This week I have been invited to attend an event called “Black Friday Amazon Seller Celebration”, which will be taking a place today on 22.11. at the Amazon Headquarters in London. As a very active Amazon seller, I can’t miss such an opportunity to spend some time in the building, where all the important decisions are made, talk to Amazon managers and possibly learn some inside Amazon information, which I could later share on my blog, Facebook or various seller forums.
Right now, it’s 07:57am and I am sitting in a car somewhere in Austria on my way to the Vienna airport. Just as usual, I failed to sleep at all since I spent the entire night packaging – or basically searching for particular items which I wanted to take with me but I couldn’t find them. So, eventually, I am here, tired, unprepared but at least it gives me an opportunity to find some excuse to do shopping and buy some new stuff at Harrods, Selfridges or Topshop.
This time, I decided not to be so selfish and give a chance to attend the event and visit the HQ to as many people as possible. So I am expecting the place to be packed with attendees. Among them will be one seller from the Amazon Europe Seller Forum – PCBuyIT – Simon Ellis. He sounds like a normal person, compared to the numerous other users there. I am hoping we will take some selfies together so I can publish them there.
It’s 09:05am and I am already at the airport, waiting for my plane next to the gate. Maybe I will have some time to take a photo before boarding the plane. It’s really cold and rainy outside so unfortunately, it won’t be a nice photo.
It’s 10:31 UK time and we are landing at the London Gatwick airport. The flight was really fast. Here are some photos which I took, showing my view out of the plane window and a small meal which I got.
Meanwhile I am listening to some songs in my iTunes Library:
“Thank u, next” by Ariana Grande
“1999” by Charli XCX and Troye Sivan
And now I can already see the UK countryside! ✈️🇬🇧🇪🇺😍
I hope there won’t be too many people at the border entry. Usually it’s really packed.
It’s 11:29 and I just left the airport. There were barely and people and I managed to go through the passport control within seconds. However, since the airport is large and it’s corridors resemble a maze, it took us some time to find our way to the exit.
It’s 13:05 and I am sitting inside a Gatwick taxi to the hotel, watching the countryside from behind the car window. We are slowly approaching London.
We finally arrived to my favorite hotel where I always stay whenever I visit London – Montcalm Royal London House. It’s regularly ranked as one of the top hotels in the UK and I can recommend it to everyone.
Here is me waiting for the staff to prepare my room and the reception. I am taking the photos with my iPhone 4S so they are really poor.
Finally, I managed to get to my large executive suite at the 4th floor and there were some nice sweets on the table to greet me!
I was planning to take a nap after the long travel but my hair is totally destroyed after the rain so I will have to spend some time managing my hair instead 😔
After 2 hours, I am almost ready to go, just waiting for my brother and friend to come. Simon, who is a seller whom I know from the Amazon Europe Seller Forum and has an username “PcBuyIt” already texted me that he’s waiting for me at the Allegory Bar, where we were supposed to meet.
So at a few minutes after 17:00, we left the hotel and walked to the place of the event Amazon London HQ at Principal Place – Worship Street 1.
Here are some photos of the building which I took as we were approaching:
When we arrived to the Principal Place, I was surprised to see that there was no one at the Allegory bar. So we just went inside the HQ to ask at the front desk reception whether we are here correctly.
Firstly, the receptionist sounded like he didn’t know what are we talking about but then verified it with colleagues and told us to take our badges. I said that we are still waiting for someone else to come so he said that we either bring the person here now or he will not have entry.
So I went outside and texted Simon to come here. He must have waited long for me since he came so early. He came within a few seconds and it was a really nice meeting.
We spent several long months discussing Amazon topics on the forums. What you write online is one thing, but another thing is that people often won’t believe you as they can’t see any evidence. It is a really strange feeling to suddenly see someone like this.
And then our event started! We came inside the Amazon HQ building, went to the reception and got our visitor access cards. The atmosphere was just like usual. Extremely strict security guys watching us from every corner, prepared to immediately confiscate our phones if we try to take photos.
There were other attendees sitting at the chairs in the corners, waiting to be let inside. But we were four, so we all sat around one table and joyfully talked about everything related to selling on Amazon. We discussed forum topics such as dropshippers, our selling careers and lifestyles. We were soon joined by another sellers as everyone could see that we were the most interesting group out of all.
Rana is a seller of dietary supplements from Bulgaria, who lives in London. She talked with Simon, while I was simply enjoying the view on other sellers sitting alone and typing on their phones, Amazon employees leaving their workplace after the end of their work and security staff watching it all.
Just when we all were befriended, the Amazon organiser responsible for seller events came and let us come inside.
We showed our cards to the entrance and followed her on the stairs. As we were upstairs, there were so many sellers everywhere waiting for the event to start.
There were tables with food – snacks, chocolates, toasts and drinks – no juices, just alcohol. I have never drank alcohol ever before. As we came to the table with alcohol, both Simon and Rana encouraged me to drink. Simon gave me an entire glass full of alcohol to drink and then Rana gave me another one. After 5 minutes, I already felt like I am going to faint. Everything was moving, I couldn’t walk or keep standing, I couldn’t talk. I was worried that I will fall in front of everyone.
I struggled really hard to control myself and keep looking normal. Inside, I was fighting.
We again talked a lot, about all possible topics, including politics. I showed Simon my large EU flag, which I always carry with me in case I encounter an anti-Brexit demonstration.
It’s 19:31 UK time and I am sitting at the Amazon UK headquarters.
It’s 15:50 and I am going to check out a different Amazon seller event after anglozone posted about it on the seller forum. It’s supposed to be a pop-up Amazon event so let’s see!