past. So it's going to be an exceptional time in Vegas, in March. So if you're not planning on attending, then I would consider changing your mind because-
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, change those plans. Well, it's a four- day event, almost three days, but really you have to be there four days. And I know last year it was, a lot of people were tying conferences and events, they were there almost the entire week just to lead up to it. So it's an event in itself, but it's also just this really big marathon of going to talks, going to parties. But again, the main component I want to hit on in this podcast is the networking capabilities I think a lot of people either do get out of this or they can achieve doing this. So this is not a hard pitch for, besides you as a business owner, networking with service providers, industry experts, and then people who have led the way and sharing their insights, pretty much a lot of these things are, besides the cost of the ticket, for free. If you walk up to them, they're just your average person of, you can have conversations for hours, so on and so forth. So I want to preface that by saying, this is why events are so important in the entrepreneur space. It's a lonely business if you're by yourself, but if you're a service provider, it's a to meet other people, to connect with others in the industry, I know I'm personally excited about that. But that, everyone calls it the Oscars of the e- commerce industry. I want to see some sort of trophy given out, Liz. I know you're on the board, it needs to happen, there needs to be some sort of presentation of best something or best dressed, or something along those lines where people need to be going to a red carpet gala and getting some sort of Oscar trophy. crosstalk.
Liz Downing: I'll pass that recommendation on to Brian, for sure.
Ryan Cramer: I think it should happen. I mean, it's been taglined the Oscar of the industry, and why not give out some awards. That provides no sort of controversy whatsoever in this space, let me tell you. Joking. Of course, joking. Awards, the people are competitive, so maybe not do that this past year.
Liz Downing: As a whole I think we're all pretty competitive.
Ryan Cramer: Oh yeah.
Liz Downing: But in addition to the networking possibilities, Prosper is probably the biggest bang for your buck you can get in terms of education from industry leaders and thought leaders who really, really know what they're talking about. And it's got high- level actionable... The whole point this year in terms of education was like," What can people walk away and do right now?"
Ryan Cramer: Right. And a friend of both of us, I want say. You said they're parties. Work events, Liz, not parties. Thanks, TJ. That's a great point. We want to make sure we specify, these are work events, not parties. Networking events are opportunities. And again, well, so paint the picture for me, you say parties. For people who have not been there, I haven't been to a Prosper in quite a while, what is the picture like? What's the point of these events and parties? Again, is it to showcase how cool the service provider is? It's true, yeah, again, what's the point? Why are they getting bigger, more money being sunk into them, where is this coming from in this regards? People might want to know.
Liz Downing: Great point, TJ. TJ's with Elevate Brands, and he's one of our friends, one of our besties too. So they're networking events, which is work. It's definitely a time to meet with people where... So at Prosper Show itself, you're going to sessions, you're visiting booths. You're also networking, there are plenty of networking opportunities at the actual show, but then service providers and people like us in the industry want to create more opportunity to network. And so that's what those after- events are like, people have VIP dinners, people have work events that seem a lot like parties. But you can have fun and be at a party at the same time, but they're definitely great opportunities to actually sit off the side and have a good conversation, to introduce people to other people. It's fun, but also very valuable in terms of your business and in terms of meeting the people that will help you accelerate your business. So I don't mean to say it's just a big blowout, everybody just... Although it is fun. And I think that if people look at the pictures, if you follow certain people on LinkedIn from the event in July, there was a lot of fun-
Ryan Cramer: There you go crosstalk.
Liz Downing: ...networking events. And I will say that between Prosper Show itself and the after- events that different service providers are hosting, people are doing business, and people are making connections that give them more opportunity. So it's not just like, bring your party shoes and expect, you know?
Ryan Cramer: Right, it's not a spring break vacation. Well-
Liz Downing: No.
Ryan Cramer: ...personally, a lot of business I've heard, about the connections that people meet, specifically at Prosper, I've heard that have led on to either hiring or connecting or merging of businesses or starting a business from it. Again, it's almost like that mastermind group of thought leaders in the space where it just makes sense, you get the smartest people in the space. Again, everyone I'm putting on that level of, if you're in this business and you're smart enough to want to network with people who are smarter than you, again, that's where innovation comes, that's where opportunity comes. And because it's still so young in the space, this event really evolves and sets the bar for other events in the space. Not to say other events are bad, this event was the first Amazon- specific industry event, correct?
Liz Downing: Correct.
Ryan Cramer: Gotcha. So that being said, obviously thought leaders in the space, you're on the advisory board, what's that been like as an advisory board helping to plan it out so that everyone gets benefit from that?
