It is a VERY good day when I’m engaged to speak or produce social media at an event which centres around my interest areas!

The PESA Internet Conference for Online Retailers is one such event. Run by my very good and long-time mate Phil Leahy, it started out as the conference for Professional eBay Sellers and has grown into the best professional development event for anyone selling anything online.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been officially engaged as the social media producer for the conference and have also hosted round-tables, facilitated panel discussions and given a talks.

Extra-added bonus is that at least 20 of my colleagues/friends also attend or speak at this event, so it’s a classic FUN AT WORK situation.

Highlights and Observations:

  • Jooman Park from eBay began his talk with the most earnest and meaningful apologies I’ve ever heard an official brand utter. It had been only weeks since the password hack and he took some very considered time to give a heartfelt apology on behalf of eBay. It VERY MUCH personalised the company and was extremely well received.
  • The day before the event AND on the actual day of the event, 25 people EACH DAY registered to attend. This can only mean that they had planned all along to attend, and had probably booked their flights and accommodation but were under no pressure to actually purchase their tickets. You can imagine how difficult this can be for the logistics team at the event – there are seating plans to re-organise, catering to re-order and name badges to print at the last minute.
    LEARNING :: always have a cut-off date and ticket prices that is so compelling you will ‘smoke out’ every single person intending to attend your conference. Make the ticket price in the last 3-4 weeks as high as you possibly can, so no-one will leave their booking to the last minute.
  • The venue was the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and it is an excellent location – it’s at Broadbeach which is less yuk than Surfers Paradise. The accommodation at The Air on Broadbeach is brilliant.
  • Each year, the Gala cocktail evening raises money for the Reach Foundation and this year over $50,000 was raised.
  • Vinh

    Vinh

    Magicians NEVER get old/tired/boring. Jay Jay The Entertainer was roving around the networking event on the first night of the conference, doing sleight of hand tricks, card tricks and had everyone in stitches. Then, on the last day, Vinh from Encyclopedia of Magic completely stole the show by presenting an inspirational keynote address about perception and belief through the eyes of magic. It really was the most inspiring and engaging presentation I’ve seen in years. And I’ve seen YEARS worth.

  • Facebook: Forget about LIKES and use Facebook’s completely awesome targeting abilities to build your email list by creating something of compelling value and delivering people from Facebook to your website to sign up for it.
  • Mobile: If you’re not creating / developing your site to be responsive to mobile and iPad, you may as well give up. Back to the drawing board!

Highlights from the event in this awesome video:

Official list of resources, presentations, case studies and notes from all the speakers. Keep going back to that link, it’s regularly updated.

Other wrap-ups of the event including :: Jasper Vallance / Power Retail and Channel Advisor