Add To Cart: Local E-Commerce Entrepreneurs Gather At ICC Belfast

Over 100 local eBay sellers came together at ICC Belfast in June for the global e-commerce platform’s ‘Business Roadshow’. Now in its third year, the roadshow aims to connect the local eBay community and support sellers to boost their businesses with expert-led sessions on selling taking place throughout the day and tailored one-to-one advice from Marketplace Advisors also available.

One local seller attending the event was Chrissy O’Hare, from Newry. He explained that establishing a presence on eBay this year has transformed his vintage clothing shop, Jello Thrifts.

Chrissy said, “eBay’s platform has allowed me to launch my online business this year, reaching audiences easily across the UK, Ireland and beyond. Today’s event was a great way to speak to marketplace advisors one to one and hear strategic advice on how I can bring my business to the next level.”

The event has visited Northern Ireland for three consecutive years, highlighting how important the e-commerce industry is to the region. Following the April announcement that the online marketplace has eliminated fees for selling pre-owned clothes, aiming to reduce landfill waste, a recent report produced by the economist Richard Johnston on behalf of IRP Commerce, anticipates that by 2030 e-commerce could be worth £9.5 billion in gross value added to the local economy.

Neeti Awasthi, Director of Small Business at eBay, explained how important it is to give sellers the opportunity to come together and said, “E-commerce is an incredibly fast-paced environment with significant legislative changes, and improvements to the eBay platform, happening all the time. It’s important to us to offer our community of Northern Ireland sellers the opportunity to come together to learn from each other’s experiences and speak to our team to ensure they optimise their product listings and maximise opportunity across their shops to help their businesses thrive. Northern Ireland is an important region for us with a diverse range of sellers across fashion, equipment, and electronics.” 

ICC Belfast was selected to host the Business Roadshow for the first time this year. 

The venue was proud to provide the backdrop for an important sector, as Charlie McCloskey, Director of Events and Customer Experience said, “Northern Ireland is a powerhouse of entrepreneurialism and innovation. We were delighted to host a global brand like eBay and we take great pride in supporting local online sellers by providing the perfect backdrop for knowledge-sharing. We have an ambitious team at ICC Belfast – a team that delivers this calibre of event seamlessly as we recognise the impact business tourism can have on the region economically, socially, and culturally.”

Although eBay’s Belfast event has come to a close, ICC Belfast is gearing up to welcome thousands of delegates from across the UK, Ireland and Europe to Belfast with a busy calendar of conferences yet to be delivered in 2024. The venue’s £29.5 million extension, unveiled in 2016, firmly positioned Belfast as a destination for conferencing, with the region targeting £209 million in direct economic impact by 2030.

Economic development and tourism have thrived in Northern Ireland over the past two decades, and investment in the Belfast City Region Deal illustrates a growing confidence. In the last 12 months, it has hosted major business events including the One Young World Summit, CYBERUK and UKSPACE, and last month it became the only convention centre in the UK and Ireland to be awarded ‘gold’ at this year’s Eventex Awards. It earned an impressive score of 90,317 whilst Qatar’s National Convention Centre scored 80,237 and earned silver.

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