After three editions held in Timisoara, ecomTEAM moved this year more towards the center of the country, namely in Brasov, to be closer to all the e-commerce areas. The event, organized by Wall-Street.ro and hosted by Kronwell Hotel, took place on 2nd and 3rd of April 2014. The two Arobsians above-mentioned are Ionut Maries and yours truly.
The train arrived “fashionably late” in Brasov, with only 48 minutes delay (I know the exact time because we bet on the arrival hour, and a three-minute difference cost me a beer). But we made up for lost time while negotiating with local taxi drivers, who asked almost three times the normal price, for a ride from the railway station to the hotel (“Because gasoline prices spiked!”). Long story short, thanks God for Google maps – walking mode. Even at 10 o’clock in the evening Brasov is still a beautiful city; if something were to be held against the local authorities that would be just a slight skepticism towards displaying the street names in plain sight.
April 2nd was entirely dedicated to the ecomTEAM conference, what the organizers called “an ideal mix between Key Speeches given by specialists in e-commerce, case studies on best practices and success stories, debates devoted to topics of interest to focus on relevant data and Q & A sessions”.
The speakers invited in the Panel Discussions were, unquestionably, recognized experts in their field of activity; only to be in their presence was an honor and an experience itself. Amongst them we’d like to name Iulian Stanciu (General Manager – eMAG), Dan Bulucea (Country Manager – Google Romania), Catalin Cretu (Regional Director Romania & Croatia – Visa Europe), and Zoltan Herczeg (Business Evangelist – Microsoft Romania). All presentations and discussions were interesting, with a special mention for the two key speeches. John Heffernan (CEO of Foundry Communications) shortly introduced, in a very dynamic fashion, Google’s new and improved search algorithm, more intuitive, thus “more human” (“Google Hummingbird and the New SEO “). Iulian Stanciu mentioned some of the company’s expansion plans abroad but also cited the innovations introduced over time by eMAG, in order to retain their customers. For example the “Wrong Prices” (“Preturi gresite”) marketing campaign started from a real mistake in posting the prices, mistake assumed by eMAG and turned into an opportunity.
During the discussion panels, prizes (consisting of books) were awarded for the most interesting questions. Our team won three books (which sums up to 50% of the awards), if you must know. We decided to donate them to the AROBS library so our colleagues may benefit from their useful content too.
The day ended with a super party that lasted until 3 am, which explained to some extent why, the next day, most worn accessory were sunglasses and some of the participants were late for the first workshop.
The second day we attended three out of the eight workshops (there were three sessions with simultaneous workshops taking place). David Sottimano (Distilled.net) held a seminar on advanced SEO and tried to adjust it as much as possible to the specific needs of the audience. Alison Battisby’s insight on social media channels gave us some new ideas about the best strategy regarding AROBS’ visibility on social networks.
I was totally wowed (as one of my colleagues would put it) by the entire experience. The large amount of information, many new ideas, and the enthusiastic people truly passionate about what they do, all these have mixed into a “fuel” that will feed my curiosity (for the new to me SEO domain), enthusiasm and motivation long from now.