If you’re reading this blog, you are probably already familiar with Rithum as the leading e-commerce platform for thousands of brands and retailers. You might also know that the company helps facilitate some $8.9 billion in gross merchandise volume across hundreds of channels worldwide.

But do you know the person behind it all? His name is David Spitz. And he has a true wealth of industry insight to share with you at Catalyst Americas.

As Rithum’s CEO, Spitz is responsible for keeping thousands of sellers at the cutting edge of e-commerce. Which is why his annual Catalyst keynote speech is so highly anticipated: Each year ushers in a new round of changes and transitions for the industry, and every presentation from Spitz helps brands and retailers stay ahead.

Here’s a Q&A preview of what’s coming April 19:

What can attendees expect to hear during your Catalyst keynote this year?

There have been monumental changes to the e-commerce landscape since I last presented at Catalyst in March 2017, so we’re making an equally monumental change to the keynote format. This year, attendees will choose what they want to hear.

Wait. Attendees will choose what they hear? How does that work?

It’s part of our bigger initiative to help attendees “create your Catalyst.” We want to customize the experience as much as possible for the individual: You should get helpful answers to your questions based on your goals and needs. This brand new keynote format is one way to achieve that. One of the first things that will happen when I walk on stage is a vote. We’ll have a variety of topics to choose from — everything from Amazon to blockchain. Once the audience votes, I’ll present on the topic that wins. Yes, it’s very nerve-wracking for me. (I won’t know what I’m going to present on until the voting is tabulated!) But I’m also thrilled to gain an even greater understanding of the challenges sellers are facing, and what they most want to hear about.

What other surprises can attendees look forward to this year?

Well, there’s one BIG surprise planned for the Catalyst party. (The one hosted on a decommissioned aircraft carrier.) It’s the one thing we’re keeping secret, though, so you’ll have to attend to see it in person.

What are people going to miss by not attending this year’s conference?

Because we’ve designed Catalyst for our attendees, there will be countless opportunities to come away with a long list of ways to optimize and improve. We’ll have intensive workshops, opportunities to connect with leaders in e-commerce and one-on-one meetings with Rithum experts.

One our clients, James Alexander from Pandora’s OEM, put it best when he said this:

“If we took the sales increases after only implementing the #1 tactic from that Top 10 seminar, the sales from that alone would buy our Catalyst passes for years to come.”

That’s the kind of return that attendees get from Catalyst. We’ve been hosting this e-commerce conference for 11 years to help give sellers and brands a competitive edge.

What advice do you have for attendees to help them get as much as possible out of the keynotes, breakout sessions and networking opportunities?

I definitely recommend planning out how you’ll spend your time at Catalyst before you arrive. Decide which workshops you want to attend, when you’ll enjoy the partner pavilion and how you can make the most of networking events. Above all: Have fun!

What are you most excited about for this year’s Catalyst Americas?

I’m excited to connect with Rithum customers and partners as well as e-commerce retailers and brands considering our platform and services. There’s really no better place to meet in-person with so many industry leaders. And as a University of California – San Diego graduate, I never pass up a chance to visit.

Ready to Make Catalyst Yours?

Spitz will be delivering one of several keynote presentations as part of an amazing lineup of speakers that includes Retail Prophet Doug Stephens, UnMarketer Scott Stratten, Uber Chief Brand Officer Bozoma Saint John, L2 Chief Strategy Officer Maureen Mullen and more. With just one registration, you’ll hear from them all.

Catalyst Americas takes place April 17 – 19, 2018 in San Diego. For details and pricing, visit catalyst.rithum.com. Be sure to use promo code Blog9946 when registering to save an additional $100 off your registration.