Liz Downing: It's great being on the advisory council, it's great. There's 12 of us from the industry. You can go to prospershow. com and there's a tab you can click to see who's on the advisory council. But we meet with Brian and suggest speakers or suggest different... We work with Brian to get the agenda together. Brian's an educator at heart, and he is all about a very valuable curriculum, he takes feedback very seriously, he listens. So it's just been a great collaborative community where we can help provide value, but he as a leader has been very inspirational. I think I can speak for all of us in that Brian's an inspirational guy, and he is very committed to quality content. So that's been exciting to watch, just," What do you think about this track? What do you think about having a think tank session?" The content has really evolved over the years and continues to evolve. And that's been really, really exciting to be part of, and I've really enjoyed being on the advisory council.
Ryan Cramer: That's amazing. Well, congrats on that. And there's other events too, and again, in the time we're going to speed through 2022, we're doing the highlight reels basically of where had people been successful in the past big ones that I've been around for a long time. And then at the end, we'll probably recap of new and exciting ones that are coming up and popping up all over. The list that I have, and you and I both look at these daily, I know a couple are coming up in February, just ones that are popping up. You're also on another, a board basically that is doing a series of events, formally Midwest e- Com, correct? And that's-
Liz Downing: Right.
Ryan Cramer: ...now become a series of events?
Liz Downing: So Midwest e- Com has been around for about nine years and always took place in July in Minneapolis, still will take place in July in Minneapolis, but is now called e- Com Events, and it will be four events throughout the year. I am on the advisory board for that too. And the first one is actually in Miami in January. So a little more than a month away, but who doesn't want to go to Miami in January? I know I do. It's 37 degrees in Richmond, Virginia right now, and I'm like," Can I go to Miami now?" Oh, he only says crosstalk affordable making lots of money, yeah-
Ryan Cramer: Exactly.
Liz Downing: ...everybody wants to go to Florida.
Ryan Cramer: Right. Well, to set the context here, I think most events are traditionally happening either in Las Vegas. Again, that's pretty typical of conferences happening in Las Vegas. Florida, very big hotbed. New York getting spread out traditionally in Manhattan, Brooklyn area, obviously New York City. And then obviously Texas has really emerged as a really big hotbed of Austin, Texas, events are happening like crazy there. So I would say-
Liz Downing: Well, Austin's awesome. Why wouldn't anybody want to go to Austin? I love Austin.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. I was born in Texas, so I have Texas running through my veins from the beginning of time, of my time, I should say, not time in general, but-
Liz Downing: Well, so circling back though to-
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, circling back.
Liz Downing: ...to e-Com Events.
Ryan Cramer: Sorry, let's go back to Florida. Yeah.
Liz Downing: So it starts in Florida in January, then I think the first week of April will be in Southern California, July will be in Minneapolis, like always. And then the end of October, we're looking at New York. So we've got a website in place, but right now we're focusing mainly on Miami, we've got a lot of speakers already lined up. Cameron Yoder and I are MCing that event and Teikametrics is sponsoring, Yoni Mazor from GETIDA is speaking, Don Henig from AccrueMe. We've got Vanessa Hung from the Wizards of Ecommerce. We're hoping Carlos will make an appearance since it's right in town for him. And I also hope you can share a coupon code, because right now actually you can get half off of a ticket. So if anybody wants to check that out, again, it's not a brand new conference, it's a new conference that sprung from a legacy conference. It's always on all those lists of the conferences you should attend, because Midwest e- Com has been around for a really long time, but trying something new. And it's been a lot of fun to put together. It's going to be at the Mana Wynwood in the Wynwood area of Miami, which is a really cool area of Miami.
Ryan Cramer: Nice.
Liz Downing: So there's a networking event the night before on the 20th, and then on the 21st of January is the full- day event. And then Cameron and I are going to probably have a little blowout. So actually if you use my coupon code, you get on the guest list for said party location, TBD.
Ryan Cramer: We'll share the link on the LinkedIn and all the social channels too. So, Liz, if you send that to me, I'll blast it out in the comment section.
Liz Downing: Awesome.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, no problem.
Liz Downing: It's just LIZVIP1 or something like that, but yeah, so crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: So what's different about those quickly, than maybe a Prosper? Or is it regional focused? Is it e- Com and Amazon, what's the focus there?
