It’s conference season here at SkuVault, and we’ve just returned from SinCity! We flew seven team members out to Magento’s Imagine Commerce AND ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst Americas conferences. This was our first year attending 2 conferences simultaneously, and we had a great time!
What are the Imagine Commerce and Catalyst Americas Conferences?
Magento's Imagine Commerce
This year was our first year sponsoring and attending Imagine Commerce, which attracts over 2,500 partners, developers, merchants, digital industry experts, and more from all over the world for 3 days packed with knowledge, networking, innovation, and collaboration. Our product, SkuVault, is geared toward eCommerce merchants, so it was a great opportunity to meet up with current and prospective clients at all stages of the retail chain.
ChannelAdvisor's Catalyst Americas
This eCommerce conference hosted by ChannelAdvisor brings together partners, clients, and general eCommerce merchants in an event that offers networking opportunities, and educational presentations. The theme this year was “E-Commerce: Future-Proofed,” which focused on changes and innovations that will shape the future of eCommerce. It proved to be a wonderful opportunity to sit down with current clients and partners and discuss their challenges and experiences. And it’s always great to have face-to-face conversations with current and prospective clients to really solidify our ongoing support and training relationship.
At Catalyst, our Sam Terwilleger from sales met with two of our current partners, John Llana from BigCommerce (@BigCommerce) and Adam Khandaker with ShipStation (@ShipStation). These guys were so nice and helpful! Sam and John met every morning before the conference during breakfast to discuss the show, and Sam and Adam were able to set up better workflows for any questions we or our clients might have about ShipStation. We also met up with some of the ShipStation crew at Imagine - they were attending both, just like us!
The conferences were also a great opportunity to meet the people who work behind-the-scenes at ChannelAdivsor (@channeladvisor) and Magento (@magento). We love having both of them as integration partners, so it was very exciting to talk about what new developments are on the horizon, and make sure SkuVault is on top of and compatible with their new releases. There's a lot to look forward to this coming year!
Catalyst provided our Kim Wren with the opportunity to meet existing clients, potential clients, as well as current and possible partners. The ability to meet our current clients in person and put a face to the name is priceless when it comes to maintaining relationships. During the week, Kim had the good fortune to meet with GOJA, Level Nine Sports, Tech Rabbit, 2bHip, IDS, Eds FlyShop, Sports by Sager, and so many more. It’s always a pleasure to get to sit down with people and hear their stories, learn about their successes, and their pain points. Our clients are such awesome people, running businesses of all sizes, and each has a unique story to tell, they are fascinating to spend time with.
Joe and Mark Sager from Sports By Sager came by the booth a few times to extend their gratitude for SkuVault's support team and the program as a whole. We also had the pleasure of meeting two fine young men, Ben Salden and Jeremy Lindell, with My Pillow (@MyPillowUSA). They absolutely love what SkuVault has to offer, and we hope to be working with them in the near future helping them decrease labor and increase profits!
It was especially valuable to sit down and meet with current clients regarding new features that we've released over the last year. SkuVault releases new features on a weekly basis and sometimes a given client might get busy and miss the release notes. Events like Catalyst give us the chance to really highlight these improvements, and allows our clients to test them out while we’re present to address any questions. We officially released Wave Picking this year, which generated a great deal of excitement. It was very convenient to sit down with clients and schedule follow-up training sessions on all the new features.
Catalyst was held at the Aria again this year (2nd year there). The venue was great, the hotel was beautiful, and the public meeting rooms were well-tended for attendees and exhibitors alike. The catering crew did a tremendous job offering our team some delicious food!
Our team members at Imagine loved the The Wynn Hotel and Casino as well. It was a great place for the conference (and even better for a vacation). There were tons of things to do including gambling, shows, and parties.
And After the Show…
Of course Catalyst would not be the same without a party or two. Since our team had some private events they weren’t able to attend the first night party, but were able to attend the big party at Drai’s nightclub. Drai’s is located on top of the Cromwell Hotel. It’s a rooftop pool and nightclub with lounging space, and an upper deck (for even better views). There were multiple bars, and food stations set up. The food was great, and the company better. Our team even enjoyed a Brittney Spears appearance! Was it the “real” Brittney? We spent a good deal of time debating this; it was all in fun! The night was great, and the party made for a long day, but time flies when you have such great people around you!
Vegas wouldn’t be the same without a couple of great dinners, and this trip was no exception. We had dinner one evening at Joe’s Steak, Seafood, and Crab House. The food and the service were top notch. Our server could not have been more accommodating, and the various foods we ate were great. Who knew Brussel sprouts could be so tasty?
Prior to the conference, there were some pre-show nerves for our first-time conference goers, but that fear soon subsided. Everyone was so warm and welcoming. The ChannelAdvisor team, especially, went above and beyond with their hospitality and friendship. We came out of the conference with a greater appreciation for all the hard work that goes into running one's own business; not only from the owner's perspective, but the cohesion between multiple systems that need to work with one another seamlessly to accomplish their goals. It was a lot crammed into 2 ½ days, but we made it through, made some valuable contacts, saw some old friends, helped some current clients, and created some great memories! All in all it was an excellent experience and we can’t wait to see everyone again next year!