Affiliate Summit West 2015 is just a couple short days away. Affiliates, merchants, networks, OPMs, service providers, and others related to the affiliate industry are getting packed, finalizing meetings, and getting prepared for 3 awesome days of fun, learning, networking, and more.
With 5000+ people there from over 1000 different companies it can be a bit overwhelming. Schedules get filled up quickly and looking at the agenda can be a bit overwhelming, especially for a newcomer. There are some people who do better scheduling their days minute by minute before hand and others that go with no real plan and go with the flow. Whatever works best for you and will help you get the most out of the conference is what you should do.
But that said, I wanted to give you a few things you should really plan on doing at Affiliate Summit to make the most of your trip.
1. Meet someone new – With thousands of attendees there is sure to be someone you don’t already know. Make it a point to meet at least one new person. I don’t mean just saying hi to someone at their booth and being done with it. Get into a meaningful conversation with another affiliate, talk to a merchant you don’t already work with, buy someone a drink, meet someone for coffee in the morning. Relationships in this industry are very valuable and productive so mane sure you are always looking to meet new people when you can.
2. Attend some of the sessions – Personally, I usually hate attending sessions at conferences so I am very careful to pick and choose ones I think can really help me. Most of the speakers know a lot more about what they are speaking about than I do so there are some great opportunities to learn. Here are a few of the sessions I am wanting to see this year:
- Sunday at 12:30 – Drinking Wine and Making Money with Eric Nagel, Tricia Meyer, and Todd Farmer – They will walk you through what they did with their Wine Club Reviews site, talk about how they work together, go over some of the challenges they faced, and show how much money they made with this site. If it wasn’t running at the same time as the Seahawks game I would be there in the front row.
- Sunday at 2:00 – Advanced Social Media: 30 Tricks and Tools to save you time – Ashley Coombe will cover a bunch of different tools to help make your social media processes quicker and easier. Very relevant stuff that can help every affiliate and merchant.
- Sunday at 4:00 – Ask The Experts – There are a number of people here that can help you with some specific issues and answer your questions in a wide range of areas.
- Monday at 10:00 – Monetization is not selling out: Bloggers and Affiliate Marketing: Karen Hoxmeier, Brian Littleton, Keri Lyn Renner, Missy Ward – More and more bloggers are starting to see that they can make money with affiliate marketing but there are still some holdouts. These 4 very smart individuals come at this from a number of different angels and will give bloggers some great insight into how they can make money with their sites and not “sell out” and also how merchants can work with them.
- Monday at 2:00 – Smart Remarketing for Maximum Returns – Sean Dolan and Tim Mayer – I mostly have this on the list because these guys are extremely smart so even though I don’t have much to do with remarketing I am sure there is plenty for me to learn.
- Tuesday at 10:00 – Actionable Steps to Boost Your Affiliate Program in 2015 – Me, Kush, Jennifer Crego, Karen Garcia, Kristin Kinsey – Yeah, I have my own session on here. If you are a merchant come and see what you are missing with your affiliate program. Chances are there are some quick changes and tweaks you can make that will make you more money this year.
- Tuesday at 3:10 – Recruiting and Activating affiliates with video content – Wade Tonkin – Learn about creating quick, helpful videos that can help recruit and activate affiliates and have them making money in literally minutes.
There are definitely other sessions that will be valuable to you so take a look at the Affiliate Summit agenda and find a couple that will be helpful to what you are doing.
3. Go to the Shareasale Under The Stars party – Come celebrate Shareasale’s 15th anniversary at their Under The Stars party at the Hyde Nightclub at the Bellagio. This is always one of the highlights of the conference. Come get some drinks, have some food, chat with people, and whatever else the night brings. You can find more info about the party here: http://blog.shareasale.com/shareasale-15th-anniversary-party/
4. Enjoy Vegas – I know Vegas isn’t for everyone but there is pretty much something for everyone to do. Eat an awesome meal somewhere (great restaurants abound in Vegas from burgers to sushi to steaks to seafood), take an hour or two and walk the strip, check out the Bellagio fountains, go to the Venetian and ride a gondola, place a winning be on the Seahawks at the sports book, play some poker, go to the conservatory at the Bellagio, check out one of the art galleries, ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower, take a spin on the High Roller observation wheel, have a drink or 6, hit a nightclub for some dancing, or whatever it is you enjoy. Take some time away from the conference to experience Vegas.
And just so you know Shake Shack just opened at the New York New York hotel. If you have never eaten there make it a priority. Awesome burgers and custard shakes.
5. Talk to me or Wade about how to make money selling licensed sports merchandise and collectibles from Fanatics.com – Yeah, another shameless plug. Licensed team apparel is something nearly everyone wants. Sports fans, people who like supporting their school or city, collectors, people looking for stylish apparel, kids, women, men, dogs, and pretty much everyone else is a potential customer so find either of us and we can help you sell some of our 400,000+ products.
6. Walk the Meet Market and Exhibit Hall – I am not going to lie, there aren’t a lot of companies exhibiting that I would do business with. But it is always nice to take a stroll around the exhibit hall and see who is there. I can usually find one or two exhibitors worth talking to and it is always a great way to pick up some extra pens. It can get kind of crowded in there so be prepared.
Affiliate Summit is huge but if you take a bit of time ahead of time to plan it can make a huge difference. Even if it is just setting up a meeting or two, picking a session or two to attend, or find some exhibitors to meet with a little thought ahead of time can greatly improve your conference experience.
What are you looking forward to doing at Affiliate Summit? Leave a comment and let me know.