eBay Live! 2002… A look back
It's hard to believe that it's been almost a year since the first-ever eBay Live! event was hosted in Anaheim, California. For three days in June 2002, there was a buzz in the air around the Anaheim Convention center. Excitement was highpeople knew they were making history.
"I didn't want it to end," said eBay member Cherbear. "It was like a family reunion."
"It was an event whose time had come," said Tom Cotton, one of the coordinators of eBay Live. "The idea for eBay Live was born out of a desire to really celebrate communitythe buyers and sellers who are the heart and soul of this company. We've been amazingly successful working together in the 'virtual' world, but we felt it was time. We wanted to bring the people who make up eBaybuyers, sellers and stafftogether face-to-face."
And come they did! Registrations exceeded even the most optimistic guesses, reaching over 5,600 by the third day. (Event planners had hoped to reach 3,000.) They came from all over the United States and from 19 countries around the world.
Event planners look back at the Herculean effort that went into organizing the event.
"An event this size typically takes a company 18 months to organize," said Abby Green. "We had five months!" Despite the rushed deadline, they put on a show to remember.
"We had a number of goals at eBay Live," Cotton said. "We wanted to offer classes that would be useful for buyers and sellers of all experience levels. We wanted plenty of opportunities to really listen to our members and learn more about their businesses, what is working for them on eBay, and what their needs were."
And, they added, "We wanted to party!"
To achieve these goals, eBay Live 2002 featured some of the most popular eBay University classes, such as "Improve Your Listings with Better Pictures and HTML" and "Advanced Selling Tips."
The Category Portal Extravaganza allowed members to mingle with others, talk to category managers who help eBay's categories thrive, and do fun things like enjoy a Fashion Show or get a piece of jewelry appraised.
Panels of eBay executives and other staff hosted round table events. These sessions offered members a unique opportunity to get in-depth answers to questions about eBay policies, for instance, and allowed them to speak face-to-face with staff about how key issues affect their eBay experience.
The Pinks Lounge offered a place for members to take a break from the intensity, grab a pink lemonade or coffee, and relax! Plenty of eBay "Pinks" (the staff members who post to the boards are called "Pinks" due to the pink header on their posts) were on hand to greet members.
"I would have to say the best thing about it was getting to meet and know what fun people work behind the scenes on eBay's discussion boards. Our eBay Pinks," said member abuttonlady. "They are sort of like celebrities to the regular posters, but 'family' too. It enhances the feeling of eBay community once you know they are real people like you and me."
One of the most exciting moments came during Meg Whitman's keynote speech, when she unveiled plans to offer access to health insurance for eBay's PowerSellers. There was a split-second pause as several thousand people attending the speech caught their breath at the unexpected newsand then the room erupted in applause.
In her speech, Whitman spotlighted several members, who represent the type of community member that has made eBay what it is, and she made it clear that eBay and its community are in partnership.
"Most companies are defined by their products, their executives, and their financial goals," said Whitman. "Not eBay...eBay is defined by you."
Capping off the event was the Gala Party. After the high intensity of two full days of networking, learning, teaching, and listening, all who attended-staff and members-were ready to let their hair down. Food, atmosphere, music, dancing and eBay people-it was a recipe for a fantastic party that lasted until the wee hours.
Excited yet? Ready to book tickets to eBay Live 2003 in Orlando, Florida? eBay planners are hard at work designing a program you won't want to miss. Click here for more information.
See you there!
Elfie is going to eBay Live! in Orlando, Florida! Or so he thinks... Click here to read more
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