Liz Downing: So the focus is mainly Amazon. And while Prosper focuses on pretty advanced strategies, e- Com Events is going to be a mix of stuff for people who are looking to scale. In addition to new channel information, in addition to lots of networking opportunities, there are going to be opportunities for private breakout sessions, we've got a lot of speakers. They're not going to be speaking for as long as most people speak at most conferences, we're doing lightning rounds. So 20 to 25 minutes of talking, a few minutes of Q and A. And then if people want to go off into the breakout rooms that we have set up, because the main one was huge. So we've got some space set aside, so people can just sit down at a table with their laptops and just talk one- on- one with the thought leaders that are going to be attending that show. So trying a little bit different format, but we want it to be really interactive, we want it to be really valuable and we want people to able to walk off stage and help somebody do something right there. So yeah, it should be fun. Plus, Miami in January, yay, let's go. So that's one thing that crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: You don't have to sell me on that, that sounds amazing to be honest. So those events are happening in Miami, I know we have all those different... I'm trying to think of the first quarter of the year and then breaking down into the summer because, I mean, there's events galore. Again, this is just a highlight, top level, for example, ones that we've been a part of, there's a virtual Billion Dollar Seller Summit happening in February, but then the in person's going to be happening later in the year. I'm just looking at my list real quick of other ones that are highlighting in just that first 90 days of 2022, that really everyone should be thinking about," Hey, which one should I start planning out?" Anyone-
Liz Downing: Well, and there's so many new things too. I know we're supposed to wait until later, but all is in Q1 too. So we've got the third Amazon PowWow.
Ryan Cramer: Correct.
Liz Downing: So this guys did one in New Jersey, they did one in Miami. Now they're doing one, I think it's in Florida, but it's the Aggregator PowWow.
Ryan Cramer: Correct. Yeah, from what I've been told, there's 30- plus Amazon aggregators that should or will be in attendance. And so if you're a seller, you can actually just basically go from person to person and not shop your brand, but talk about potentialities to exit. It's probably for those who are looking to move on from their business or are looking how you can eventually exit their business. So yeah, that event, heard really good things. We've sponsored those events in the past and heard lots of good opportunity for that as well.
Liz Downing: They're calling it a shark- tank- type event. So I think there's going to be a lot of opportunity for brands to say," Hey, I should be the one." And I'm interested to see what they do with that, I think that's going to be interesting. But before that, I mean, there's the other stuff that not everybody knows about. Like Carlos does his Online Seller Cruise in February. So that's eight days at sea with industry experts, and fun excursions in Aruba and stuff like that. And it's really not that expensive. So if you want to really do a deep dive and spend eight days on a boat with a lot of cool people, that's something to consider too. I know that he's looking at, I think it's 250 to 400 people that are going to... It's a great, big cruise ship. And crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Sure that there's wifi on board, that's what I've been told. So-
Liz Downing: Yes.
Ryan Cramer: ...you don't have to worry about being disconnected or anything like that from your business, there is wifi.
Liz Downing: Actually the wifi I hear is very, very good. And for any of these, obviously we are the people that are putting them on. So if one piques your interest, then just let us know and we can put you in touch with a person that you need to talk to.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely.
Liz Downing: And I think we're all striving to create the great list of e- commerce conferences, and so many new ones keep popping up. And I think Robby Stanley has the most comprehensive list so far that he shared with all of us, but MultiplyMii, Ryan, I hope you'll share that link, has also come up with an events page, that was a super helpful thing for them to do.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, I'll share the screen too real quick. For people at MultiplyMii, they actually put it so that it integrates into this really cool platform. It's basically, if you go to multiplymii.com, again, friends of the show, Yoni Kozminski and his team over there, they put together this calendar where you can either add to it themselves and then they'll aggregate, and it'll actually go to your Google Calendar or your Apple Calendar or Outlook Calendar, and it will populate and self- populate and tell you when it is and just put it on your calendar. If there's events happening, again, you can go all the way to August, which you can see is Chicago eCommerce Summit happening in Chicago. So if you have specific days or months in mind, you can look at all the ones that are populating, eTail West, and we'll go on and so on and so forth. But those are the kinds of things that are still happening on a day- to- day basis with people. The screen probably did something weird and funky. But in that case, what other ones do we have? Like you said, we talked about the PowWow events. What about meetup events? I know people say," I don't like to be in front of a walkup or have to go to these conferences." There's a lot of different like city meetups that are happening-
Liz Downing: Oh, sure. So they're the big ones, they're the big ones that are even beyond Amazon, like CES, and that's happening the very beginning of January in Las Vegas. And you've got the eTail West, eTail East that used to be IRC, RetailX. You've got those great, big, e- commerce, retail things that are lots and lots and lots of people. And then you've got Prosper Show, which is probably the biggest event in the Amazon e- commerce space, well, and branching out to other channels. But then there are all sorts of cool things going on with different groups of people who are educators. So you mentioned... Well, I don't know if we've mentioned, I mean, the Titan Group is doing a lot of dinners and meetups. I know they're doing something in December, actually just in a couple weeks in Burbank, Mina's participating in that. And they've got something going on in Cancun and all kinds of cool stuff. Also, I sit in Teikametrics's seat on the board of the Ecom Cooperative. How many boards can we be on?
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, Liz, when do you have time to sleep? And do your crosstalk.
Liz Downing: Do my actual job? I work a lot of nights. But the Ecom Cooperative puts on Sellers Dinners, which there was just one in Miami in November, which was so valuable, I just keep hearing great things about it, I had a lot of fun. I forgot to eat, but other than that, it was such great conversations, we had great people there. There's going to be another one of those in January in New Jersey. David Dayon and Frank Acosta, Lenny Ash, Jason Hanan and Yoni Mazor are the founders of that organization. And it's been so fun to be part of that and how it's blossomed over the past year. So we're actually doing a virtual SellerMania this month too, that I'm hosting crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Which I will be on.
Liz Downing: Yes, you and I and Andrew from Marknology, and we're getting the band back together. But what those are, just virtual events you can participate in. And if you're actually there in virtual attendance, you can win big prizes. So there are the virtual events. And then there are the small in- person events that are usually anywhere from 60 to 200 people. And then there are the great, big shows that are thousands of people, or tens of thousands to people, depending on how big you're going and how broad you're going in terms of retail. So it's a lot to take in, and it's a lot to decide if you're a brand and you're thinking about," Okay, what's going to be the most valuable to me in my business?" That's what we're here for, is so you can ask us," What will I get out of this particular conference?" So part of what I wanted to talk about today is not just all the stuff that you can do, but how you decide what you do, I mean, because you can't travel like Amy Weese travels. I mean can crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, there's certain people at that list who are, I feel like on a plane, majority of, I feel like the week, but they're going to events and things like that, where they're making and networking. And again, part of entrepreneurship, you can do business anywhere. And that's the cool thing, you have laptop, you have wifi, you can probably function with your team effectively, as long as you build in those ecosystems of, this is time to work, I've either automated it or I've had assistance, I have people assisting me with going on, I'm going to focus on what I can do to grow my business. So all this stuff is taken care of, they have resources like Teikametrics, or they have resources like PingPong, they can do those things and travel and build and focus on what it takes to grow their business. A couple quick comments real quick that came through," Many cruises happening this year." I agree with you Nathan, it sounds like there's lots of cruises. I only know one. So if you have others, feel free to share and put those in the comments. Again, listen-
Liz Downing: Well, I-
Ryan Cramer: ...and comment... Go ahead.
Liz Downing: I know that the there's a new event put on by Riverbend called Surge, and they're doing cruise with-
Ryan Cramer: It's in February.
Liz Downing: Yeah, in February. So there's a cruise, also an arcade where you get to play Pac- Man and stuff. So I think that was smart.
Ryan Cramer: Believe me, we've talked about that, and I personally will be, I'm planning to be in attendance for that. I don't know if there's going to be PingPong side events going on with our name, there should be a ping- pong table. I'm still talking with the team over there.
Liz Downing: What an opportunity, Ryan-
Ryan Cramer: I know, what an opportunity.
Liz Downing: ...I mean, come on.
Ryan Cramer: Hey, believe me, at length, at nauseam we've been talking about it. But if we're going to be there and there's a ping- pong table, there's going to be side betting going on it feels like, of who who's going to be sponsoring this crosstalk.
Liz Downing: That's got to be livestreamed and TikToked and everything. I mean-
Ryan Cramer: Everything. crosstalk.
Liz Downing: ...that's got to be everywhere.
Ryan Cramer: Right. But yeah, events are popping up like crazy. So let me take it back to when we're deciding to, if I'm an entrepreneur and I'm going like," There's just so many flipping events, which ones do I choose between?" Whether it be focused by a business, like a service provider, if they're putting that on, or if it's just a big event like Prosper, or if it's a meetup of just with friends, what's a good balance that you've heard from sellers to find that sweet spot? Is it making sure that they go to one a quarter, one a month? It really just depends? Have you heard success stories on which ones people should really attend, and hit those highlight ones, or what are your thoughts on that, Liz?
