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Ecommerce Day Educational Breakout Sessions and Economic Development Services Panel

Monday Jul 20th, 2015

We've been recapping our 2015 Ecommerce Day Forum and sharing full video presentations of all of the sessions in our latest series of blog posts. If you've missed any, you can check out the morning sessions or the afternoon educational sessions & keynote. The presentations covered a wide range of topics and ecommerce tips and best best practices. Nearly 100 business professional in attendance benefited from the experience, skill and knowledge of the presenters, who work for (and with) some of the biggest brands in Pennsylvania. 

Today, we're recapping our educational breakout sessions and economic development services panel. 

Jeff Biletnikoff, digital marketing manager at YourErie.com, covered "Video Marketing & the Path to Purchase.” He explained how video can actually help companies shorten their sales cycles, and what kind of tools and personnel are needed to achieve this. He talked about what kinds of topics work best for video, and showed examples of successful video campaigns that he’d helped produce.

Carlo Fuda, marketing director for the Mason Jar Company’s reCAP Mason Jars, discussed strategic partnerships during his presentation, "Global Brand Classico(R) Aligns with Startup reCAP(R) Mason Jars To Make a Perfect PArtnership".  Carlo explained that strategic partnerships allow brands to improve business initiatives and influence sales and marketing goals in mutually beneficial ways. Whether a company is looking to increase brand awareness, reach new markets, or gain access to specific channels, strategic partnerships can have a significant role in a company’s business plan

Sean Fedorko, director of the Technology Council of NWPA, talked about Bit Coin and how it works, as well as how business owners can decide if it’s right for them. Bit Coin uses network software to process and track payments of digital currency without a central authority or bank, allowing for fast, secure and inexpensive transactions. The unique functionality of Bitcoin software creates a potential for businesses to decrease the cost of transaction fees, attract new clients, and demonstrate competency in emerging technologies.

During their presentation, Tom & Analida Braeger of food blog Analida’s Ethnic Spoon, talked about blogging, including content creation for brands and socialmedia strategies. Analida and Tom have built their blog from the ground up, and they know that it’s difficult but rewarding work. They’ve learned some tips and techniques along the way, and shared their thoughts on sponsored posts, working with brands and social media companies, SEO & social media strategies, and more.

Economic Development Panel 

There are resources right here in the Erie region that hugely benefit growing businesses. Ecommerce Day wrapped up with an economic development services panel that featured speakers from local organizations whose missions are to provide small businesses, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs with resources and guidance to help grow their businesses and reach new customers.

Ed Barthelmes, Strategic Business Advisor of the Northwest Industrial Resource Center, discussed the organization’s mission to collaborate with small- to medium-sized manufacturers to help them improve productivity and facilitate technology advancement. Its goal is to help manufacturers in this region increase sales revenue, as well as create jobs and improve employee retention.

Maggie Horne, director of the SBDC, covered her organization’s involvement with start-ups and existing businesses, including assistance with business planning, marketing & advertising, financial analysis, market research, and more. The SBDC also provides support for companies developing new products or interested in international trade.

Cathy von Birgelen presented on behalf of Innovation Collaborative, an organization that seeks to improve and develop Northwestern Pennsylvania’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The organization partners with resource providers to improve local businesses’ access to resources and funding that can help them thrive.

Jim Kosko, director of Ben Franklin Technology Partnership of Central & Northern PA, talked about his organization and its mission to provide operational assistance, entrepreneurial support, and investment capital to emerging tech-based companies and small, existing manufacturers. Additionally, Ben Franklin CNP regularly hold BIG IDEA Business competitions that award startup funds to the winners.

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