Thursday, December 29, 2011

My top 5 “Rock Star” moments of 2011

My job brings me a fantastic opportunity to experience great moments, due to having a wide network of friends and my constant travelling. This year (according to my LinkedIn travelapp) I covered a distance of 240,088 km’s.  Here are my personal Top 5 “rock star” moments for 2011

Our friend Michele Hamdorf invited my wife Jan-Marie and I to a special cocktail party for about 20 people to meet Dita Von Teese. She was amazing, a true Diva. Her dress range is exceptional, which I describe as classic sexy - like the lady herself.

#4 Thievery Corporation 2/8/11 at Metro Melbourne
My friend Jet Troth invited me to meet Rob from Thievery Corporation and Rob invited us backstage (and onstage) to watch them play to a packed crowd at the Metro in Melbourne, we then went bar hopping with the band. What a great night.

#3 The Book of Mormon - Broadway show 17/11/11 New York
The winner of 9 Tony awards this musical is a must see if you visit NYC. My friend Mindy Hersh and I had killer seats in the box overlooking the stage. The funniest show I have been to. Love it!

#2 Jim Stynes speaking at our charity event.

Each year Kimberly Palmer and I conduct a charity event. This year we raised close to $30,000 for the Reach Foundation. Jim Stynes gave a speech about his life and The Reach Foundation. Jim delivered an amazing speech that brought tears to most in the room.

# 1 Frank Lo Porto boxing World title fight El Paso Texas 11/11/2011

The best boxing gym in Melbourne, BoxingFit’s owner Mick Hargraves invited me to Frank’s world title fight in El Paso Texas. As I was due to fly from Vegas to NYC the same day - it was a no brainer.  Mick is Frank’s trainer and about 12 other Australians travelled to El Paso to watch the fight.   

We arrived at the stadium and I noticed a sign that said. “No unlicensed firearms allowed” El Paso is truly in the Wild West. Mick invited us backstage to watch Frank’s preparation.  The atmosphere was amazing, the tension and excitement you could cut with a knife. After about an hour we gathered with Frank to walk him up to the ring waving Australian flags and cheering him on. About 5,000 Texans were there support the local defending champion Austin “no doubt” Trout.  We received a resounding boo from the locals as we approached the ring, marching to the sound of AC/DC’s Hells Bells. I was out of my skin excited! One of the local lads yelled as I was taking my seat ringside, “Send him back to Europe! In the excitement of the moment I turned to him and said, “It’s Australia you idiot not Austria! He then replied in true American fashion “Go F…. yourself”

Frank was touted by Australian & US newspapers as the "Rocky Story". He was not expected to win but had his chance at the title. Frank lasted 6.5 rounds before the referee called a TKO. Frank won the respect of the locals as the rounds past because he would not go down or give up against Trout, who was clearly a champion.  I was proud to watch this great Australian athlete and who despite the pain - would not give up.  Thanks Frank for providing me with inspiration to carry on into my fitness, family and work life into 2012 and beyond.

Thanks to Mick and his wife Selena the team and members from BoxingFit for what was a once in a lifetime experience.

BTW if you want to get fit and lose weight get down to Boxingfit. I have lost over 20 kilos in the last 2 years because of boxing and eating Jim Stynes Muesli.

Introduction of 4 hour workshops to PeSA 2012

I am pleased to announce that the PeSA internet conference will be expanding to include 4 hour optional workshops.

John Lawson will conduct session stream A "Social Persuasion Commerce: How to establish authority, influence and sell more" 

  • 10am - 12pm Morning session
  • 12.00 - 1pm Networking Lunch
  • 1pm – 3pm Afternoon session
At 3:30pm the general conference will begin.

We look forward to seeing you at PeSA 2012.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The PeSA Internet Conference 2012 update

New website live by the end of November.

2012 event theme:

Multiple Channels.  Multiple Opportunities.

In order to be a successful online merchant in 2012, businesses need to adopt a multi channel approach to selling online. Best practice dictates that selling only on eBay or your own website limits your sales opportunities.

The PeSA Internet Conference will be in its sixth year in 2012. From humble beginnings of approx 100 delegates per city in 2007, the Conference saw over 545 delegates in 2011. We expect this to in 2012, to 750 delegates. This will be achieved through a continually expanding program and a combination of promotional means, attracting both repeat and new delegates.

Unlike other conferences, PeSA is focused on practicality – the HOW to sell online, not the THEORY of selling online. Whilst we share some case studies and market data, the content is focused on helping people learn and immediately apply what they’ve learned to their business. This is not a future focused/trends conference – it is what’s happening NOW in the online retail environment.

