Did you know that there were 190 Shopify Meetups organized in 32 countries and 94 cities in 2019?
The Shopify Partners Meetup in Hanoi was the latest Shopify meetup and it took place last Saturday on December 21st. For this meetup, PageFly and BoostCommerce Shopify partners stayed laser focused on connecting Shopify partners to build partnerships and grow the community.
3 Teams from the Indian Shopify ecosystem also joined our meetup which made the overall atmosphere in the room more diversified. In summary, we gathered partners who serve over 100,000 Shopify merchants - 10% of all Shopify merchants.
Now, let’s dig into details with insights from the gathering and Shopify meetup organization best practices ;)
The inception. It all started with a small group.
Myself and Tri from BoostCommerce were chatting from time to time, exchanging insights and best practices for building business in the Shopify ecosystem. After multiple chats we came to the decision to organize the Shopify meetup again in Hanoi.
This time, we decided to make it Shopify partner focused, connecting business owners who do business on Shopify. Our partner manager Namra Deka also supported us a lot (a true hero behind the scenes) by connecting partners and raising the awareness about the meetup.
In my list there were some names that I wanted to call for speakers. The topics covered the main challenges as a Shopify partner.
Here’s an example. My topic was Marketing Strategies for growing a Shopify App from 0 to 25k users with stories of our growth marketing strategies and tactics to grow PageFly. In my presentation I shared what worked for us and what didn’t, so partners would better understand how to market their Shopify solutions.
Pre - event Shopify Partners dinner sponsored by Shopify
Connections are made easier when a group of people is small. Some Shopify partners decided to meet in person one day before the meetup at a warm dinner with vegetarian cuisine.
Shopify Meetup Day. Whoo hoo...
The meetup happened on Saturday morning. Most companies don’t work on this day, and late morning 9AM was the perfect time for those who live far away from the meetup location so they could join as well. We started with networking sessions in the room with partners from different segments of the ecosystem including Shopify themes, apps, services and content.
In the center, Jignesh from Webcontrive, a Shopify Expert. You can get to know them through Shopify apps as well. One of their apps is Rivyo Product Reviews with a 4.9 rating on the Shopify Apps store.
Meanwhile Tony and Rose were double checking the details of the slide content. The nature of the Shopify ecosystem in Vietnam is localization, so slides from speakers will be presented in Vietnamese. At the meetup there were foreigners and need for English translation. Thus, we worked together to prepare for live cabin translation.
In this way the speaker doesn't have to “pause” while waiting for the translator to do the job. Instead, the speaker can talk smoothly from beginning to end.
Event’s Team were in charge of preparing the tea, coffee, and sweets for attendees.
At around 9:35AM the warm up session started. As per concept of our meetup we organized a mini game including questions around the Shopify ecosystem, and our partners. The questions might be “how many businesses are active on Shopify?” And through Kahoot service we connect people with learning goals.
The winners were Sam from Avada.io, Khang from The4.co and Phu from Meowcart.
Right after the warm up, MC introduced our first speaker, Namra Deka, Shopify Partner Manager APAC with the latest news from Shopify. To build long term business, the community needs to understand the direction of Shopify and how things are going. Namra shared valuable insights which support better business decisions for Shopify partners.
The BoostCommerce team has established remote workflow with remote around the world. Tri, co - founder of BoostCommerce shared the topic of “How to build remote culture as a Shopify app company”.
Anne from the Halosoft Team. This team is behind the best selling Shopify theme on ThemeForest marketplace named Ella Theme.
Amit from Expert Village Media. They are Shopify Experts and this time Amit shared the best practices for building a Shopify agency. Amit is my friend and a very passionate partner with knowledge contribution back to the community mindset. He has been organizing many Shopify meetups in India as well.
Finalizing the meetup was Uyen from FireApps Team. An experienced Shopify partner with lots experience in dropshipping and building Shopify apps. They shared a great example of how affiliate marketing works perfectly for partners in the Shopify ecosystem.
Some moments at the meetup
Tri from BoostCommerce (Left) and Son from SecomApp (Right). Did you know that SecomApp Team has 12 public Shopify Apps and the average rating is 4.8? They are a highly trusted partner in the ecosystem and have been with Shopify for a long time, joined 1st UNITE Conference in the past.
Shashak Agrawal with 4 apps from StarApps Studio, average rating 5.0 on the Shopify Apps store.
Kiet from HuraApps. This guy deserves respect. The first attendee who registered for the meetup and booked the flight ticket on the same day. Thanks mate for joining this meetup.
Sam from Avada.io. They are new players in the Shopify ecosystem, but growing very quickly with a helpful content center. Just a few weeks ago this team successfully released their first app on the Shopify Apps store.
Shopify meetup organization best practices
We have been co - organizers of 5 Shopify meetups in Vietnam. There are a lot of things to learn and to improve on. So far there were some lessons learned around organization which might be helpful for other Shopify host organizers.
Get to know the Shopify partners in person
We all have connections, in my case I have been involved in Shopify since late 2016. So far I have been participating in Shopify meetups and conferences around the world. The most important part is getting the 1st contact with like minded partners and start building relationships. Some partners I knew in person from niche industries like Internet Marketing or Web Design.
Build long term partnerships with speakers ahead
Some people came to the meetup because of speakers, so it's crucial to know your meetup speakers in advance before the event. Speakers might be your existing Shopify partners. You might find them in other Shopify meetups. The important thing is the mindset of sharing knowledge with the audience.
Follow - up with past partners
This meetup was our 5th. During 4 previous meetups there was always a pattern of finding active partners who will understand the value of networking, and meetups. Just call them and they will arrange a time to be there.
Feature partners names on your event’s page
Since the meetup is business oriented and for Shopify partners, it’s good to mention recognized brands in the ecosystem, so new partners will know what opportunities are waiting ahead. Here is a simple example. I knew that some partners are looking for opportunities to become as Shopify Experts. Thus, I mentioned some Shopify Experts names coming to the meetup.
Direct sales work
Some super busy partners need exclusive attention. When you know the founder/co - founder in person it’s easy to drop a message and pitch directly by joining the meetup. Some big partners need to meet in person through coffee talk to build trust and share value and goals of the meetup. In a recent meetup we had a chance to welcome Mr. Tien from the Autokeeting team. They run the app Sales Pop Master ‑ Countdown in TOP3 apps of Marketing category on the Shopify Apps Store.
Ask for help from co-organizers and speakers
Did you know that some Shopify partners flew from Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang, and Quy Nhon to Hanoi to join the meetup? You might have strong connections and trust in your region, but for others it’s good to ask for help from a leader.
Splashthat is great
We’ve been using the essential feature of this service provided by Shopify. From the event’s page content building, onboarding flow and sending bulk email to people who attended the event. The UI is intuitive and the learning curve is easy to overcome.
Shopify meetups are great opportunities to connect with like minded people and find trusted partners. If you’re curious about meetups in your city, check the Shopify meetup page at https://meetups.shopify.com/. As for the bigger events in 2020, Pursuit happening is around the world. Do check their main page for more information https://pursuit.shopify.com/