eBay has hosted seller events since 2002, but three years ago it launched eBay Open, an annual event open to all sellers who use the marketplace platform—from solo operations to large businesses to eBay newbies. This year’s sell-out event, which took place July 24-26 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, offered the more than 2,000 attendees engaging content, the opportunity to learn about new seller tools, and the chance to interact with eBay’s top sellers, eBay employees and, most importantly, each other.
As eBay sellers are effectively brand ambassadors, it’s critical that they leave inspired, educated and dedicated to the brand. And there’s no better way to do that than gathering the community together for a live event. “A lot of these sellers do work on their own. They’re a family-run business with just a few employees, or one person,” says Jessie Babiarz, eBay Open executive producer and head of seller events. “Being able to meet face-to-face is something they only get the opportunity to do, at least when organized by eBay, once a year—and they look forward to it all year.”
Here are seven strategies the brand employed at the 2018 eBay Open to grow the event and keep sellers and the eBay marketplace engaged.
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1. Launching the event earlier.
The eBay Open team this year marketed the event earlier, launching the event website and registration six weeks earlier than they did the year prior and, for the first time, offering an early bird rate in order to plan for audience size. It worked: sell-out occurred much earlier than expected.
“We always get really great feedback from everyone who attends about how they feel inspired and motivated to go home and continue to grow their business. We wanted more sellers to have that same feeling,” says Babiarz.
2. Hosting an event within an event.
The eBay Top Seller Summit is a gathering of the brand’s most important sellers. For the first time this year, eBay held it in tandem with the Open as a pre-conference followed by an evening reception and awards ceremony at Hyde Nightclub in the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. Once it concluded, the two events merged together and the Open began. The result was that each group benefitted from the other’s presence.
“Traditionally, they’ve been separate,” Babiarz says. “Our learnings from last year were that a lot of the messaging is very similar, and we wanted our top sellers to have the experience of eBay Open. We have more employees there and we have all of our sponsors in the expo hall.”
3. Using registration data to customize content.
eBay sellers are an incredibly diverse audience. To paint a picture: Attendees arrived from 49 U.S. states and seven countries at this year’s event. In light of that, it was important for eBay to examine its event audience and tailor content to fit its needs. Taking a …read more