IRCE (Internet Retailer Conference and Expo) is the world’s largest e-commerce focused conferences. Whether you are a retailer doing some or all of your business online or a service provider/vendor who works with such folks, IRCE is the place to be in early summer each year.
Held in Chicago, this year’s show attracted approximately 10,000 attendees from retailers of all sizes. The show floor was over 250,000 square feet (that’s nearly 5 football fields in space) and featured over 600 vendors. Sessions/learning-opportunities were conducted by 200+ experts across all fields in the industry. Learning on the show floor and in the sessions was then bolstered by outside social events where networking and good times were had by attendees.
This year’s show was also something of a milestone as it was the 10th anniversary. I was at the first show back in 2005. It was also held in Chicago but was much smaller. It was held in the basement/convention area of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. As I recall, there were less than 50 venders (thanks to the web, we were able to confirm that it was actually just 45) and there were only 1,100 attendees. I, like e-commerce at the time, was newer to the industry so it was fitting that this was my first e-commerce conference. Much like this year’s conference, topics like email marketing, paid search, and SEO were prominent topics. Mobile was covered, but not at the magnitude it was this year. Social media got some mentions, but you have to keep in mind that in 2005, it was still prominently for university and high school students. Social at the time covered more about what we would now call content marketing with a bit of word of mouth sprinkled in as well. Also interesting is that IR’s top list only featured 300 sites at the time of this show. Here’s the original show announcement from Internet Retailer: Internet Retailer 2005—The Conference
Thinking about the first show makes it hard to believe that this year’s event was made up of nearly 10 times the attendees and over 13 times the exhibitors. The ShipStation team had an incredibly great show. We met with current and perspective customers and partners. John Lawson (ColderIce) signed copies of his book in our booth. We got to share what getting efficient in the shipping part of e-commerce means.
Here’s what the rest of the ShipStation show team had to say about the conference:
“My first year at IRCE was amazing! Thank you so much to everyone who came by our booth. It was exciting to discuss ShipStation and meet so many partners and clients! There are certainly a lot of new features and developments so it was fun to share. Hopefully you had the chance to meet John Colder during the signing of his new book “Kick Ass Social Commerce for E-Preneurs”. We were lucky to have him! Can’t wait to see all of you again next year!” – Matt, Account Manager
“ShipStation has grown so much over the past few years, and being at IRCE is almost like a penciling in a tick-mark for our growth on the wall. Different from previous years, eCommerce retailers and companies approached ShipStation and actually knew who we were! It was invaluable to connect with so many current and potential customers in person, share some new features, learn how we can continue to help them ship efficiently.” – Angel, Partner Marketing Manager
“Another fantastic year at IRCE has come and gone. Meeting with many current customers, sharing our vision with new prospects, reconnecting with our valued partners and forming new partner relationships, at such as incredible venue as McCormick Place in beautiful downtown Chicago, is the highlight of my year. Thanks to all who took the time to stop by our booth to see and hear about all our new and exciting developments. I’d also like to extend a very special thanks to our friend John Colder for participating in a book signing of his new book, Kick Ass Social Commerce for E-Preneurs! Looking forward to seeing y’all again next year at IRCE 2015!” – Curtis, Business Development Director
“ShipStation has been involved with IRCE for a few years now and each year we enjoy being able to meet current and potential customers face to face. I really thrive on being able to make personal connections. Hearing in person how much ShipStation has changed a business is much more rewarding than interacting over just phone and email. It is also nice to meet and get to know our partners old and new. I also really enjoyed stopping by different booths and getting to learn about different trends in other areas of the eCommerce industry.” – Erin, Customer Success Manager
See you at IRCE 2015 in Chicago! (It’s actually going to be in Chicago through 2020.)
Onward and Upwards.