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Shopify Pursuit in Berlin 2018 — How did it go?

Shopify Pursuit in Berlin 2018: How did it go?

The Berlin event had us on our toes from the first day. Suffice to say, the Pandectes team’s experience was incredible. The presentations, the people, the stories behind the people and the atmosphere at the event itself worked as a Pulp Fiction like shot of adrenaline to the system and energized us to push forward in our mission.

Adventures Ahoy

As a freshly minted agency that was formed in Greece 6 months ago, we really couldn’t imagine how far and wide the idea behind this event would travel. Truth be told, we had out doubts about the whole thing but after a leap forward Shopify Pursuit in Berlin was upon us and the rest is history.

The event took place in Hotel Oderberger in Berlin on October 8–9. Boy, were in for a ride! We came back buzzing with ideas, having made new friends and experienced how inclusive and supportive this community really is! This two-day event hosted for the Shopify Community went like a dream and we sure didn’t regret schlepping our way to Berlin for this!

Office Hours Socialising and Synergy Galore

On the day 1, we explore the “Office Hours” section with the Shopify team. It was fascinating to engage directly with Shopify engineers and marketeers in private sessions where we had the chance to exchange ideas, express our concerns and discuss solutions about several issues throughout the development & business community. Connecting with the team during breaks was especially helpful in terms of how Shopify grew as a venture.

Inspired to tackle the challenges ahead

We had the chance to attend the presentation of Bjørn Forsberg, an incredibly successful and talented app designer from Copenhagen, from Forsberg Plus Two. Bjorn spoke of his struggle in paving his own path in the digital industry. This included his own set of do’s and don’ts for Shopify apps, his apps interfaces, his holistic approach to support, as well as sales & financial data. The way he carried himself and recounted his experiences was honest, down to earth and absolutely relatable without diluting any of the nuanced points we were keen to hear him talk about. And deliver he did!

Later that afternoon, another session was held by the Pursuit meetup, hosted by Händlerbund in their HQ this time (Idealo Internet GmbH). There were several short presentations from companies operating in the e-commerce field with an emphasis on the growing German Market.

Hagen Meischner took the floor to welcome us all and get the session under way. He was followed by Ivan Bremers from Händlerbun, who highlighted the importance of Harmonisation of EU-Regulations to stimulate trustworthy cross-border e-commerce. Erik Meierhoff from Idealo later on came up with a banging presentation about Cross-border activities through marketplaces.

Christian Königsheim from Taxdoo, then took the stage and presented his solution for Automated VAT in terms of Cross-Border Sales. Last but not least, Jörn Gutowski introduced his start-up Try Foods to those in attendance and there was a palpable feeling of camaraderie in the air where we felt at ease to ask questions. They may be one of the smaller players in comparison to the rest but they are extremely driven and the responses to our queries were bang on!

Since we are an up and coming company, we took in the information delivered, and made plans to incorporate some of the pointers shared over those two days to how we take our company to the next level. Where there’s a will, there’s a way and we intend to make our mark in the industry by being strategic and bold.

Brains And Brawn

The second day kicked off with an awesome presentation by Brennan Loh, Director of International Markets at Shopify, who made the opening keynote. Patrick Rosenblatt, Co-Founder, and Shopify Expert at Eshop Guide followed suit and spoke about finding one’s ‘niche’ (ain’t that the dream, hey?) in the German market. Bob Rockland from CODE Internet Applications later presented on how to push the technical limits of Shopify. His take on the matter was indispensable as it presented us with actionable solutions on how to keep Shopify regulated, systematic and cost-effective.

Companies such as Shogun from Nick RaushenbushMilk Bottle Labs from Peter CorkeryPixc from Holly Cardew and Vilango from Gerwin Brunner, sparked some awesome conversations talks. A particular statement, that really resonated for us, was Nick’s advice to companies that are just getting started: “When reaching ou,t keep it short. Don’t pitch.” Nick’s words really hit home for us and reminded us of Shopify. We might be the proverbial new kid on the block as agency at the moment but we have a solid foundation that we can build on and thrive in the market.

Nick’s pithy statement aside, we had the chance to hear from the founders, Olivia Kuczynski, and Michael Morales, of Maukau agency from Paris, about the challenges of scaling a small agency. Yup, we were sure at the right event!

In A nutshell

At the core of our organisation is a drive to our best to cater to our customers complex demands. Checking out conferences like the Shopify Pursuit in Berlin allow us to grow and gain insight and perspective from influential people in the industry. The buck doesn’t stop here though. We will tweak innovative ideas we are introduced to on these trips, leverage this information and customise it to provide cutting edge solutions to our customer base.

We are looking for opportunities that will allow us to grow by becoming more creative and efficient, and strategically scale our expansion beyond our comfort zone. The Mediterranean market, for instance, is not very familiar with Shopify. Although the future is promising for Shopify in Germany but the process of reaching Mediterranean shores could get bogged down and drag on.

Our goal is to continue to evolve and to establish ourselves in geographically disparate markets, including areas that are unfamiliar with Shopify. After all, it all starts with the big leap forward.

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