April 4-6, 2011 was the date for this year’s Channel Advisor CATALYST Conference. I have been to every conference since they began way back when… First there was “Marathon” – aptly named since it was a one day power-packed gig. Then there was “Summit” – stretching it out to a day and a half (with a pre-conference golf outing for those who needed some unwinding time!). Finally, the year after I gave the keynote address (about 4 years ago now…I think), they changed it to Catalyst.
I *almost* made the fatal mistake of thinking that I had “heard it all”, and nearly skipped out of this year’s conference. Wow – am I glad I didn’t! Fortunately, I got an email from the event coordinator (aka rock-star) reminding me to register.
A word of advice… if you are (or aspire to be) a multi-channel sales kingpin -building your own website sales channel as well as dominating the 3rd party marketplaces (eBay, Amazon, Overstock, Buy.com, CSE’s, etc)… Never EVER miss CATALYST!!
The sessions and keynotes were valuable – but as always – the Roundtables and Networking were unparalleled in their ability to target REAL business solutions and strategic objectives. An example of this was an opportunity I had to sit with a new B2B e-commerce seller who was considering signing on with Channel Advisor. Recently, I have found myself working with a growing number of B2B clients and needed to get some specific insights into meeting the unique demands of the B2B space. The company needed to understand how they could best leverage multi-channel sales to augment their wholesale distribution. It was a win-win for certain as we spent the better part of 2 hours trading KEY information points. We then headed out for a cocktail reception where I was able to connect them with the Director of Biz Dev at Buy.com – where they will now be able to create a whole new revenue niche for their business.
Moral of the story: If you ever consider missing Channel Advisor CATALYST…have someone hit you over the head with a golf club (from RockBottomGolf.com of course) and slap you back into reality…this is an IMPORTANT conference 🙂