Due to continuing evolution of the online retail market, 2011 saw PeSA make a shift towards a wider focus on Conference content, adding to traditional eBay, PayPal, shipping and mutli-channel tools focused sessions topics with:

·      SEO
·      Email marketing
·      Analytics
·      Social Media
·      Online case studies

PeSA Internet Conference Pricing

The early bird pricing for PeSA Internet Conference is $395 till 28 February, 2012. The regular price is $495 till 30 April 2012.
Last minute sales will be at $595, as we need to advise venue of the final numbers by this stage.

PeSA Internet Conference Pricing is a combination of ‘eBay legacy’ and a commitment to affordability.

As eBay has been the key partner since launch, eBay have had a significant impact on the development of the conference. An early requirement of eBay was to keep the cost for delegates as low as possible. As the Conference has grown, and we’ve expanded the offering and continued to lift professionalism.

However, we’re committed to keeping the conference affordable – and in fact PeSA Internet Conference is HALF the price of the nearest “competitor”, ensuring this is a truly democratic event within reach of small sellers.

PeSA has also avoided the tactic of offering “free” exhibition passes. Exhibitors are not simply buying space – we engage to ensure they are as integrated into the Conference program as possible. As such, exhibitors gain much greater exposure than simply those they engage with at their stand.

PeSA Internet Conference Location – Why the Gold Coast?

The decision to host the Conference in 2011 on the Gold Coast was due to a number of factors, including:

·      Relative affordability of professional convention centre in comparison to Melbourne & Sydney
·      Majority of delegates 60% and many sponsors travelling to either Melbourne or Sydney already (no firm “home” ground in either capital)
·      30% of PeSA delegates coming from Qld, but not having staged an event there previously
·      Relatively affordability of travel to, and accommodation at, the Gold Coast.
·      Lack of non-convention centre sized venues that were able to accommodate growing PeSA numbers

These factors combined to make the most successful PeSA event yet. In fact, the overwhelming feedback (70%) from both delegates AND sponsors was that they wanted to attend the conference on the Gold Coast again in 2012. The reasons supplied centered around the following:

·      A chance to really focus on being at PeSA, away from demands of business/personal lives in a home city.
·      Good range of affordable accommodation close to venue meaning people could easily walk.
·      Cheap flights from all destinations to the Gold Coast
·      Delegates more amenable to attending all elements of the conference, not skipping the start or end to catch flights
·      Sponsors in particular felt they had a great chance to network with delegates and other sponsors.
·      An opportunity to extend the stay by 1-2 days and enjoy a warmer weekend in the midst of winter.

    Content: Proposed agenda
·      Whilst the final speaker line up will take until early 2012 to finalise, below are some of our confirmed presenters, streams and our draft planned event schedule for 2012.
·      New 2012 Speakers Confirmed
     Gabby Leibovich – Catch of the Day
Simon Smith – Quantium
Griff – eBay’s 1st employee
Sheridyn Fisher - eBay success   (fashion)
Modi & Melissa – (fashion)
Steve Price – Radio MTR & 7PM project
Adam Hersh - Posterrevolution .com

Amanda Suefong - Ecommerce Manager at Lenovo
Laura Yeomans - Country Manager, ShopStyle Australia  (fashion)
Stewart Duff  - General Manager Multichannel  at  Bevilles Pty Ltd
Jim Stewart – Stewarts Media
Paul Greenberg – Deals Direct

·      Streams
·      1. All eBay
·      2. Online Retailing
·      3. Marketing & Social Media
·      4. Fully interactive

Wednesday 30 May 2012
Content, Plenary, Breaks
Stand building by exhibition companies
Exhibitor bump in/stand set up
Conference registrations open & Expo Exploration
PeSA Welcome
PeSA International keynote
eBay opening keynote
Welcome Drinks & canapes & Expo exploration

Thursday 31 May 2012
Content, Plenary, Breaks
Stream Sessions x 4
Final registration

PeSA Welcome

Australia Post Keynote


Morning Tea

4 streams / 3 sessions each (12 sessions)
Lunch break & Expo Exploration

4 streams / 2 sessions each (8 sessions)
Afternoon tea & expo exploration



Close day 1


Friday 1 June, 2012
Content, Plenary, Breaks
Stream Sessions x 4
PeSA Welcome



Morning Tea

4 streams / 3 sessions each (12 sessions)
Lunch break & Expo Exploration

4 streams / 2 sessions each (8 sessions)
Closing Keynote

Official Close

Afternoon tea & expo exploration

Exhibitor bump out

Networking Drinks (off site)

Expo company pack down