When I first joined Weglot 6 months ago, life was slowly going back to normal here in France. As a sales executive, I prefer interacting with people face to face — so you can imagine that I wasn’t enjoying social distancing very much. But even I eventually got used to never-ending Zoom calls, virtual events, and working from home.
That’s why when I heard that we’d be attending the Paris Retail Week, I had mixed feelings. I was very excited that I’d finally get the chance to meet some of our customers in person and talk to ecommerce professionals about Weglot. But I was also nervous because it’s been a long time since I even stood in a room with more than 15 people.
So on the first day of the event, I was quite surprised by the crowd and the amazing energy in the hall. Everyone looked very happy to be able to come together and connect again after so long. There were many familiar faces as well as strangers that we eventually got to meet and exchange with during this three-day event. Quickly, I realized how much I missed being on the field again.
One of my main goals for the event was to make our booth look perfect. We started brainstorming with the marketing team months in advance about creative visuals and unique ideas to make our brand stand out. So we arrived early on the first day to decorate the space with our signature bright blue colors and put our goodies on display in hopes of attracting as many visitors as we can.
I was also peeking at other booths around us to see what they came up with. We had neighbors with stunning stands; on one side there was Nosto, an ecommerce personalization platform, and also our partner, and on the other side, we had Dartagnan, an email marketing service. But the star of the show was Klarna, a Swedish fintech company, with their vibrant pink decorations and playful attractions — which gave me a lot of inspiration for next year’s event!
I’m happy to say that our booth was a success too as it was quickly packed with interested visitors! Some were ecommerce professionals that didn’t even plan to translate their website in the first place but they were intrigued by the idea as soon as they saw our booth and roll-ups. The rest was up to us to explain how website translation can help any ecommerce business thrive by unlocking international reach!
I also realized that one of the things I missed the most about meeting prospective customers in real life was the small talk. We usually cut this part short in our online conversations and go directly into business. But I believe it’s quite important to connect with customers on a deeper level to develop a better understanding of their needs and offer the best solution for them. So that’s one thing I took from this event — never skip the small talk and forget the human aspect of our business.
There were also some existing customers who came to meet us and share their experiences with Weglot. So let me tell you that hearing positive feedback online is one thing but having a customer thank you in person for helping their business is something else. I felt very proud to be a part of our amazing team and I immediately went to our company Slack channel to share all the wonderful comments I had been receiving — especially about our superstar support team!
We also met with other businesses that attended the event. One of our partners, Sendcloud, organized a dinner and they were kind enough to invite us too. Despite being exhausted after the very busy first day, we joined them and had a great time laughing and sharing our experiences!
This was another thing I missed while working online; the feeling of being a part of this community of innovative SaaS solutions helping ecommerce businesses. Almost every company at the event knew or had heard about Weglot before — which made me very proud to be working for such a loved and respected team! I decided that we should also organize a drink next year to get to know our partners and other members of the community better and learn from each other’s expertise.
The next day went by quickly as we were quite busy with meeting people, networking, and learning from other speakers. And finally, on the last day, we had our own workshop hosted by our Head of Sales Laura Gutierrez on machine translation. She gave a presentation explaining the evolution of neural machine translation and how it can be an asset for ecommerce businesses.
Then she held a quiz about the pros and cons of machine translation and common mistakes. The audience was very interested in the topic and we got great questions during the workshop. One of the attendees, the CEO of Murano Conseil, Johann HAZIZA, later shared a LinkedIn post praising our workshop and expertise in machine translation — which was amazing to hear!
We’ll definitely be hosting another workshop at next year’s event too — so don’t miss it if you’re going to be there as well!
So three days passed by quickly but they were packed full of valuable interactions and lovely memories. It reminded me of why I love doing what I do and working for Weglot. I’m filled with motivation now and can’t wait to attend more events soon — especially the Paris Retail Week 2022!
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