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Emerce eDay – Getting Usabilla out into the Wild

It’s been a crazy couple of months here at Usabilla! The expansion of our team, a new office, and with the first edition of Usabilla Exchange being a great success – we felt it was time to get Usabilla out into the wild. After years of mastering the online-world of inbound marketing and building mediated customer relationships, we were excited to literally leave our office and mingle with our partners in real life.

That’s why we decided to join the Emerce eDay last Thursday here in Amsterdam.

The Emerce eDay is the largest annual e-business conference in the Benelux. Besides many cutting edge national and international speakers, there were almost 2000 like-minded people to talk to and share ideas and knowledge with. The day was all about e-commerce, strategies, concepts and technologies – the place for us to meet current and future partners.

The preparations

The preparations themselves were already more than exciting. Considering that this was our first trade stand ever, there was a lot to think about. What kind of stand setup do we want? What should the branding look like? Do we have Internet?

A couple of brainstorming sessions and a few weeks further, we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted our stand should look like. Branding material, from flyers and business cards to banners and beach flags, were created and ordered online. Goals for the day were set.

With all this preparation beforehand, the setup itself was quite straightforward and Usabilla was ready to brave itself in the world of e-commerce.

The big day


Images courtesy of Emerce on Flickr

On the day itself, the team gathered at our stand at around 9am. At this point, we’d like to express our appreciation for catering staff who spoiled us with unlimited drinks and biscuits throughout the day. Thanks!

Around 10am the Convention Factory began to fill and the first people stopped by our stand – lured in by the repetitive jingle of our promotional video. People curious and interested to learn more about Usabilla.

We talked to many different people throughout the day. We learned what people were looking for in a user feedback tool, and that we are on the right track to fulfilling those expectations with Usabilla Live. Many questions were asked, answers were given, and at the end of the day, everyone was exhausted from a vivid exchange of thoughts and ideas.

Besides talking to lots of people who were not yet familiar with Usabilla Live, we also met many of our existing clients.

Regardless of how well online communication works nowadays, and how convenient it can be – talking to others face-to-face is so much more fruitful and personal. Allowing us to create new, and build upon existing, relationships with veritable ease.

This is why we are looking forward to meeting with our partners more often in the future. Be it during the next edition of Usabilla Exchange, at industry events, or other occasions.

Take-aways

The Emerce eDay was a great success for Usabilla. Only one week after the event, obviously there is little we can say in terms of new revenue. However, the amount of social interaction and the positive feedback received has returned plenty enough value for us to call the day a success.

The day allowed us to receive the thoughts and opinions of others on the spot; to gauge the level of interest in our product; to hear what people had to say to us, what questions we weren’t answering sufficiently elsewhere; to show off our brand to the marketplace; and to have insightful, face to face, conversations with our audience.

The day was of a great benefit, in many ways. Granting Usabilla a physical presence in the ‘real world’ providing us with insights impossible with a purely digital existence.

Here are some of the key take-aways from the day:

  • Face-to-face interaction can be extremely powerful in hearing the thoughts and opinion of your audience.
  • A physical, personal, presence is much more effective at creating new and building upon existing relationships – networking!
  • As good as marketing on the web is, additional marketing in the ‘real world’ offers the benefit of instant, visible, feedback
  • Benjamin can’t be trusted to handle glass vases…

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