This is the first time in four years that I’m not at eBay Live, and I have to admit, I’m missing it.
Well, of course the eBay Chatter has a play-by-play on their blog, and there is a website that is hosting a replay of the 2007 keynote. But it’s not like being there.
My first eBay Live was in 2004, in New Orleans. I was helping out generally, working the Business & Industrial and Sports category booths, and teaching classes to sellers interested in selling in bulk lots on eBay. I had just delivered some key platform enhancements in this area, and was very excited to be giving my first eBay Live class. Imagine my surprise when over 300 people turned up for the first session (standing room only!) The funniest moment was two minutes before we were about to start, Jeff Jordan walked in the room and looked a little surprised.
“What class is this?!?” he asked me.
“Buying & Selling in Lots on eBay” I said.
The secret to a great class at eBay Live was focusing not on what eBay wanted to tell members, but about what members wanted to hear from eBay. Selling in bulk was something that many sellers at the time were experimenting with at the time, and for good reason. It was a way to source supply, a way to move out stagnant inventory, and a way to potentially sell new classes of inexpensive goods on the platform. You’re not going to sell 1 can of tennis balls on eBay, but you might sell a case of 24.
I taught classes at eBay Live 2005 in San Jose, and at eBay Live 2006. Of course, for me, 2006 was the highlight, as we rolled out eBay Express broadly to the community. In fact, I believe the 2006 eBay Live class on eBay Express is still available online, right here.
Lara Housser & Christophe Gillet are giving the eBay Express classes this year, and there is a lot of great material in those classes. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised with the success-to-date for the site.
Despite the incredibly long hours on your feet, and the incredibly early mornings and late nights, there is a bit of magic to eBay Live, and I have to admit that I’m missing it this year.
Of course, that’s the trade-off you make when you take on a new opportunity – you have to leave another behind. I can’t tell you how excited I am about my new role and my new company. The opportunity at LinkedIn is incredible, and the people are amazing to work with.
But I’m feeling nostalgic tonight, so good luck to the eBay team in Boston this week.
P.S. In a weird twist of events, “Lara Housser” has become one of the top ten search queries leading to this blog. Lara, if you are reading, you may want to update your LinkedIn public profile… people are clearly looking for you. 🙂
2 thoughts on “Missing eBay Live 2007 in Boston”
I’m glad you wrote this. I get nostalgic each year this time too and tend to follow the coverage vicariously.
eBay live was always a highlight of my time there. Interacting with the community and hearing their stories was one of the most motivating parts of the job. I remember being New Orleans as well—and working on the Wholesale lots project with you and Karl. No way it could have happened without you!
Also, wishing the team in Boston all the luck….
It was the best eBay Live since the first one in Anaheim, CA.
As I wrote on an eBay board used by top sellers:
Top Ten Thoughts from eBay Live 2007:
1) My Biggest Surprise – Best eBay Live since the first one in 2003
2) Smaller attendance + larger facilities = easy access to key personnel + friends. You could actually hear your phone ring and not have to shout to be heard on it.
3) Top Gun Award – A premium (PeSA) quality panel hosted by buySAFE with beautiful views of city. Excellent panelists and great discussions.
4) Highest quality of new sellers I can ever remember speaking with. Spoke with about 75 and referred a dozen to PeSA website (gopesa.org).
5) PeSA San Francisco Summit type weather….simply gorgeous
6) Fewer Solutions + Larger Space = Easy Access to vendors, eBay & PayPal personnel. It seemed 80% of the booths were eBay, PayPal, or USPS related. You could actually have a long casual conversation without getting interrupted or knocked over by someone wanting some freebie
7) About time we all celebrated Marsha Collier – A very nice party that was well attended by her many friends in celebration of 1 million books sold.
8) eBay MVP Award – Rob Chesnut for taking the tough questions on the panels and Townhall, and then talking for hours with passionate sellers all three days.
9) Most Unexpected Moment – Meeting Meg Whitman’s sister Anne, and getting her to tell us a funny story from their youth. It is a good one.
10) WOW! Best eBay Gala EVER! The food was just OK, not much entertainment, but more importantly the huge room made it a breeze to do a 360 degree networking spin with my buddy Brandon to Meet N Greet eBay’s finest. Then on to the HUGE dance floor to get down with Kool and the Gang. Not sure I got down, but I did get a sheen on my forehead as one of my dancing partners called it.
Take Away – eBay has a long uphill path to get their marketplace back on track, and you get a sense from them that they know it, and are determined to get it done.
Love the new marketing about making eBay fun again, and they seem to realize the fun isn’t possible without eliminating fraud and bad sellers. I like their new term windorphins if for no other reason than it appeals to the more affluent, intellectual crowd who may more likely be shopping on Amazon now.
Hope eBay and Google can find common ground to make their relationship a win-win for each of them which would also be a win for us.
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