Depending on who you ask, Prosper is the number one conference for Amazon sellers. Others are bigger, but they have wider audiences. They aren't exclusively designed for people like us.
Here's a recap on what we saw and heard, themes from the event, and whether you should plan to attend a conference of your own in the future.
The SmartScout team ready to show the world what we've got!
The biggest thing we saw was energy! People are happy to be out of their homes, to be able to interact with large groups, and meet with people face to face. Even though Covid-19 is still a concern for many people, particularly with the Delta variant driving up cases in many parts of the world, Amazon sellers are primed and ready to improve their businesses. Ryan Gnesin from Elevate Brands said it best during Casino in the Clouds: "We thought selling on Amazon was in it's golden age a couple years ago, but I say the Golden Age is now!"
There were many talks and presentations given and dozens of service providers like us offering their tools, but there were definitely consistent themes.
Standing out - The costs of advertising on Amazon have risen sharply from the massive growth in sales last year. With the growth of the marketplace, it's also important to have optimized listings, understanding of keywords...basically showing people why you have the best offer vs another listing. If you haven't already, it's time to dig into all those topics and make sure you have a firm grasp of it all.
Buyers - Not buying products...buying sellers. Brand acquisition is becoming one of the biggest stories of the Amazon space. If you believe you've grown your modestly successful business as much as you can, now may be the time for you to sell. A typical buyout would net at least 2 years worth of sales, and could be the exit some people are looking for.
Conferences can be expensive: registration fees, travel, accommodations, the ridiculous price of food in Vegas... you can drop a few thousand dollars in a couple days even if you're trying to be cost-efficient. So what are the pros of attending an event like Prosper?
Most of it comes down to having face to face interactions. It's one thing to watch a YouTube video of someone, but it's completely different being able to interact in real life. We had many people drop by our booth just because they wanted to meet our President, Scott Needham. Some didn't even know what SmartScout is, they just wanted to meet they guy whose podcast they've been listening to. A real interaction can tell you so much about a person, like whether a certain "guru" is sincere or just repeating buzz words. It can also help you stand out in someone's mind. "Hey, remember me from Prosper? I could really use your help with..." can get more attention and assistance than a typical cold email.
The randomness of conventions can also introduce you to things you wouldn't have found otherwise. There will be service providers you've never heard of. Someone you sit next to during a presentation might become a mentor, or partner. You might hear strategies you've heard before, but knowing that someone made that the focus of a presentation can give a renewed perspective on its importance.
For our part, we had a great time meeting everyone at the event. We met everyone from brand new sellers who've never heard of us to representatives of major companies who love using our product. It was fantastic to see eyes light up when future customers see the value of Subcategories, or the Traffic Graph. We also got ideas on how we can improve SmartScout to better meet your needs. In the coming months, you'll see better tools and trainings come out of what we learned from the conference.
We'll be at many more conferences in the future, including RetailX and ASGTG next month, let us know if you'll be at any of them, and we'd love to meet you!
P.S. Casino in the Clouds was amazing!
We had such a fun night of games, hanging out with cool people, and winning some prizes. We can't wait to host more events in the future. Thank you to everyone who made it a possibility!