Wednesday, September 15, 2010

eBay On Location San Jose - my perspective

It has taken nearly two weeks for me to get back to normal after this exciting experience.

When my hubster and I boarded a 6:30am flight out of Orlando to San Jose September 1st, I had no idea what lay ahead.

There is no way I could have been disappointed on this trip. I knew it would be inspiring and it was. The surprise is that it inspired my better half even more than it did me! I have been trying to get him involved in my eBay enterprise for about a year so this is definitely good news.

As seen on TV - Nightline program 
Yeah, that's me in the video (as shown on TVs "Nightline" Oct. 7, 2010) I sell "Treasures" and that's my tee-shirt being autographed by CEO John Donahoe.
Since our flight was in before noon, we had plenty of time to settle in at the Santa Clara Hyatt and Convention Center (where the event was held) and were among the first in line to register and get our cool bags, lanyards and badges.

Right away I met up with old friends including Scott Shepherd (left) Steve Meyers (2nd from right) and met Steve's wife Kim for the first time. (My husband Lon is at far right)

I don't know how many new friends I met. A few people I had talked to by phone or email, but never met face to face. Funny how they seemed to meet up to my expectations completely. The only surprises were good ones.

The first evening was totally fun. We sang Happy Birthday to eBay (which is now 15 years old) ate cupcakes, celebrated and danced. Girls in flashing costumes walked on stilts or skated around the hall and a magician flashed cards, his clothes and even a smile.
We drank, socialized and ate until the time change caught up with us and we realized it was nearly 2am our time.

Lorrie Norrington, John Donahoe and "Griff" Jim Griffin led the birthday song followed by a trio of eBay and PayPal employees who harmonized a few familiar tunes with an eBay frame of reference to the lyrics. Very cool. Since I was sitting near the front of the hall, I was able to "rush the stage" and get the autographs of these 3 eBay icons. I had started an eBay autograph T-shirt in 2008 at eBay LIVE in Chicago but these three had escaped me.

Next day, we were up bright and early to start learning all we could cram in a single day. Although the conference was geared to small sellers, there was a surprisingly complete set of topics covered. Some were more advanced so I took notes in those break-out sessions while Lon wrote a surprising number of pages of notes on the more basic sessions.

Between sessions we visited the booths of vendors who offer solutions to eBay sellers, such as United States Postal Services, eCommerce, PESA, RRBradio, Pitney Bowes, Indicia, doba, Kabbage, and ReplyManager. Always nice mementos in those booths! In addition, PayPal, eBay Green Team, ProStores, eBay Classified and eBay Mobile had a presence and presents for us. Customer Service had a room set up for consultations away from the main activity. Hubster's diligence as a student (and a good question) won him a brand new iPod with eBay branding. This being our first "i" device, we are having a ball figuring it all out. Very cool!

We took away many exciting new concepts and ideas, but one of the best parts of the trip was re-connecting with old friend PowerSellingMom (Danna Crawford), my pal. Danna lives about 150 miles from me but we rarely get a chance to meet up in person.

I have a feeling I may someday feel as close to some of those I met in San Jose for the first time. Check out photos on my Facebook page (CatPurry) if you get a chance.

No way I could do this event justice in words. Next time, I will follow up with some fun we had over labor day weekend in San Jose and San Francisco with eBay friends. What a blast!


Danna Crawford said...

It was great to see you at eBay On-Location Pat! Always a pleasure spending time with you and especially fun to share events with you too!!!

Susan Adcox said...

It's hard to believe that eBay has been around for only 15 years. What did we do before we had eBay?