Sarah, Marc, Danny and I piled into our trusty steed (well Vauxhall Zafira) at 7:00am and after a pit stop for food, made it to the Lowry Hotel, Manchester where we were due to be hosting the first of our regional DMA Email Customer Lifecycle seminars.

And what a masterclass it was! Kudos to marketers in the North, as unlike previous sessions in London these guys were not just on-time, but early. After some caffeine (as well as some rather nice pastries) and networking, chair of the day David Patrick from DMA North kicked us off. Throughout the afternoon, David chaired extremely well and never failed to ask the questions we were all thinking after each speaker finished.

Stand-out email marketing review sessions

The stand-out session for me was Stefan Elliot from Six Serving Men on customer engagement. He certainly was engaging and had the whole room involved in his presentation which included a live game of ‘Play Your Cards Right’ – fantastic.

At the end of the day, our very own Marc Munier hosted a bonus email marketing review session (which was a trial for us, as it’s something we’ve not done before in London) on social media and how it can be used with email marketing solutions. The feedback so far has been amazing, and it’s great to know that at the end of 3 hours of presentations, people were still totally switched on and asking lots of questions about how we use social media ourselves. It was a very interactive session with the audience not only asking questions, but also sharing their own experiences with social media and email.

Attendee Steve Sherry summed the day up nicely: “I attended the ECL in Manchester yesterday and thought it was fantastic, especially the social media session at the end. I’m putting in place plans to extend my use of Twitter, all thanks to you.”

All presentations from the day can be found here:
The email marketing gang head to ECommerce Expo North

After that exhausting day, we needed a huge dinner and a good night’s kip. Feeling refreshed the next day, we jumped back in our trusty steed and were quickly set up at ECommerce Expo North for a day of meeting online retailers, some of whom had travelled from as far as London. We spoke to a lovely and varied bunch of people throughout the day, from those who were thinking of breaking into ecommerce and wanted to build their following, to those who already had a following but wanted to become better email marketers.
Who was there?

The show was packed in the morning, making it hard to actually move around the exhibition area during conference breakout sessions.

Outside of our stand where we were handing out the advice on email marketing solutions, some interesting exhibitors that I spoke to included SecureTrading (a flexible and support-focused alternative to the likes of World Pay, these guys were all over Twitter at the show) and Koko Digital (viral specialists from Staffs who create advergames for brands including Chris Moyles), who were also one of the main sponsors of the event. It was really refreshing to see new media bods amongst the usual ecommerce software providers.

The Shopzilla stand was jam-packed for the whole show. I’d have liked to have spoken to them about what they did but they were always too busy, which is surely a good sign. They had a great stand position next to the keynote entrance, as well as some awesome promo items in the form of little plastic dudes for cleaning your computer screen and keyboard – I’ve named mine Bernie & Ernie.
What were the key themes at ECommerce Expo North?

Home delivery was a huge feature in the keynotes, and was supported by a plethora of exhibition stands, but what struck us most was the high level of interest in marketing techniques and measuring their success. Google hosted a session on both Analytics and Adwords, during which time the exhibition floor all but emptied out, with people being turned away at the session entrance.

There was also a large turnout for all three email marketing sessions, even though two of them were right at the end of the day when the show was beginning to wind down. The people we spoke to were really on the ball when it came to wanting to improve their marketing techniques, which echoed from our DMA Masterclass the day before.
At the end of the day

We were so excited by the people we met in Manchester that we came home talking about a visit to Leeds! The city, people and events totally bowled us over – although we needed a weekend to recover from it all, we’re sure to head up there again.

If you attended either of the events in Manchester last week, then please share your experiences below. We’d love to hear about them!