In just over a week, the Blue Acorn team is headed to XChange, Demandware’s user conference in Miami, FL. I’ve been to many industry conferences and events including IRCE, Shop.org, NRF, eTail (East and West!) and Imagine, but this will be my first time at XChange.
In preparation for my first experience, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I’m looking forward to most. Besides a fresh piña colada on the beach, here’s what’s at the top of my list.
One of my favorite parts of any conference is the networking. I’m not talking about schmoozing with vendors or salespeople or dropping business cards into a fishbowl. I mean talking with real people about real experiences, challenges, and successes. In the past year as we’ve met countless developers, partners and merchants within the LINK ecosystem. I’ve consistently heard that this 3-day conference has the best networking opportunities of any industry event.
Tip: Everyone knows the don’t-sit-with-your-coworkers rule of networking. Still, we’re all guilty of sometimes going the safe route and sticking close to friends. This time, be the one in your group that takes the lead.
Ask the Experts
The Retail Practice Team at Demandware is often one of the top reasons to choose the platform. As a group, they provide strategic and tactical guidance post-launch, helping to drive shopper engagement on all Demandware sites. As an XChange attendee, you can sign up for a session with them to talk about your Demandware site. These thirty-minute, personalized sessions allow you to talk shop with Demandware strategists, engineers, and product managers. Feel free to talk about omnichannel solutions, product, end-to-end UX, site design, platform troubleshooting, merchandising and general eCommerce best practices.
During these sessions, the experts can review specific areas of your website, discuss ideas, and/or provide practical solutions for what ails you. If this interests you, sign up now. The sessions require advance registration, but you can do that here.
Tip: Think beyond your immediate challenges today. This is your one chance per year to chat directly with RPT. Think big picture. Make them work and truly add value.
I’ll let you in on a trade show secret: Never skip the Q&A!
There is a ton of great content in every session, especially with the lineup this year, but don’t ever skip the question and answer portion. The best part of every session is usually in those last 10-15 minutes. The audience will be full of experts that often push the speaker to address additional challenges and share interesting use cases or real-world experiences. If you are a merchant, I hope to hear you chime in!
Tip: Speak up! Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about your company. There’s nothing like free advice from a keynote speaker.
I’ve been a big follower of Vineyard Vines since high school. When I saw Demandware added the co-founders to the keynote lineup, I may have squealed in excitement.
In case you’re not a devoted fan like I am, here’s a quick background. Back in 1998, two brothers, Shep and Ian, started selling neckties in Martha’s Vineyard. Today, they have over 70 retail stores and consistently make all the top retailer lists (both online and offline). I know I will be front-row to hear a firsthand account of their success and can’t wait to learn about their online and offline goals. No doubt, this will be an excellent session for anyone interested in omnichannel.
Besides Vineyard Vines, there is a full list of retailers on the agenda. Check it out here.
Tip: Take a peek at all the speakers & do your homework on their companies. You’re guaranteed to get more out of each session if you aren’t sitting there clueless or rapidly googling to find out who Charles Tyrwhitt is.
See you there
If you’re attending, I hope to see you there! Come find Blue Acorn at the Partner Showcase all day Tuesday and Wednesday. And be sure to visit these sponsors, our partners: