Way back in October, I was lucky enough to be chosen to not only represent Sheffield, but the UK, at the annual Etsy Team Captains’ Summit in Warsaw, Poland. It was a thoroughly inspiring weekend, jam-packed full of input from the staff at Etsy. It was also amazing to have the opportunity to meet fellow Team Leaders and Captains from across the continent.
Thanks to the hand outs and video presentations that were supplied after the event, me and Jayne were able to use these as a base to plan a Conference Day for our team members. This was the perfect chance to pass on the best bits of the content from my weekend in Warsaw. In addition, as neither of us can really claim to be experts in how to “do” Etsy, getting the information first hand from Etsy seemed the best way to go.
On the day
In the morning we gave a presentation about all the elements that go into creating a successful shop on Etsy… and there are quite a few! There is no one magic solution, unfortunately, but this session explained how each aspect fits together, helping to boost your shop’s ability to convert views into sales.
Jayne and I were very conscious of doing all the talking during the conference, especially as we will be the first to admit that our own shops are far from perfect! With this in mind, we invited 3 team members to take part in a panel-style Q&A. Our massive thanks to Laura (ElsieandNell), Louise (SincerelyLouise) and Ruth (NomadKnitting) for agreeing to share their experiences of selling on Etsy and running a business in general. Your candid replies to both our prepared questions and the conversations that cropped up during the session, made it our personal highlight of the day!
After lunch we had a short video presentation about “Product Myths” from Sonia Kedzierski, Group Product Manager, Retention and Loyalty. In relation to Sonia’s job title, Etsy as a website is THE product, and her job is to attract and retain as many repeat customers as possible for the platform. Sonia explains how some of this is done in the video and in the 10mins we watched, it was definitely enlightening to hear about some of the fallacies that have developed about the way Etsy works!
In the afternoon, it was all about getting interactive with two workshop exercises. The first focused on keywords. What they are, how they work… and how to choose them for your products. We asked attendees to do a little advance prep work and bring along a product from their shop, PLUS all the tags that they currently use. We then did a round table exercise trying to find new keywords for each item. I have a fab list of new ideas for my own product and I’m looking forward to testing them to see how well they work.
The second workshop was breakout session and was completed in small groups. Each group was tasked with completing a shop critique for each of the team members in another group. There’s no denying that we experienced a few teething problems to start this bit, but at least we had a good giggle about it! However, despite a rocky start, the result was that everyone received lots of advice to take away and work on in their own time.
A huge thank you to everyone who braved the vile weather to come along. Your enthusiasm and willingness to get stuck in was brilliant and made the day fly past! I think the only attendee who wasn’t that enthusiastic was poor Ziggy, the trainee assistance dog… he did spend a LOT of time snoozing! Thank you too for all the great feedback you left us. We had a little debrief immediately afterwards with Dania (our Workshop Co-ordinating committee member) and wheels are already turning.
Sadly, this event had to be put on at short notice and we know lots of team members were disappointed not to have been able to attend. However, we have some good news… we will aim to do this again, and we will give more notice of the date next time! Although a date hasn’t been set yet, if you just can’t wait, team members can find a sneaky peek of some of the content in our team space on Etsy.
We have also set the date for our next social and will be incorporating the keywords exercise into this meet up. Team members can find more information about this via our private Facebook group – everyone in the Facebook group has been sent an invitation!
Quotes from the anonymous feedback
“Thank you for a fabulous day. I feel I’ve been given so much that I can take home and put into practice”
“Would love more of these events on other topics like above. Sharing new ideas with each other is fab. Having been working on my own for the last few months, these events make the feeling of community so much more prominent! (Love the notebooks too!)”
“This has been a brilliant day. I feel I have been given a lot of practical advice that I can apply to my shop. Real value for money. Thank you for putting it on!”