Goodbye, eBay Live! 2007

The best part of the entire eBay Live! conference takes place on the very last night. Each conference closes with a Gala celebration, and we kick off the Gala with a tradition called the “Clapping Tunnel.” About a half hour before the Gala is set to get started, all the eBay staff head into the area and form two long lines on either side of the doors. As the doors are thrown open and the attendees all stream in, we all burst into applause and cheer on our amazing community and the folks that have been with us for this week, welcoming them to the celebration.

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It’s truly an inspiring sight, and to see the looks of pure joy on the attendees’ faces is one of the best feelings! Some attendees race down the line, high-fiving everyone on the way. Other attendees grin and cheer right back at us. Whatever their style, to a person, they all have a smile on their faces from ear to ear. You sort of have to be there to really get the vibe (I’m having a hard time doing it justice in words) but it’s really quite remarkable.

Of course, after clapping for nearly 45 minutes, your hands do start to get sore!! But we cheer for them all the way up to the last person.

The Gala this year featured Kool & the Gang, who can still bust out the tunes after all these years. “Celebration” was the theme song to this year’s eBay Live!, and of course we got to hear it live, along with their other classics (yes, the artist selection for the Gala is highly reflective of our eBay Community’s demographic – last year was Huey Lewis, prior to that was the B-52s…) We had a carnival theme with games, cotton candy (always makes me think of Jonathan Morace!), popcorn, and prizes.

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I think I’ll end with a few other memorable photos from the event:Here’s the Seller Central booth where I worked, and three booth members – Oriana, Cynthia, and our captain, Rich!

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This guy is known as “the pin guy.” I mentioned pins and the fanatic collectors before – this guy is great! He’s got books and boxes and vests full of pins, and he has been to (I think) every eBay Live! The thing that’s great about him is he’s more interested in trading pins and talking to folks than hoarding them for himself. Here he is toward the end of the show, mobbed by folks looking to make a deal…

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And finally, before the Gala, of course all the staff have to get spiffed up to show our eBay spirit! Here’s Lisa, one of my team members, getting some flair added to her face – you can see her lanyard is primed with lots of pins to trade with members at the show!

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All in all this was a fantastic eBay Live! While I loved Vegas as a venue, the smaller crowds here made it a much more intimate experience and I really got to know a few of our sellers quite well.

The final announcement of the Gala: Next year we’re going to be in the windy city of Chicago!!

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~ by Nathan on June 17, 2007.

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