Mastering eCommerce Events in 2024: Tips, Picks, and Strategies with Chloë Thomas, eCommerce MasterPlan (episode 473)

Listen to hear Chloe’s tips on:

  • Which events to attend
  • How to make the most of them
  • How to reduce your carbon footprint whilst doing it.
  • PLUS her take on the top events of 2024

See Chloë’s full list, and the ones she recommended on the podcast, here

Chloe Thomas eCMP on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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Dive in:

[06:21] Tips for choosing and maximising upcoming industry events.
[18:52] Must-attend UK events.
[23:45] Must-attend events in the USA.
[26:43] Making the most of virtual events.
[31:20] Taking an eco-approach to attending events.

How to pick your events and make the most of them

What events should you attend?

Chloë offers tips for working out what events you should attend:

  • Define business objectives for the year.
  • Ensure that you align your chosen events with your goals. Chloë categorizes events into three types: topic-specific, big shows, and platform-led conferences. Topic-specific events are recommended for in-depth exploration of different subject areas. Big shows provide an opportunity to explore various aspects of eCommerce and gain inspiration. Attend at least one big show for the valuable headspace it provides. Lastly, consider platform-led conferences specific to your core software tools for a more targeted and beneficial experience.
  • Consider budget constraints and time investments. Plan to allot 4-5 days across the year attending events. If you have a team, plan for them to attend events as well because these are beneficial to the business as a whole.

How do you maximise these events?

To make the most of attending these events, Chloë offers some practical tips:

  • Assess the peripheral activities around the main conference. Think about the potential value of unconference events and various networking opportunities.
  • Commit to the event you attend. Make travel and accommodation adjustments plans based on personal needs. Clear your work diary, avoid the temptation to bring a laptop, and embrace a dedicated event mindset are crucial for full engagement. 
  • Planning is key. Leave room for spontaneous interactions.

Attend at least one event each year and feel the sense of community within the eCommerce industry.

Must-attend eCommerce events in the UK

Chloë highlights her picks for must-attend ecommerce events in the UK, offering a diverse range of options. She mentions:

  • IRX (Internet Retailing Expo): Held on May 22nd-23rd in Birmingham, a free event with a busy first day and quieter second day.
  • eTail: Scheduled for June 25th-26th in London, a paid event attracting retailers with valuable networking opportunities.
  • eCommerce Expo: Taking place on September 18th-19th in London, a free show with great conference content and numerous stands.
  • Shoptalk Europe: A paid event happening in Barcelona in June, a massive gathering with a focus on retail.
  • Vervaunt Pulse eCommerce Summit: Gaining significant attention, happening in the first half of the year.
  • Meet Magento UK: An excellent event for those in the Magento space.
  • Direct Commerce Association Summit: Targeting the mail order industry, offering valuable learning and content.
  • Drapers Events: Recommended for those in the fashion industry in the UK.

Check our email newsletter for updates on specific events.

Must-attend eCommerce events in the USA

Chloë shares her must-attend ecommerce events in the USA, despite not personally attending them. She recommends:

  • NRF (National Retail Federation) in New York: A significant retail and eCommerce event, though it might be late for current tickets, it’s worth keeping on the radar for the next year.
  • Shoptalk in Las Vegas: A prominent event in the US, focusing on retail and eCommerce.
  • NEMOA (National Etailing and Mailing Organization of America): The US counterpart of the Direct Commerce Association in the UK, emphasizing complex data and mailing strategies.

Explore eCommerce Tech’s event section for a comprehensive list of US events.

Virtual eCommerce events and how to maximise their benefits

Chloë shares her picks for must-attend virtual events in 2024 and provides bonus tips for maximizing the experience:

  • Focus on content. Prioritize events based on the content that aligns with your needs.
  • Be selective. Sign up for virtual events strategically, considering their relevance to your objectives.
  • Schedule replay time. Block time in your diary to watch replays and ensure you follow through.
  • Minimize distractions. Turn off distractions while watching, ensuring full focus on the content.
  • Be brutal in selection. If a session doesn’t meet your expectations, feel free to leave without worrying about offending anyone.

The eCommerce Explored panel webinar series, held monthly, covers current eCommerce topics. Replays from previous sessions and upcoming events can be found at

How to take an eco-approach to it all

Chloë provides eco-friendly tips for event attendance:

  • Evaluate necessity: Consider whether attending an event is essential, factoring in travel distance and the event’s value.
  • Choose sustainable travel: Opt for trains, electric cars, walking, or public transport over planes or petrol cars.
  • Avoid false economies: Prioritize well-being over saving carbon, avoiding choices that compromise your effectiveness at the event.
  • Carry reusable Items: Bring refillable water bottles and travel mugs, minimizing single-use items and waste.
  • Limit swag: Resist unnecessary event freebies unless they serve a practical purpose to reduce waste.
  • Mindful note-taking: Use stone paper notebooks, like the ones from Moyu, or tablets with quick page turns for efficient, sustainable note-taking.
  • Thoughtful business cards: Reuse business cards, print in smaller quantities, and consider digital alternatives to minimize waste.
  • Offset carbon emissions: Offset the carbon footprint of your travel through eco-friendly initiatives to contribute to sustainability.

The most sustainable approach begins with questioning the necessity of attending an event and includes various small changes to reduce environmental impact.

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