Catalyst Americas can be a whirlwind.
The two-and-a-half-day event — taking place next week from April 17 through 19 — is jam-packed with e-commerce inspiration, insight and industry networking. But like any other conference, there are right and wrong ways to experience it. At Catalyst, it pays to be proactive.
It’s best to get your bearings beforehand and chart your course, rather than show up, become overwhelmed and miss out on key opportunities. Catalyst has been curated to fit everyone’s needs across the entire e-commerce spectrum, but it can be catered to fit your specific needs with the right approach.
Start by thinking about the conference with your goals in mind. Have a burning question about first-party marketplace selling? Curious how to effectively expand your fulfillment operations? The answers will be there… if you know where to look.
We want this event to be your Catalyst. Your strategy Catalyst. Your networking Catalyst. Your innovation Catalyst.
But ultimately, we want it to be your Catalyst for e-commerce growth.
Here are five tips on how to do Catalyst Americas 2018 like a pro:
1. Pick your workshops before you arrive.
This is a time to be proactive. Block off a few minutes — whether it’s at home this Sunday evening or sitting on a plane bound for San Diego — to chart out your next few days. Read through the session descriptions, speakers and schedule. Both Amazon (pre-registration required) and eBay will be hosting their own sessions, as well as speakers from leading e-commerce brands, publications and other channels. Don’t get caught scanning the app at the last minute trying to figure out where you want to be.
If you’re bringing coworkers with you, divide and conquer multiple sessions and then share notes when you get back home.
2. Bring your business cards.
Do NOT be that person at a conference with the lame — and transparent — excuse: “I’m all out of business cards.” Remember to bring them. You’ll need them. One of the most consistent pieces of feedback we hear every year is how much value attendees got through the many networking sessions and events. Catalyst is crawling with industry experts, leading solution providers and e-commerce success stories. Connect with them at Catalyst, and leverage that connection in the months and years to come.
3. Schedule one-on-one time with an e-commerce expert.
ChannelAdvisor customers are free to schedule face-to-face time with experienced e-commerce professionals in the popular ‘Ask the Expert’ room. Drop by the room with specific questions about the ChannelAdvisor platform, how you can optimize your multichannel strategies or what efficiencies you may be missing. They’re called “experts” for a reason — they’ve got you covered.
If you’re not a ChannelAdvisor customer, you’ve got plenty of options, too. Stop by the ChannelAdvisor booth in the Catalyst Pavilion at any point during the conference and talk to any of our e-commerce consultants. On Thursday, come participate in Commerce Connect, a series of roundtable discussions separated by topic where you’ll be able to connect with like-minded industry peers and share ideas.
4. Get social.
No, this isn’t just a shameless plug for a conference hashtag (#Catalyst18, by the way). Truly, the social conversation is the living pulse of any modern conference. View real-time reactions to sessions you aren’t in. Find that person who tweeted the interesting commentary during the keynote and strike up an in-person conversation with them. Or, better yet, use the Catalyst app to track them down and set up a meeting.
Get active on social, learn who the movers and shakers are, and join the conversation.
5. Catalyst consists of thousands of micro-moments — Find them.
You’ll leave San Diego with an arsenal of actionable takeaways. But it could be a single thing that makes the difference between an above-average growth year and a 2019 success story.
Maybe it’s a casual, 10-minute conversation you have with a new solution partner. Or perhaps it was your decision to introduce yourself to one of the keynote speakers. Or it could be that one, single takeaway from a specific workshop you decided to attend (like what happened to Pandora’s OEM).
Those moments are everywhere at Catalyst. Find them. Cultivate them. Use them.
Do you have meetings scheduled with anyone? A booth you’d like to visit? Whether it’s a walk through the Pavilion or a scheduled block in the ‘Ask the Expert’ room, take your coffee in a to-go cup and make the most of your downtime at Catalyst.
With that said…
[BONUS TIP] Enjoy San Diego!
Most people don’t have the opportunity to enjoy the many perks of sunny Southern California. San Diego is full of them. Arrive early or extend your stay. We promise, there’s plenty of reasons we picked San Diego as this year’s Catalyst destination.
See you in San Diego!
On the fence about registering for Catalyst Americas 2018? There’s still time to register at catalyst.channeladvisor.com for the April 17-19 event! Use promo code Blog9946 to save $100, and don’t forget to pre-register for the Amazon workshop. (At last count, we still had 100 seats left.)