I learned oodles of things at the 2012 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibit last week, and I'm excited to get the chance to share some pearls of wisdom with you now. As it was my first tradeshow experience as Community Manager for Bigstock, I kept my eyes and ears open for everything the tradeshow had to offer. I also kept my hands open for any available swag.
Here, in five short paragraphs, is what I (along with the whole Bigstock team) learned at the IRCE, serving as a report for those who missed all the fun, faces and freebies of the big event. Enjoy!
1. SEO-ING IS BELIEVING
In my expert calculations, deduced by walking aimlessly around the entire IRCE tradeshow for two days straight, I learned that the most prominent type of service the exhibitors were providing was Search Engine Optimization assistance. SEO was a big hot button topic among attendees and exhibitors, with companies like Point It, SEO.in and SearchSpring, all standing by to assist anyone and everyone with the fine art of landing at the top of the Google search list. With 'bots' of both "Panda" and "Penguin" varieties now fine-tuning searches more than ever before, the presence of so many SEO strategists was practically reassuring.
2. A FOUR-STAR FREIGHTING
We had the privilege of meeting and greeting thousands of people over the course of last week at the IRCE, many of whom were existing customers just stopping by to say hello. Unfortunately, we also learned that there were a couple of folks there who only thought they knew us.
"I love your company," one gent said. "You guys are amazing!"
Naturally, our rosy-cheeked smiles and shy giggles filled the booth, as we're always flattered whenever we meet a happy customer face to face. While we discreetly filled up a bag of swag for this enthusiastic gentleman, the man then continued, "Yeah, you're the best cargo company out there!"
Okay. So, after we took his swag away and put it back on the shelf (kidding), we clarified that we were Bigstock, and not ... whatever freight company he thought he was showering with compliments. He profusely apologized, and we all did one of those kind laughs usually reserved for "new talent" nights at comedy clubs. (Yeah, we still gave him our 10 Free Credits offer. We're so nice!)
3. HOW TO MARRY THE RIGHT PERSON
We learned some invaluable life guidance from Sam Yagan from OkCupid. Mr. Yagan was at the IRCE giving a seminar on "getting to know your clients better." (At least I think that's what he said the seminar was about ... maybe it was just about "dating your clients.")
He shared with the large crowd a surefire way to ensure that the person you're with is a person worth marrying. So, without further ado, here are the three questions that You and Your Partner must be in agreement on if you plan on getting hitched.
If you and your significant other agree, then that's great, you just may get married and stay married forever and ever and everrrrr. If you disagree, perhaps you should sign-up for an OkCupid account.
4. A KERNEL OF TRUTH
I also learned that Chicago is famous for other things besides deep dish pizza, and for being "windy." Have you ever tried Garrett Popcorn? One booth - and of course I forgot the name - was giving away free bags of Garrett Popcorn. It is simply the best popcorn I've ever had (the fact that it was free helps, but still). Even better? They didn't make attendees choose between caramel and cheese flavored. They combined both - in the same bag! It was a decadent, salty and sweet combination. It truly was a bag of popcorn that ate like a meal. One side note: I went back a couple of hours later for a second bag (patience is a virtue), and the booth was completely out of popcorn (impatience = more popcorn).
5. PRICE, PRICE, BABY
Ending things on a slightly more serious note, we learned from a lot of the attendees we spoke with, that the #1 stock photo concern for people is price. It was nice to hear that our customers were happy with our pricing and our collection of images and vectors, here at Bigstock. Do you agree that "price" is the most critical issue when selecting stock images? We'd love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks to IRCE and to all of Chicago! See you next time...