I’m looking forward to a pretty busy week back in PA as I host the 8th or 9th eCommerce Boot Camp for Solid Cactus. I tend to forget how many of these things I’ve done over the years, but it’s been a few – including one on the Disney Wonder cruise ship which was a blast.
This time around, I’ve got 30 eCommerce store owners from around the country coming to Northeastern Pennsylvania for three days of networking and educational seminars put on by the Solid Cactus team. We’re going to be covering search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, customer service, social media, email marketing, as well as deconstructing various attendees websites and introducing some great new features for Yahoo! Store as well as Solid Cactus eCommerce.
In addition to all the learning, there’s going to be plenty of time for socializing, and that for me is one of the most valuable parts of the event. As an eCommerce store owner myself, I continually learn new things by listening to our team during the presentations, but the best knowledge always comes from sharing thoughts and ideas with other store owners. While the products we sell may be vastly different, we’re all looking to capture that sale and we all do it in different and unique ways. By listening to others describe what works for them and what doesn’t, we can take some of those things and try them in our stores and hopefully find a winner. Not everything will work, but after all, there is a lot of trial and error involved in finding ways to lead the customer to the checkout.
There’s a lot to learn over the three-day event and I always leave plenty of time for fun of course good food. Corinne Agolino-Salko and her brother Sam Agolino will be hosting us at their restaurant Pazzo Wednesday night, Jeff Wytovich of Cafe Pic-a-Deli sets up for us Thursday evening and then on Friday we have a cocktail reception followed by our keynote speaker and dinner at The Woodlands Inn & Resort.
This time around, I have Janis Krums tabbed as our speaker. While the name not be a familiar one, the picture he took on January 15, 2009 certainly is. Janis was on a ferry boat in the Hudson River when US Airways flight 1549 made a crash landing after it’s engines were taken out by a flock of birds. Janis grabbed his phone, took a picture of the Airbus floating in the water with passengers standing on the jet’s wings and life rafts waiting to be rescued. After snapping the image, he immediately posted it on Twitter and became an instant celebrity having captured the first image of what was quickly dubbed “the miracle on the Hudson.”
Following his tweet, he was interviewed on every cable news outlet while news directors around the country scratched their heads and wondered how an average Joe broke the biggest story of the year using a cell phone and Twitter. Friday night, Janis will tell his story once again and talk about the importance of social media in today’s society. I’m really looking forward to his presentation and I’m sure all our attendees are as well.
(If you’re a member of the media and would like to have access to Janis’ address Friday night, you know how to contact me.)
Finally, I’m looking forwarding to connecting a few customers who have become close friends over the years including Pam Macharola from blaircandy.com, Karl Schilling from kaleidoscopestoyou.com, Andrew DiMino from carbsmart.com and Vance Selin from countrytradedays.com as well as everyone else coming from far and wide. It’s going to be a heck of a busy week for me, but a fun one as well!
Keep your eyes on the Solid Cactus Blog for the latest happenings as well as photos and videos of the event!