Liz Downing: I think it depends on, A, where you want to go with your business. So obviously if you're looking to exit, then one of the heavy aggregator places like PowWow has put together this aggregator- specific show. And I think it's because there's been a need for that in the industry. Obviously whenever there's an aggregator on a webinar or at an event, that's a draw because there are people that are looking to exit or looking to figure out what it's going to take to exit. If you're looking to scale and you're looking to grow, then the Million Dollar Sellers events, this new eCom Events series, those are good, 200 to 350 people, lots of speakers, lots of opportunities to network, but lots of different levels of content in terms of strategy and execution. So what I'm hearing, it just depends. If you're a great, big brand and you want... What I'm hearing from my bigger brands is that they like Prosper Show and they like these smaller, intimate networking events like Sellers Dinners and that kind of thing, where they can sit down and have a conversation with somebody, they can have a drink, whether it's alcoholic or not, but they can just sit down and have a conversation with a service provider, decide if that's a good thing. Or they can sit down and talk to another seller that they can share strategies, they can talk about what challenges they're facing. That seems to be the most valuable part of networking, especially with the really specific challenges that are going on in the industry right now, people are having supply chain issues, people are having problems with Amazon itself. So people who are able to talk about," Okay, let me talk through this pain point with you," whether it's with a service provider who has a solution that can help, or whether it's another seller that's got a unique perspective. That's been what I've been hearing over the last couple months, that's where people have been like, Yeah, I was able to solve that problem." And that's really great, or," I made a really good friend." But then there are other, within the industry, industry- specific shows too. So if you're a big retail brand and you're not at one of the big retail shows, there might be things that you're missing out on. Well, and like if there's a specific crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Right, you're talking about category-specific. So like-
Liz Downing: Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: Right.
Liz Downing: It's a category- specific show, you know what I mean? We've got people that go to the specific trade shows to their industry, but there're also e- commerce- related category- specific shows. So I mean, you could travel probably two weeks out of the month over the next year if you wanted to.
Ryan Cramer: That's correct, I would agree with that.
Liz Downing: I don't know if you would want to.
Ryan Cramer: Well, I think it comes with innovation, and obviously trying some of these events too, to see which ones you get the most value, but if you don't find value and it, again, don't go. If you've been to the past and you're like," I just didn't get anything, it was too expensive, it's too much time there." Again, day in, day out, also not a bad opportunity, again, under the guise of, if you're able to do that, whether it be physically or virtually, you can tap into those places. But we're just talking about here in the United States, too, if you're listening to us internationally, there's events that are happening on, that you're going on, again, with sourcing shows, or going to Canton Fair which is in China. There's events happening globally with our friend Augustas Kligys, who's putting on those in Europe, around different major cities across Europe. You have Seller Sessions in London, you have Branded by Women who is a virtual event, so you can attend that live. So all these different things that are happening, you can attend or not, but you also have to look internationally as well.
Liz Downing: Well, and let's not just concentrate on the new people, because Danny McMillan just has always done an excellent job of bringing-
Ryan Cramer: Fantastic.
Liz Downing: ...people together. Augustas has always done an excellent job of bringing people together, we don't want to discount what those guys have been doing all these years to bring sellers and brand owners together, and to bring industry providers together so we can figure out how to service the community better and how to provide more value. So-
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely.
Liz Downing: ...hats off to those. I've also been hearing more about White Label World Expo and their different locations, and that's been around for a while too. So don't discount the folks that have been chipping away at this for all these years too, but there are a lot of new things popping up that I think are super exciting too.
Ryan Cramer: Yep, heard good thing... Certain locations are good things about White Label. It's free to attend for attendees, so plus on that, and then also it depends on where you are, if it's in Las Vegas or New York, it doesn't hurt to go and attend. They have a couple different industries that they represent in e- commerce within that subcategory. So again, it's a little bit more broad in terms of not just cater to e- commerce, Amazon- centric people. Speaking of which, one of my favorite shows has always been in the past, it used to be called IRCE, happens in the summer, now it's called RetailX. This past year, I know has really focused in e- commerce, and Amazon is just a little subcategory, but it's shipping logistics companies, it is direct- to- consumer helpers, it's branding and marketing, it's a little bit more e- com focused. And I've heard great talks from people like Wayfair, Zulily, I've heard industry experts across the board with major retailers and physical stores that are trying to get onto online. So again, those kinds of shifts and focuses are different in so many different events around the world. That one I love attending every single year. This year, I believe it's going to in May 11th is what I have, technically it's what it's scheduled, but it's retailx. com if you want to learn about that. Are there summer ones that you traditionally like to hit up, or is summer a dead month crosstalk.
Liz Downing: We hit up RetailX for sure. That's put on by the same come puts on the Prosper Show, Emerald Expo. So that's a good one, it is, especially for tips for retail brands. So it's a bigger audience, but it's more retail focused than it is specifically e- commerce or specifically Amazon, but I always find value in that one.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely. I'm looking through a list that I know you and I share mentioned-
Liz Downing: I know, we're both crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: We're both going through it. crosstalk.
