I remember being at one of my first Affiliate Summits and walking into a dueling piano bar to sit with a ton of strangers. Immediately a person, who I still know and still goes to the show, picked me out of the crowd after recognizing me from a forum and introduced me to everyone. Back then the show was probably 1,000 people or less and almost every person I met at that show I am still friends with today. (Except for Rexanne and Scott who we unfortunately lost within the last couple of years.) Not only did I make friends that I will always be close with, but this show, more than anything else, helped grow and shape my career. Shawn and Missy who own it not only developed a show that teaches you the good and bad of the industry; but also created an atmosphere where people can network, have fun and more importantly you can get a positive and measurable ROI from attending. Here is why I am going to Affiliate Summit and why you should go too.
Reasons to attend Affiliate Summit
Adware – if you’ve been confused about any of my posts on adware, any of the forums you’ve read about it on, or just want to know how it can potentially steal from you, your company or how you can use it; they have both sides of the fence there. You’ll hear from the companies that build it, Affiliates that use it and Managers or OPMs like myself that test it, remove it and educate about the dangers. Adware is a tricky thing and something that you will only get all sides of it from at this show. You know my opinions and that I have never seen it add a ton if any value from an Affiliate to a Merchant, but you’ll hear the other side as well and what their pitch is.
Networking – There is no other show with networking like Affiliate Summit. People go to talk! Years ago I remember Lisa Riolo from Impact Radius (I originally talked to her when she was at BeFree or CJ) blowing into a whistle and screaming out time to switch. She was running a business card bingo game. That is where I met two merchants that at the time I worked with and drove sales too. I also ended up finding an Affiliate for the program I was managing in house. It was an awesome idea that ended up working out really well. Another time we all went out in South Beach and ended up taking over a club and were treated like we were the skinny models and superstars that are normally in there. Normally many of us wouldn’t be allowed in, but when they saw the giant group and the amount of money they could make, we ended up with table service and an amazing experience. You will never get that superstar feeling in a place like that unless you have the right people which are also the people that go to Affiliate Summit.
Education – Although I have differences in opinions than other speakers, everyone gets to share their opinion. The sessions are voted on by the attendees and only the highest quality, or most popular, can make it through. You’ll find sessions on how to steal, sessions on how to prevent theft, live SEO site reviews from some of the smartest SEOs in the world, how to blog and use social media to generate a profit, as well as learn how to protect your company from Nexus Tax Laws, FTC Disclosures and ensure CANSPAM compliance. I don’t think there is a topic in online marketing that isn’t covered at this show and everyone will learn something by going to the right sessions.
Relationships – It is one thing to communicate by email or skype. It is another thing to shake someone’s hand then give them a hug after a couple days of bonding at a show. By attending Affiliate Summit I have not only become close friends and developed solid business relationships with some of the largest websites in the world, but by meeting in person and showing we are both human I have been able to get extra exposure, drive incremental value and have traffic sources I can rely on when I need them.
ROI – I have never left an Affiliate Summit where I didn’t meet a giant partner, sign a new client or find a complimentary business to cross promote with and grow my clients, my company or when I was in house, the company I worked for. The relationship isn’t always built at the show, but sometimes a few months after I’ll get a random phone call or email from someone and every show has resulted in a positive ROI for me. That is very rare to say about any trade show but this is one where I have always come out with more money than I spent to attend.
Affiliate Summit is one of the best shows to attend and one I highly recommend. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you may be missing the early bird special. If you plan on buying tickets to Affiliate Summit, I would love if you would use my Affiliate links by clicking on the banner at the top of this post. Thank you again for reading and I hope to see you there. If you are going, make sure you leave a comment if you’d like to meet or see if there is a way to work together.