eBay Live! was for years the one time of year that buyers, sellers, third party service providers came together with eBay themselves in a part sales, part educational and part social gathering.
Traditionally it was a time for the eBay luvvies to show how much eBay meant to them, but at the last event in Chicago they stayed away and it was a much more subdued affair. At the time there was much speculation that it would be the last eBay Live! but a date in August 2010 in Orlando, Florida was announced, with a year off in 2009.
Now eBay Live! appears to be officially dead and buried. Today Lorrie Norrington cancelled eBay Live! replacing it with a series of “eBay: On Location” events with the tag line “The event of the year just got better”.
Kicking off in Orlando in February (the venue smacks of saving face), eBay: On Location will tour the States with the aim of an event being “no more than a days drive away” for as many buyers and sellers as possible.
It’ll be interesting to see how much of eBay Live! is retained, and how many third parties attend each event. Much of the value of eBay Live! wasn’t the educational sessions but the opportunity to network both with buyers and sellers as well as companies who could help grow your business. If that’s missing the chances are conferences organised by third party providers such as ChannelAdvisor and Infopia or seller groups such as PESA and the IMA will become the must attend events of the year for the serious business seller.
It’s no real surprise the eBay Live! has been canceled, much of the fun has been replaced with a more business like attitude and in the current economic climate it’s unlikely more eBayers would travel to Florida than attended in Chicago in 2008.
All the glitz hasn’t gone though, the finale of eBay: On Location will be a party, held in San Jose in August, to celebrate eBay’s 15th anniversary so that’s one date which will definitely be worth attending if you don’t make it to a local event.