The last 4 days in Baltimore at the eTail East conference have been amazing. It was a last minute decision for my boss, Paul, and I to attend eTail but it was a great conference. Paul and I were lucky enough to be invited to eTail West in February at the JW Marriot in Palm Springs, and it was hands down one of the best conferences we have ever been to. Attending eTail East was basically a no brainer (though a last minute decision).
While East was quite a bit smaller than West (have heard as much as 1/2 the size) I think the smaller attendance added to the event. Walking around the hotel and convention center you are able to not only recognize most people, but you also have the opportunity to talk with them on a deeper level than at other shows like the Internet Retailer Conference.
Every meal we ate with a mix of different vendors: Certona, Bronto, Mercent, Become.com along with other etailers. The best part is that the vendors do not treat the dinner as ‘work’ and they do not spend the evening selling their services to you. Instead they spend the time getting to know us both individually and as a company. I am sure they will use the friendly relationship to sell to us in the future, but it was nice to have a break during the evening, and there were some really awesome people at eTail.
Throughout the conference I have had the opportunity to meet some great people from sites like Motorcycle Superstore, MusicNotes, Getty Images, Walmart.ca, Lego, Build.com and many more. With so many unique websites, it is really fascinating to see what they are most interested in learning about and what they are currently working on. Gives me some great ideas for things we can do at DrillSpot.com!
For those that couldn’t attend, I created 2 lists of eTail attendees and eTail vendors (if you were there and I missed you on the list, let me know):
I would highly recommend that any online retailers (or vendors) attend the next eTail event that you can.