Welcome to Friday, futurists.
First off, if you haven’t picked up a copy of our annual print journal, MUSES, yet, I highly encourage you to do so. We’re down to the last remaining copies. We’ll be relaunching a preorder for a reprint in the coming weeks, but if you want one before the snow thaws, I’d head over to musesjournal.com to order it swiftly.
Last week, while attending a Miami Heat game at the (don’t say FTX) Kaseya Center, I got the above text from Rich, a friend and co-collaborator from last year’s breakout event, MUSES.
When we met at the half, he was with Sergiu Tabaran, the COO of Absolute Web. For the past three years, Sergiu’s team have worked tirelessly to bring together the eCommerce community in the Miami region to learn, share, and grow together. Their premiere event, EEE (eCommerce Experience Evolution) has featured the likes of Kevin O’Leary, the famous “Mr. Wonderful” of Shark Tank fame, and Phillip Jackson (yours truly).
With the show a little more than a month away, I asked Serg how the planning and coordination of the event was going. But that’s when he shared his vision for the future (and you know I’m a sucker for the future) — EEE is the beginning of a bigger, more aspirational desire for the City of Miami to create a full week of programming that celebrates the joy and wonders of the eCommerce ecosystem.
This vision — Miami eCommerce Week — would occur annually during the third week in February. The vision is to set the stage for businesses of all sizes and scales; from SMB to Enterprise, to create their own series of ancillary events before and after the tentpole EEE conference.
It’s not so crazy of an idea.
Similar “weeks” exist in the world; for instance, New York Tech Week hosts upwards of 10,000 people across myriad events annually. But city-wide events require a commercial benefit to the host city to gain an official named status, and sponsorship at the city council level.
Prior “eCommerce Weeks” have come and gone without becoming a “thing”. So how do you make it ‘fetch’? Maybe you need to be sexier. The United Nations Trade Council hosted an annual eCommerce Week in Geneva as recently as 2022. The event was rebranded to ‘e-Week’ in 2023 to be more all-encompassing of electronic media. Is the UN sexy? Don’t tell Miranda Priestly, but I think that U.N. Blue is practically cerulean.
Here in the U.S., similar efforts were squashed by Covid. Veteran eCommerce agency founder Erik Huberman convinced LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to take a concept called “LA E-Commerce Week” to the city council, where it was subsequently moved to a virtual online event due to the coronavirus spread in the United States. Hawke Media is sexy, and so is LA. A world-ending virus isn’t.
While Geneva and Los Angeles have commercial and political importance, they’re nowhere near as culturally strategic as Miami; one of the few cities to have emerged from the pandemic with a thriving tech scene, a diverse demographic, and a penchant for disrupting the status-quo. Led by Mayor Francis Suarez, the influx of tech-savvy eCommerce builders, backed by large fashion, travel, hospitality, and a host of DTC brands, make Miami unique.
If Miami eCommerce Week has anything going for it with any hopes at becoming “fetch”, it’s that Miami is a city of Commerce. What the team at Absolute Web have done is create a tentpole event around EEE, and asked others to step up and support the larger effort to celebrate the brands and builders in our space. Future Commerce will be doing so. I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be co-hosting the event as MC, and we have some great prizes in store for you.
It’s a slam dunk of a partnership that will lead to a victory. Just like how the Heat stomped the Orlando Magic at that game, 99-96 (Final).
P.S. Our annual predictions episode is here. Don’t let the changes in culture and commerce catch you off-guard. We unpack what 2024 has in store in our newest episode of the podcast. Listen on your favorite podcast player, or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
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