This years event promises to be quite interesting, so I figured I would put together a list of things I can see happening or being announced - not in any particular order.
- John Donahoe and Lorrie Norrington will get booed at the Keynote Speech. I know that sounds harsh, but they know this is coming, so I'm sure they are prepared for it. Change is difficult and doubly so, when the execution of that change is so uneven. I just hope everyone will be calm get it out of their system and move on without anything ugly happening.
- Attendance will be down from past years. eBay said they are expecting 10,000, but that would be difficult to imagine with all the unrest in the community.
- eBay will announce new listing option for stores. I'm not quite sure what the fees will be, but if the surveys they sent out last month are any indication, it will be low core insertion fees based on Store subscription. It is possible they will end the SIF format all together and allow Fixed Price core listings for 30-days in core. I think they feel they can control search with "Best Match". Basically this is SIS Part Deux.
- The rumor of the day, is that eBay will prohibit 3rd Party checkout, which would certainly be a problem for vendors like ChannelAdvisor, Infopia, and the rest. 3rd Party checkout has always been a negative with buyers, but mostly because eBay requires software vendors to jump through so many hoops that the process is quite clunky. My guess is they will just require eBay checkout for all transactions.
- The talk in the hallways and on the exhibit floor will be about where else to sell and many sellers will be sharing their experiences at the various marketplaces.
These are just some of the things that may happen at this years event. It is tough to read eBay management these days. It is clear they are moving toward total control over the marketplace and they are demanding excellence out of sellers or they won't get visibility on the site, but it is my opinion that they no-longer have any good-will with sellers and if they have any more missteps, it could be a very long summer.