During the week of June 6th, we attended IRCE (Internet Retailer Conference + Exhibition) in Chicago, IL. After conferences and trade shows we typically select one person to write a recap of the event. As we talked over our experiences post-IRCE, we realized how different each of our perspectives and key takeaways are. So rather than a one-person view, below you have 5, ranging from various levels and departments within Classy Llama.
Kurt Theobald, CEO
Based on my informal survey at the conference, the industry is not innovating very quickly. It’s not stagnant, but the breakthrough innovators are on the periphery, and they’re designing solutions that are either solving problems that are too small and so not worth merchants’ time or that don’t have a path to gain critical mass due to logistical problems. With that said, the central players continue to slowly, incrementally improve their offerings, which is important; fresh, breakthrough innovation is always built on the backs of that slow, incremental innovation. However, I foresee a shock wave of innovation coming over the next three years that will shake up the industry and increase its footprint substantially.
Brandon Urich, Solutions Architect
I really enjoyed getting to know the team a little better. I got to connect with other companies in the ecosystem and discover some new solutions that could be beneficial to our customers. It was nice to have some current clients stop by, as well as talk to merchants in need of something to see if we could help them.
Rob Tull, Director of Solutions
It’s always impressive to me every year to see just how much the IRCE show continues to grow. There were more service providers than ever this year, along with what I perceived to be an increase in “core” providers.
The eCommerce space continues to mature and I see that through the increase of vendors offering key services like email, order management, warehouse management, and more. I felt like this year that there were more vendors I found interesting and would like to learn more about than ever before.
It’s also interesting to see how the market’s perspective on Magento is evolving. This year, everyone was fully aware of Magento 2 and talking a lot about what it means. There were a lot of questions about it and it was great to be able to provide a lot of insight to folks about the opportunities we see. I look forward to seeing how this has settled in by the show next year.
Ben Leach, eCommerce Consultant
Our powerful branding was also enlightening for me – compared to Imagine (where everyone already knows who you are as we have been a part of the Magento ecosystem since the beginning) I didn’t expect our brand to be as well-known as it was.
Lots and lots of companies approached our booth regarding partnerships – this emphasized the power of our branding as well as our status within the Magento community – again – I didn’t expect this at IRCE
Ashlee Colliver, Marketing Strategist
This being my first conference with Classy Llama, there were so many great experiences and takeaways. However, the biggest by far was seeing how our brand and culture translates to the public. It is something that is often talked about internally but to witness it first hand was pretty amazing. From the buzz about our swag to general interest in our services, I saw the joy people have for our company and the love we give back in return.
I also enjoyed talking with service providers, including competitors and asking them how they view the industry, the trends, the new big players and the technology. What a gift it was to gain knowledge from such a variety of people.
My last big takeaway was having the opportunity to speak directly with some of our clients and partners, which I do not have the chance to do on a regular basis. I bring back with me a deeper understanding of who Classy Llama is in the ecosystem and many ideas on how we can project who we are in person to create a bigger digital footprint culturally.
If you attended IRCE, we’d love to hear what your key takeaways were!