A record attendance of 600 men and women packed into The Palace, an elegant venue on MacDonald avenue in Borough Park to hear from an impressive roster of eCommerce experts and leaders last Tuesday night.
The 5th annual eCommerce conference and expo was hosted by Crown Heights Young Entrepreneurs (CHYE) the Jewish Community Council (JCC) Marine Park and sponsored by PCS Wireless, SellerCloud, Focus Camera, Saul Friedman & Co., and Collive. Drawing attendees from Crown Heights, Borough Park, Flatbush, Lakewood, the Five Towns, and elsewhere, the event was crowded with people hungry to learn and be inspired.
The organizers of the conference went all out this year and spared no expense. The evening began at 4 pm with eCommerce seminars led by successful entrepreneurs featuring topics, such as Amazon selling for beginners, e-tail, and business development. There was also a seminar about selling on Amazon catered to participants with more advanced background knowledge.
While most participants attended the conference to satisfy their craving for information about eCommerce, they left satiated in more ways than one. Following the seminars, attendees were greeted by a sumptuous gourmet kosher buffet complete with an open bar.
During the meal, participants were free to mingle and schmooze as they browsed trade show booths stationed by various vendors. They also had the option of attending breakaway workshops from 6:30 to 8:00 about subjects such as handling Amazon suspensions, sales tax realities for eCommmerce businesses, and how to ensure an eCommerce operation is profitable.
At 8 pm, participants heard from a dynamic panel of experts who discussed and debated the current state of eCommerce moderated by Ron Hans, Vice President, Markets at PCS Wireless. Panelists included Eli Nash CEO Jeg & Sons, Saul N. Friedman CPA and senior partner SNFCO, Victor Rosenman CEO and founder of Feedvisor, Jay Gellman CEO of and Chaim Pikarski CEO of CA Marketing.
The lively, and at times feisty, panel was followed by break-away round-table discussions and Q&As. Tables were arranged by topic, each one featuring a different industry leader who answered questions related to a specific area of expertise, such as Amazon compliance, the implications of the new Trump tax laws for small and medium size businesses, transitioning from wholesale to retail, navigating eBay, branding in the age of Amazon, product sourcing, selling private label products on Amazon, multi-channel selling and more. Participants perused the tables and networked for the rest of the night.
Levi Goldberg from Crown Heights who has been dabbling in eCommerce for the past year said he attended the event to learn more about how to start his own eCommerce business. He thought the event provided him with a golden opportunity to “learn from the trials and errors of those who have already been there and done that. [Hearing from the experts] was very helpful and provided me with the confidence and support I need to start embarking on my own venture.”
Participant, Mendy Shochet, also from Crown Heights, works in wholesale closeouts selling office supplies and electronics. For Mendy, the highlight of the night was networking with other participants. “[It was] great to meet people from other fields, learn from one another and get our names out there.”
The co-hosts and organizers who helped made this event possible are pleased with the strong turnout and the reaction from the community.
“The eCommerce space has seen continuous sustained growth year after year and shows no sign of abating,” said Yitzy Weinberg, Assistant Executive Director of the JCC of Marine Park.”So many Yidden are already making a parnassa from selling online and the numbers keep on growing. B"H our eCommerce conference and expo really affords both amateurs and more advanced Amazon and online sellers an opportunity to learn new information and techniques while also networking with like-minded people and vendors. The feedback we received both at the event and afterwards has been especially gratifying. Vendors and attendees related that they walked away with valuable insights and connections, not to mention a delicious meal!”
“We wanted to reach both the beginners just getting into eCommerce as well as people that have spent more time in the field who feel they have more to learn,” explained Rabbi Yehoshua Werde, co-host of the event. “And, tonight I think we achieved exactly that, providing options and value for beginners as well as veteran eCommerce sellers.”
“This event was a testimony to the massive growth of eCommerce within the frum community,” said Shea Rubenstein, founder of JCC Marine Park. “And the feedback was extremely positive.”