Last Saturday, Yerdle hosted their first ever conference: #YerdleCon.
As somebody who is a big fan of Yerdle and reuse, as well as the only person I know who is living off Yerdle for a year (instead of shopping new items), I was very excited to go to this mothership conference. As I am hoping to get enough interesting content out of my #Y4Y quest to write a book in 2016, I am always on the lookout for good stories.
Yerdle’s office in San Francisco is modern and very start-up like. A lot of young people work there and I even spotted a record player (trendy-dory). They are located one street up from KQED, the mothership of great news.
35 Yerdlers registered for the event, that would also be attended by the CEO and Co-founder, as well as Yerdle employees. The event cost was $10 and included food. At the entrance, we were gifted a Yerdle bag with tape (yeah!), envelopes, Yerdle stickers and other shipping paraphernalia.
What was my expectation for #YerdleCon?
I am 45-years-old and have worked in high-tech marketing for almost 20 years and been to countless conferences. Yes, you can call me somewhat jaded when it comes to corporate events. For me it’s less about the content of the conference than about meeting the people.
As a ProYerdler (a group of Yerdle nuts like me who spend a disproportionate amount of their lives on the app), I had talked to many other ProYerdlers on our dedicated Facebook page. I knew that Melanie Merritt was coming, who I already knew was a big-hearted woman who cares about the community and the success of the Yerdle reuse mission.
Did I mention that I am German?
As my peers would tell you, I am very organized, occasionally bordering on anal.
I got multiple invitations to YerdleCon, with two different start times. So I decided to show up for the later time and that was a good move. Just now I searched for the original invitation to jerk my memory of events and found at least 5 different ones with conflicting agendas :-).
The day kicked-off with Andy Ruben, Yerdle CEO, giving a good overview of Yerdle’s performance to-date.
He was followed by Yerdle’s Head of User Experience, David Merkoski, who – under cheers (and a few boos) – presented the Yerdle feature roadmap.
The session then turned into a workshop where all Yerdlers were asked to come up with their own feature suggestions. I have opinions on almost everything, so welcomed this exercise.
Then it got a bit more laborious, as we split into three groups to work on three Yerdle objectives. I was in the group for “growing the Yerdle membership”. I do marketing for a living and have worked with communities a lot, so I don’t lack ideas. But normally I get paid for this type of advice. If you had a good idea, you got punished for being told to grab a few other people to work out how to implement it. Ok, I went along with that. I am all for making Yerdle better but it was Saturday and I was tired and wanted some fun.
After lunch, we presented our ideas and then the Unconference started. From what I can tell, groups were formed to dive further into Yerdle product management/marketing topics, but I can’t be sure as this is when I decided to ask Melanie Merritt to have a cup of coffee down the road. It was unusually sunny in San Francisco and one of my goals for YerdleCon was to create a few videos (which I will share in my next blog). It was lovely to get to know Yerdle Moderator and Yerdle Award winner Melanie a little better.
We got back in time for me to announce the #Y4M challenge. The What?
Yerdle for a year might seem a lot, but Yerdle for a month? In the #Y4M challenge, Yerdlers would join me on my #Y4Y journey by only shopping on Yerdle for a full month.
Here is the video of the #Y4M announcement (and an interview with me) at YerdleCon, with Rachel Barge and Lily Lauwrence of Yerdle:
Six Yerdlers immediately signed up, and as of today (March 18, 2015), we have 15 #Y4Mers on board.
It’s not too late for you to join, more information here. Lily promised surprises for those participating along the way.
Yerdle is a Lot More than Shopping
My favorite part of the day (which I did not expect) was the story telling session. The most impressive story was about a couple that met via Yerdle and is now married with child. They started talking on the ProYerdler Facebook page, which eventually caused “him” to jump on a plane to New York and meet “her” in person. You know the rest. Other stories will be posted on the Yerdle blog soon.
The Message: People come to Yerdle to get or get rid of “stuff” but many end up staying for the relationships and community spirit.
There is Inspiration
The last session I attended at YerdleCon was Adam Werbach, Co-Founder and Head of Brand at Yerdle. He is a wonderful presenter and always does a great job relating what Yerdle does with the big picture of the world around us.
At the end of the day, there were DYI activities coming up and dinner and dancing. I am sure it was fun, but I like to spend time with my husband and the weekend generally lends itself pretty well, so I caught BART home.
I am glad I went to YerdleCon and had a fun time. But: For me, a conference offers learnings for the attendees and lots of networking. This conference offered a lot of learnings for Yerdle. It was more like a workshop. Hopefully, next time the balance will be better, with more time to relax and hang out together.
Are you ready to share the #Y4M challenge and become part of the future of reuse?
Get $35 in Credits when you sign up for Yerdle with my URL.