Liz Downing: Four things on it.
Ryan Cramer: Right. And again, it doesn't have to just be... A lot of these events too, you have to think outside of what you're also looking to improve on every event, or for your business in that year too. So thinking about marketing or advertising, maybe I want to learn how to talk with influencers more, or talk to, if I'm starting a podcast, or something for my brand, or anything along those lines, if you find those events too, that can apply to those brands. Also super important to understand too, because marketing online applies to everyone, it could be not just on Amazon, but it could be your direct- to- consumer store, it could be your brand and how to make connections in wholesale, talk with all these different agencies if you're looking for someone to take your business to the next level, that also is a focus that people can look at in this year. Again, what are your goals for the year? Take a look at that, and then find those events that are going to present the best opportunity for you to learn from those places. Anything to add on that?
Liz Downing: No, I agree with that. I also saw that Pearl said hi earlier, and I didn't get to say hi, so hi, Pearl crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Oh, I need to say hi to Pearl. Let's scroll. I scrolled too fast.
Liz Downing: It was way back at 11: 13, hopefully she's still here. But crosstalk that actually reminds me, because what I did when I was green in the industry, and before I went... So I was at eComEngine before I was at Teikametrics, but before I even got in involved full- time with eComEngine, I started looking at where could I learn more about e- commerce. And I followed the companies that had already hit my radar. So one thing you can do when you're trying to make these decisions, if you follow Pearl and First Choice Shipping and you know they're going to be at this particular place and you want to talk to them in person, that's a great opportunity to do that. You can focus in on the service providers that you actually want to talk to. That's one thing you can do, but I do recommend that you ask around, talk to other sellers and brand owners about the conferences and events that have been valuable to them. If you get invited somewhere for free and it's convenient to go, go and check it out. Because again, despite everything that's going on in the world, in 2022 there're going to be more and more. More have popped up for Q1 than I could have possibly anticipated. And I imagine that as the year goes on, even though we've got this huge list right now, there're going to be more popping up for Q2, for Q3 and Q4. Maybe not so much Q4, but maybe virtual events. I know that we're crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Still happening today. Yeah, it's still happening, events that are happening. Again, we call them events, it can be Christmas parties, or again crosstalk.
Liz Downing: Dinners.
Ryan Cramer: ...different companies. Dinners, things like that that are just happening. I agree, I like that tip. That's a great tip in terms of people that you respect or work with in the industry, following them on social media, subscribing to their email list. Again, it's not to spam you in terms of information that they want you to sign up for their service. If you already are subscribed to it, read over it, it's applicable information, they're always blasts of," Hey, we're speaking on this panel, or there's this event coming up." And a lot of the times for a nice little trick, if you're listening to this, a lot of the times it's," Hey, we have free tickets to give away. If you are attending or want to attend, we have this ability or discount code," or something like that. It's to drive people there clearly, but it's a cost- saving opportunity for you as a brand owner if you don't want to pay the admission price, sometimes you can win tickets, sometimes you can get that VIP dinner for free. So cost- saving tip there as well. I'm just looking at the list, in the little time we have left, we worked through the year of the list that we have, again, we're looking at summer. crosstalk.
Liz Downing: I would also be remiss if I just skated over virtual conferences, because-
Ryan Cramer: Oh yeah.
