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IRCE17 Day 3

My last day at IRCE17 was packed with sessions, vendor visits, and photo with a giant robot. However before I get into that allow me to back up slightly and talk about my previous evening.

I had spent the evening at two networking sessions hosted Shopify, Tealium, Workarea, and Avalara. (There were some other sponsors I’ll have to track down and add in here later.) Both parties were very well attended and had some very tasty drinks. However the food at the second party at Carnivale was hands down the winner. It was really, really quite tasty. Also at this party they had a live band and a hula-hoop performing artist who was extremely talented. Finally, they also had a “selfie booth” manned by a very nice lady and a guy with two parrots that would sit on your arm. I decided to get a selfie with the lady operating it because I figured she never got selfies with anyone despite running the both.

I didn’t close out the night, but I did hang out there for quite a bit. One of the birds told me later that someone eventually got kicked out of the party. It wasn’t me.

On to IRCE17 Day 3!

Having stopped by most of the booths I wanted to visit, I attended some delightful sessions IRCE had organized. Being in the Urgent Care Industry, they didn’t directly apply to me completely, but I did take away a lot from these sessions. Content marketing, videos, and influencer marketing isn’t going away and is only going to get bigger. I remember coming here a couple of years ago and all the rage was “responsive design.” Now, it’s just assumed your website should have that. While I’ve been working hard on improving content online to the sites I help out with, I’m going to have to dive a bit deeper into influencer marketing. I think there is an opportunity there for me to scoop up some conversions and attention if played properly.

Another session that peeked my interest involved the evolving digital commerce landscape in China. They pretty much skipped the “traditional media” period when the country began to open up in the early 90’s and went straight to digital. A big thing the session noted was how much commerce is done through “chat apps.” So in the US, while we go to the Amazon app to buy something thru our phone and then go to Facebook Messenger to chat with someone, that is pretty much all wrapped up in one app. My notes are packed away in my checked luggage, but I believe the app is called “We Chat.” They do a lot through the app including even buying insurance. I wonder if this trend will cross the Pacific and catch on in the United States. If so, I’ll be sure to keep my ears open to exploit it.

After catching those sessions I took a walk through the expo hall one last time. I dropped by and said hi to my friends in PrestaShop, Freewebstore, Pricewaiter, Criteo, ProShip, Inc., and Wpromote. I really like these folks. I think I might write a few blog posts about them down the road to plug what they can do. Speaking of Wpromote, they did solve the great missing sunglasses caper of 2017. I accidently left them there. Fortunately I always bring two. I also ran into a trio of ladies from the IRCE staff who helped a lot with making his trip possible.

After IRCE17 wrapped up I explored Chicago a bit and saw a friend in a musical comedy called “Musical Therapy” produced by Death and Pretzels and performed at the Gorilla Tango Theater. I need to dedicate an entire blog post to this show and cast, because it was damn funny. I usually appreciate the difficulty of musicals, but am rather ambivalent about them. This musical is one I’d see again. The cast is incredibly talented and the comic timing in the singing and non-singing parts is pretty crisp. I was lucky to catch this show before their final performance on June 10th.

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