This year account managers Surafel and Tom visited Texas on behalf of Clear Ads to attend the Billion Dollar Seller Summit (BDSS), stopping in Saint Lucia on the way. Between BBQs, open bars and laser tag, the team had lots of opportunity to hear speakers from all over the Amazon field and network with some of the best players in the industry. Come along on the journey with us as we tell you everything… Apparently what happens in Texas doesn’t have to stay in Texas in this exclusive blog.
What Did We Do?
Before the Event Began
Due to COVID travel restrictions, Clear Ads went the extra mile – 2,750 miles to be exact – in order to be at this event, stopping at Saint Lucia to quarantine before flying over to Texas. Saint Lucia delivered unimaginably beautiful sights, shown below, including the opportunity to see whales and turtles. Working on the balcony of the resort rooms, under the blissful sun, was a delightful experience for both Tom and Surafel.
Tom explained… “After travelling to Austin, we were warmly greeted with a drinks reception where we met the other speakers and sponsors and received our speaking time slot. From the get go it was a pleasurable experience: meeting people we had only ever met virtually before; catching up with old companions and being introduced to unfamiliar industry professionals.
We made sure to be very COVID conscious, taking lateral flow tests everyday and taking one upon arrival, earning us a green COVID safe wristband.”
After networking through the evening, the next morning began with introductions to around 125 people, each company briefly explaining their Amazon journey, leading them to the BDSS. This was followed by a series of talks from both speakers and sponsors. As a sponsor for the event, we were given a 15 minute time slot for Tom to talk about our work and provide some of our key insights into Amazon Advertising. In spite of having to present first, Tom delivered a perceptive presentation on Amazon DSP, which was well received. As a specialist company utilizing Amazon DSP to boost sales and reduce RoAS, the intention was to spread knowledge about this platform, as it is not well known to many sellers.
Between talks, there were many opportunities to chin-wag around coffee and snacks – whilst sharing merchandise and information. Manning our own Clear Ads table allowed us to answer enquiries about Tom’s talk and share our slides. After venturing round to other tables and gaining golden nuggets of information from the other speakers, the day ended with donuts for dinner with Benjamin Webber.
Day 2 arrived and Tom and Surafel could be found indulging in breakfast tacos, a culinary revelation that everyone in the UK office has now heard about. Buses arrived to take everyone to an open-air laser tag arena. This affair was almost as competitive as the Home & Kitchen Amazon category, exacerbated by the 35℃ temperatures which nearly reduced our team to a puddle of sweat. A well needed BBQ was then provided and the team ogled at an unhealthy mountain of doughnuts before enjoying a tex-mex buffet later that evening in a speakeasy, can anyone else see a recurring food theme going on?
On the 3rd day of the event, the morning followed the speaker/sponsor presentations format again. Later, in a “Ninja Hack ” contest, attendees were grouped together, sharing best hacks for a variety of Amazon processes: selling, shipping, getting around stock limits. Leading from this insightful and riveting competition, closing statements, a vote on the best speaker, and a catered meal followed. A change of venue led Tom and Surafel to a reception at Justine’s Secret House for more networking.
By the end of these 3 days, our account managers were exhausted and bursting with acquired knowledge, yet they still managed to wake up early the next morning to squeeze in a few last minute conversations. Below is a picture of our two account managers standing either side of Ben Webber (l) and Paul Baron from Teikametrics (r).
Reviewing Our Time at Billion Dollar Seller Summit
While there is a chance our account managers may have gained a few pounds of food in their pockets on the trip, this is incomparable to the tons of tips and tricks they received from other players in the field. Some of the people Tom and Levi had the pleasure of meeting were: Kevin King, Howard Thai, Peter Kuzy, Mark Daughn and many more. The 3 days were an intense learning experience, pushing beyond the PPC field and expanding our holistic Amazon knowledge.
Clear Ads had the best time in Austin and we are hoping to attend a plethora of other events in the future, continuing to meet like minded experts. Experiences like this are invaluable to our work and help us to keep learning and moving forward in this fast paced industry.