Last weekend I had the honor of representing Norwegian ETSY sellers at the European ETSY team captain summit in Paris.
The trip from Oslo to Paris was rather uneventful, clear skies, a good book to read and before I knew it I was at the Charles De Gaulle airport.There I met up with another team captain who arrived around the same time, and I’m very happy I did as not only am I terrible with directions but that particular airport is huge and having lived many years in a small Norwegian town I’m just not use to navigating within large international airports. She knew the place well, and soon we were in a train on our way to Paris.
Then the Parisian thing happened, the train stopped underground and stayed there for over an hour while we sat and waited with no phone or internet connection hopping that the angry passenger behind us would calm down and find something to occupy his mind, other than harassing the poor conductor.
Eventually the train started again, and we never found out what had caused the delay. Everyone just said ‘Oh, that’s just Paris for you !’. Once again, I am happy to live in a small town !
When we arrived at the hotel we delighter to see it had been completely taken over by ETSY, we were greeted to ETSY captain summit banners, ETSY orange cushions, décor, and even ETSY coffee mugs in the lobby near the coffee machine. I went up to my room and found a tote bag, pen, notebook, a name tag and mug all in ETSY orange. Branding is important, small details not only set the mood but also act as ice-breakers and conversation starters.
The venue chosen for the summit was a charming old building, bright, spacious and fully customized with ETSY themed banners and details.
The two days summit was divided as such:
Saturday the 5th of October was an all day conference, while Sunday the 6th was dedicated to workshops.
The conference began with a reminder of ETSY’s mission and values. There are more and more online marketplaces opening up each year to tap into the popular ‘handmade’ concept, but what makes ETSY different is their well-defined values that are the deciding factor in any changes, or upgrade they make.
See a small video here: https://vimeo.com/129150033
Read more here: https://www.etsy.com/no-en/about
We were 40 lady captains from 13 different European countries and ETSY admins from offices in Brooklyn, London, Berlin, Toronto, Dublin and Paris. This gave us a well-rounded selection of expertise, and we learned a lot of new and interesting things such as how ETSY now uses several shades of orange in their branding.
As you can imagine there was a lot of questions related to the impact of Brexit, and the looming new online sale VAT ( similar to the digital sale VAT ). I personally do not understand all the details involved, but it is safe to say that there are experts working specifically to ensure that European ETSY sellers have the tools and resources needed to keep selling on the etsy platform, and lobbying the case and needs of small entrepreneurs within Europe.
A summit for me is always an equal amount of instructions and inspiration. ETSY teams are very different, many are city based while others like our own Made In Norway cover a large geographical area which defines and limits a bit the choice of activities or form of communication.
Two stories which really touched me were about the team fundraising efforts the Greek, and Italian teams had organized.
In Italy ETSY sellers donated 298 items, and raised over 2400 EUs for the August 2016 earthquakes victims. http://italiahandmade.blogspot.no/2016/08/solidarity-with-italy-earthquake-victims.html
The ETSY Greek street team sellers also donated items, which they sold and gave the proceeds toward helping the refugees through Medecin Du Monde. http://etsygreekstreetteam.blogspot.no/2015/09/egst-for-good.html
|Italy, Uk, Lithuania, Norway and France|