Liz Downing: ...if you're on a budget, that is an absolutely great way to get lots of information, to learn who the players are in the industry, to learn about a company's core competency and what they can offer you. We're doing one, I would be remiss if I did not mention it, we're doing an ad tech summit on January 26th. So I'll share that information with you guys when I can, it's TBD. We've got Cameron working on it, and he's a perfectionist. So as soon as that registration period, but that's going to be free. And that's just something that we wanted to do for the industry, lots of information about what you need to know about advertising right now. I know that there are great, big virtual things going on too, that if you are nervous about traveling, if you don't have the budget to travel, then participating in virtual events, big and small. Ours is going to be big, but that's cool, and we're excited about it, I'm just super excited about it, but participating in those virtual events is really, really valuable too. And a lot of times, if you can't attend the whole thing in person, there's a replay, I know that we always do that. So this is more than your average webinar, not to slam on webinars, because Lord knows I do enough of them. Please keep coming to webinars. But these virtual events, I know that AVASK is going to put one on, I know that a lot of service providers are putting those things on to pack a bunch of information into a consumable and less costly type of format. But I do think that there is absolutely no substitute for an in- person event where you actually get to meet people in person, you get to talk to them, you actually see people face to face. And I know that that's my favorite part of this industry, is getting to meet people in person, getting to see people that you've known forever in person, because we live in a virtual environment. Now I was just talking to Jerome from eCommerce inaudible the other morning. And I was like," Isn't it amazing?" I guess this just shows my age," Isn't it amazing that we can be on a conversation, looking at each other's face over a computer?" And I mean, I went to college with a pager, that's how old I am. So it still blows me away that we're able to do this kind of stuff, but there is no substitute for the in- person connection and actually getting to look somebody eye to eye and have a conversation and share knowledge with each other.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely Well, and again, shout out to you just virtual conferences again, 7 Figure Seller Summit with Gary Huang and his team, fantastic. I know Billion Dollar Seller Summit does a component of that virtually. They happen all the time. And again, following brands and companies, and people like us are always going to be posting about it, not just for people to sign up and follow us, but to also be aware that these events are happening. You and I try to keep up to date constantly on the ones that are happening, so it's just consolidating that. You can probably stay in one major city and have enough events to last you the entire year. Quickly buzzing through, again summer, again virtual events happen all the time throughout the years. So those are always fantastic. Billion Dollar Seller Summit happening in August in Austin, Texas. The other ones, we talked about Midwest e- Com in New York, the other ones are to be determined, ASGTG, fantastic one happening in Brooklyn. They always seem to have the, they claim to have the number one zip code for Amazon sellers in the entire world represented there. I always hear great things about ASGTG and Ed Rosenberg and his team, that they put on that event. AMZ Innovate, I think was another one that recently happened in New York City. That always seems to happen on the tail end of the year, don't have a specific date for that, but that also seems to-
Liz Downing: I heard really, really good things about that though.
Ryan Cramer: I did too. And I heard, I know we had a little bit of a presence there at both those events, and I heard really great, fantastic things about that too. But again, so many different things are popping up all of a sudden, I feel like people are going to... Events, meetups, people engaging with people is always going to continue to grow and happen. Don't get overwhelmed, again, do what you can control, do what can happen, but then also ask," Who's going to be there?" I think that's also part of preparing to go to these events. What are your tips, Liz? I almost called you Elizabeth for some weird reason.
Liz Downing: That's okay, my mother would be very pleased.
Ryan Cramer: That was very proper of me.
Liz Downing: My mother would be very pleased. I became Liz in second grade when we moved, and stood up and said," You can call me Liz." And that was crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Oh man.
Liz Downing: But she was heartbroken. She was really mad at me for a long time about that.
Ryan Cramer: But what are your tips to obviously prep to attend these events? Is it asking who's going to be an attendance? Looking up agenda speakers? Scheduling time with people? What do you think is a successful tip or tips that you can provide people for are attending in- person events?
Liz Downing: Well, so I think if you know somebody who has been to it in the past, you can ask them. If you know somebody who's going to be exhibiting or speaking or sponsoring, you can ask them about it, just," Hey." And honestly, ask if they've got a coupon code, ask if they've got a couple free tickets. We get asked that, and most of the time we do, we don't have 100 of them, we have a few, but it doesn't hurt to ask, especially if you're trying to budget out your year and you're trying to budget out your travel, you've got travel to do for other reasons, other than industry conferences. So do try to save money. If there's early- bird pricing, try to make that decision earlier so can get the early- bird pricing, like for instance, with the e- Com events right now, I've got a 50%- off coupon, save half, why not? And go for half price. And if you like it, then you can go for half price every time, because there's always going to be early- bird pricing. There's always early- bird pricing to Prosper Show. There are also people who exhibit at Prosper Show that will give out a free ticket, I know that we're going to be giving out a free ticket. So keep an eye on stuff like that. But if you want to know if the conference is worth your time, the best thing to do is ask somebody you know who's been to it or is going to it. Or have a conversation with a person who's putting on the conference themselves and ask," What am I going to get out of this?" People want you to go to their shows. So having a conversation like that, or a show that's got an advisory council like Prosper Show does, there are 12 of us, you could ask any of us what we think and why we think it would be valuable for you to go. And that's again what we are here for, that's what Ryan's here for, that's what I'm here for, that's what TJ is here for, and Pearl and Yoni and everybody who's commented on this, it's a service provider, Lisa's on here, Nathan's on here. We are service providers, and our goal to help make people more successful. So insofar as an event, attending an event can help make you more successful because of the things you're going to learn, the connections you're going to make, it's in our best interest to tell you what we really think. So that's what we're here for. We're here not only to help you with the thing that our company provides, but we're here to help you navigate this industry so that it benefits you most.
Ryan Cramer: Yep. Final thoughts, Liz, best connection or best story that you can provide that came from an event business wise? I won't say personal because that can go down many different paths.
