Global eCommerce Summit (GES): Chairing a roundtable

I was pleased to be invited to the GES in Monaco, an attempt by our friends and and BBP of the Netherlands to work with EMOTA and other associations to create a pan-European high level conference in a similar vein to the big US conferences (like and Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, IRCE).


The venue was astounding and the weather, erm, “convivial” to say the least. The hotel/resort had much of the US golf/leisure complex feel of Florida-based conferences, but I’m stunned to discover that the costs of putting on an event in Monaco are so much cheaper than London, Amsterdam or Barcelona. Mental note for the future, even if the destination has unfortunate resonances in a time of parsimony and corporate belt-tightening.

The speaker list was excellent, the company stimulating and the conference venue was just excellent, if a little on the massive-and-vacant side. Stepping out onto sun-drenched balconies, of course, removed even the slightest, curmudgeonly tendency to complain 😉

Some images from the Summit below, and more photos available on my Flickr set (

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Internet Retailing 2009 – our best conference to date

October’s conference season’s highlight (for me, anyway) was the fourth Internet Retailing conference – IR2009.

While I’m of course biased (!) the conference saw our highest attendance (just under 1,000 in total, with 450 full delegates), an expanded roster of exhibitors and, crucially, the introduction of our plenary keynote session to open the day. Novotel Show_2009_013.jpg

We were privileged and inspired to hear from Peter Fitzgerald (Retail Industry Head at Google UK), Jane Judd who heads customer service at Zappos and Robin Terrell, MD of John Lewis Direct. Any of these speakers alone would have made a wonderful conference opener, but to have all three was a luxury (one that we intend to repeat in future years – I think we now realise that one can’t have too much of a good thing!).

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Peter, above, gave us Google’s view on the ever-increasing pace of change, and the need for retailers continually to ‘up their game’ to remain competitive. A chilling message, delivered with Peter’s usual charm and clarity.

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Robin wowed the audience with his combination of shared insights and facts (his openness was astounding and very highly praised) along with a down-to-earth pragmatism about the tasks and challenges ahead. I won’t précis his speech (you can see the full video on the conference since) but I’ve never seen before 1,000 people, as one, dive to write notes at a speaker’s every utterance.

Robin’s speech was one of the best keynotes I’ve seen and one of the most highly-rated ever at our conference.

Jane, below, took a few moments to introduce us to the Zappos way and then peeled layer after layer away to reveal a characterful and savvy underpinning to “The Zappos Way”.

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For the rest of the day it was intense networking as well as note-taking and idea-exchanging in the three parallel streams. Here are some photos from the day…

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Morten Kamper, CEO of the Danish eCommerce and Distance Selling Federation (FDIH) asking a question of the keynote speakers

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Mark “Many Phones” Pigou, my business partner in InternetRetailing and the conference promoter. Odd to see him smiling until the very last stand is down and the feedback is in…

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Mike “Dr Mike” Baxter, redoutable Stream Chair, engaged on a panel…

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Rob “I’m Listening” Prevett, IR’s Account Director, personing the stand at the show…


… and humour (plus marketing budget!) from Jacob Salamon at Bazaarvoice. They’ve enlivened our conference for the last couple of years with “Badge Flares” – adhesive messages for the bottom of delegate badges – but this year pulled an “homage”. Great fun, and I’ve used this image in lieu of a business card for a while since. Thanks Jacob 😉

The 2010 conference information is already available at and I’m looking forward already to building on the success of 2009 to make our fifth annual event even better!

London College of Fashion – speaking

For the last couple of years I’ve spoken at the invitation of the London College of Fashion to their final year students on an aspect of eCommerce.

This year I spoke on “The Future of Internet Retailing – considerations for fashion (r)etailing”.

Great audience and some excellent questions, and of course the deck’s available on Slideshare:


Closing keynote at the Bazaarvoice Social Commerce Summit

Last year I spoke at the Bazaarvoice Social Media Summit event at the Magic Circle, so I was pleased to return this year for an enlarged event, held at the wonderful Shakespeare’s Globe.

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The day’s agenda is here: and you can also see photos of the event on the Flickr set –

Ze Frank’s presentation was excellent: dynamic, engaging and inspiring – and delivered with energy and humour. His life is a blend of conceptual art, social experiments and situationalist improv. I rather fancy being him if and when I ever grow up. Surely, the biggest plus point of the interwebs is that they provide a milieu for minds like Ze’s to thrive?

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I developed some themes from earlier in the year – epiphenomenology in particular – linking this to the idea of engagement and the challenges of relevance, culminating in the ‘profit per engagement-second’ metric suggestion.

Sam Decker’s given a great round-up of the day on the BV blog –

Congratulations to the BV team (and the ‘master of ceremonial preparation’, Jacob Salamon, for organising such a fun event.

UPDATE: some nice real-time responses to my presentation on Twitter:

Brett Hurt
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Justin Goring

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Björn Woltermann

FDIH – keynote at the 2009 eCommerce Conference in Copenhagen

I was extremely pleased to be invited to speak at the Danish eCommerce Federation’s (FDIH) annual conference in Copenhagen on 30 September/1 October by my friend, Morten Kamper, FDIH’s Director.


I was still enthusing about my experiences of FDIH, Copenhagen and the knowledgeable Danish eCommerce community from my April visit, but the opportunity to speak alongside Trevor Johnson of Facebook and Neil Morgan of Omniture made participation a ‘must do’.

The venue was once again the IT University – great location and wonderful facilities.


As usual there was the amazing Danish welcome, the stupendously beautiful weather for a pre-conference afternoon’s wanderings with the Minolta CLE (which rather showed its 20+ years’ age and developed a shutter timing problem – and therefore a trip to RG Lewis upon return for ‘Clean, Lubricate, Adjust’).

Images from the conference, including me in full flow, are available here:

While I didn’t get invited to the Climate Conference later in the month, I can’t wait for an opportunity to go back to Copenhagen. I was however pleased to see Morten later in the month both at InternetRetailing’s 2009 conference and then in Monaco. October was a gruelling conference month!