Content is king

IRCE 1For a few days each June, the emerging and major players across the eCommerce market converge upon McCormick Plaza in downtown Chicago for a few days to attend workshops, share expertise and listen to numerous industry thought leaders give engaging presentations on a wide scope of topics. IRCE 2015 was no different.We at AdLift couldn’t wait to escape San Francisco’s June Gloom for some great industry insight and interesting conversations on what solutions our SEO agency can provide for the eCommerce market.Our calendars are marked well in advance for IRCE every year, but this year we were especially giddy at the featured speakers —namely, the keynote address by Jason Goldberger of Target Corp., and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder and executive chairman of Reddit on How the Front Page of the Internet Mobilizes for Positive Change — among the other 200 presenters handpicked by the editors at Internet Retailer magazine.More than 600 companies attended IRCE 2016, including industry giants like Staples, WalMart, The Home Depot, Walgreens, Groupon, Adidas Group, Ticketmaster, Wrigley, Nikon, Inc., Gap, Kraft Foods Group, and hundreds of other companies offering eCommerce solutions in marketing, social, eCommerce platforms, SEM, fulfillment and merchandising.We sat down with our Senior Account Executive, Eugene Quiambao, on how this year’s IRCE went.IRCE 2 Eugene excited for what the first day at IRCE will bring.So, how was the turnout this year?Really good. The foot traffic was amazing both days. A lot of lively, engaging conversations with all kinds of companies—Verizon, Weight Watchers, HEB, —making the turnout a success across the board.Was this your first time attending IRCE? What was your impression of the event?This was my fourth time overall, but second with AdLift, so I definitely have a good feel for what the event’s all about. I will say that I’m noticing a trend in companies taking SEO more seriously, allocating more of a budget and resources to their SEO efforts. We received a ton of leads last year, but the conversations were better this year. Most of the people I spoke with put more of an emphasis on search compared with last year’s dialogues.What impressed you or stood out regarding the event?The brands. I wasn’t able to attend any of the speaking events or workshops unfortunately, but I would say all the major brands that attended. There’s a buzz just being in the room. There’s a lot of excitement and expertise oozing from all angles—it’s motivating to be around.IRCE 3What was AdLift’s goal heading into IRCE?Brand awareness. At all trade shows the homerun for us is obviously to get conversions or leads from the show that we can eventually convert. But in general, I think we were looking to expose ourselves further into the digital marketing space. We used to attend strictly search engine trade shows. But now we’re starting to attend a wider range of events. People are recognizing us more and more in these diverse spaces., IRCE—these events help immensely.We’ve done a great job to-date exposing ourselves and establishing healthy working relationships with clients like PayPal and Air bnb, but we’re looking to build rapport with more medium-sized business as well. Those are the business we really feel like we can help because they’re trying to enter a high-growth stage. We know we can help these growing companies distinguish themselves from their competitors and affect the general perception of their brand to ultimately drive their sales revenue. IRCE has helped us kickstart our lead generation to find these comparable-sized companies needing help positioning their brand.Were there any big giveaways at the event?A lot of vendors were giving away stuff. IRCE was giving away these green jeans every day. On the last day you could wear the green jeans to the big event at Carnivale for a chance to win $10,000. There were at least 500 people there for the last hurrah/networking event. The environment literally resembled a carnival. My neck is still stiff from that night [chuckles].IRCE 4IRCE 2016 will take place June 7-10 at McCormick Place West in Chicago.