Liz Downing: Then I start talking about all my besties again. So Prosper Show, this last Prosper Show in July, we had so much traffic in our booth that we blew past any possible expectation we had. So just from a business perspective, and when you think ROI, and you think opportunity, and you think getting new leads and talking to new people and all that kind of stuff, I know that there were people at that last PowWow in Miami that said," Wow, that just exceeded my expectations in terms of the amount of people that I was able to talk to, the traffic that I had at my booth." Obviously, I think that right before COVID, there was a drop off in terms of attendees at a lot of industry conferences. I think people were getting worn out, I think people were getting worried, they were like," Ticket prices have gone up. I don't know." And then COVID happened and we all just completely had to stay home for a really, really long time. And I think people were really anxious to get out after that, but rather than the industry saying," Oh no, you know what? They're going to come anyway because they want to get out of the house." I think the industry's really stepped up and said," You know what? People are going to be leaving their homes, they're going to be traveling, they have to wear a mask the whole time on the plane. We want to make sure that this is worth their while." So I think the industry's really stepped up in terms of the content that they're providing at these both in person and virtual events. The Sellers Dinners that e- Com Cooperative puts on, the dinners the Titan Network puts on, they're all geared toward providing the most value to attendees. I forgot the question.
Ryan Cramer: No, it's all right. No, that helps. Well, yeah, and that leads into your tips, or I guess your best experience with that as an event, you said, at Prosper Shows it's just meeting lots of brands, new people, exceeding expectations. I know this is maybe not a last half, everything feels safe, secure. I mean, I know people are hesitant, there's still a group of people that haven't emerged from their home or they just wanted to work inaudible. Maybe 2021 was off the table just because they didn't know how it was going to go, maybe this is the first time they're looking into 2022. What do you say for going out in the surge wave of events, do you feel safe, secure? Everyone respects each other in that regards, yes, I'm hoping on all those. I don't want to answer for you though.
Liz Downing: I know that everybody's doing their best to make sure there are safety protocols in place. There are masks available at most conferences, there's hand sanitizer stations, there's that kind of stuff, but obviously use your best judgment. Think about you, think about your family, you have to do what you think is best. So I mean, I've got people saying," I've got all three shots, so I'm good to go, bring it on." And I've got people saying," You know what? I'm going to wait another year." Especially with new variants popping up and all that kind of stuff, it's all up to you and what you feel comfortable with. And that's not really like crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Not a bad... No. Right, I think it-
Liz Downing: Well, and I'm supposed to say," It's fine, come on." But really, if you don't feel like it's fine, don't go, because we don't want anybody feeling uncomfortable at any of these things.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely. crosstalk.
Liz Downing: And there are plenty of virtual things you can attend that you'll still get lots of value out of, but if you do feel comfortable traveling, there are lots of cool places you can go this year.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely. Well, that's all it is, we want to present the information and let people be smart about what they want to choose. Hey, Liz, I know you have a hard stop here at the top of that. Where can people learn about you or connect with you? I know we connect with you on LinkedIn. What are the best ways to reach out to you?
Liz Downing: Oh yeah, absolutely. So I am Elizabeth Downing on LinkedIn. So you can find me there. My email address is ldowning @ teikametrics. com. That's T- E- I- K- A- M- E- T- R- I- C- S. And I'm not going to give out my cell phone on your podcast. Sorry, Ryan. You got it, but please don't crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Only friends of... So no, it's no problem. Hey, thanks very much for hopping on. Again, going through your thoughts on it. You're involved in so many events. I can't wait to see more pop up and be in attendance at this. So thanks crosstalk.
Liz Downing: Well, I'll see you soon, in person, that'll be awesome. But yeah, if anybody has any questions, they want to talk through anything with me, I'm an open book. So thanks for having me on Ryan, this has been fun.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely, of course. Yeah, anytime. And good luck to you guys in the remainder part of 2021. Again, great things always happening over there at Teikametrics. Thanks so much. And again, everyone, thank you so much for hopping on Crossover Commerce. We have to pull because there's so much going on still, it's still Q4, lots of different content, great things happening. Thanks again from Liz at Teikametrics for hopping on Crossover Commerce. Again, this is up episode 194 of my corner of the internet, where I bring the best and brightness in the Amazon e- commerce space. Tune in tomorrow for another great episode, we'll catch you guys next time. Take care.
Ryan Cramer of Crossover Commerce talks with Liz Downing of Teikametrics one-on-one as they discuss the 2022 Amazon & eCommerce Conferences that will elevate your business to a new level.
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