This coming weekend, Affiliate Summit is hitting Philadelphia. I have been attending Affiliate Summit since 2008 and this is the first time they have diverted away from New York. Every since I have gone it has always been in New York. Now this post is not going to be about Affiliate Summit but the experiences that are different every time I go and why I keep going. There are usually only 2 shows I will constantly attend and Affiliate Summit is definitely one of them.
Let go back to Affiliate Summit West 2008 ...
I was a beginner and I made my first thousand dollars while, I believe still maintaing 2 jobs at that time, I saved enough money to buy my plane ticket and a hotel room for Affiliate Summit West, my first show and my first time in Vegas. This was my first time and my overall excitement was to meet everyone that I know and wanted to meet. I met multiple bloggers that I read such as John Chow, Zac Johnson, and Andrew Wee. I was also excited to meetup with Wes Mahler for the first time and who knew we would be as close to me as my brother. At this time I was only working with 2 CPA networks at this time and was introduced to a range of new networks to work with and who can compete with my payouts.
This time around, since it was my first conference in the affiliate industry, I wanted to soak in as much information as I can. I went to a majority of the sessions and met as much people as I can. Uncandidly, people also stopped me. The team from 202 definitely did, some other tech bloggers, and even blog owners of blogs I was reading. Very humbled for that. I met so much people this summit, that our connection only grew as the years pass.
When I arrived in Vegas, it was a monster and I gave myself XX amount of money to go and explore. I didn't just come to the conference, I also came to meet and catch up with old friends that have moved there. Partying in Vegas for the first time is definitely a bad idea.
Affiliate Summit East 2008 ...
This show was held in Boston. This was also my first time speaking at a conference, in front of an audience that is going to judge me on my knowledge. This is also the first time I threw my first IANteract Dinner. I started this dinner because I realized how important it is to interact with people that are just like me and even better than me in my industry. The first IANteract dinner I sponsored and then from here on out it has been one of the best investments I have personally done.
After the first dinner, networks wanted to use my power of networking and use it to their advantage and sponsor the dinner themselves. This became a ritual over the coming Affiliate Summits.
2009 West and East ...
Vegas very dangerous place, I have learned to slow it a bit down while I am here. At this point in my affiliate marketing career I have been doing well with both on my blog and paid traffic. At this time around I also knew who to talk to and who to just ignore. When my first sumit in Vegas, I wanted to meet everyone that I can talk too. This time I only talked to someone who can peak my interest.
Also at this time, I released AFFpinions It was the FIRST affiliate network review/opinio style site for affiliate networks. I created this because while in 2008, I signed up to a ton of networks I didn't know their credibility. So I asked the industry and they provided feedback, later in the year I sold Affpinions.
I even had 2 types of business cards, where one is just an information business card going to my site and another with actual contact information.
I also built up a name via my blog and more and more people wanted to meetup and discuss running traffic. Then East came and I constantly setup my IANteract dinner. It was sponsored by good friends and a good network. At this point, I was doing well with my affiliate game and had multiple ideas rolling and even at this time started to even get into development projects.
... and further on into the future of online marketing, experience grow as you grow.
I wanted to point out to everyone that conferences such as Affiliate Summit will definitely grow your business but it is also about how you take that information and grow with it. A lot of people will go just so they say they went but do not do anything with the information they gathered. Others just get so much information that they are overloaded with information and do not know where to start.
Each time I go I have expanded in some way. I started as a beginner and received the opportunity to speak. I create a social private dinner for people I wanted to always stay connected with. I created businesses and solved problems from what I saw/discussed at conferences. I have made great friends and continued to always keep those relationships going.
It isn't always about the show, it is what you take away from it and use it to your benefit. This is the reason why I consistently go to Affiliate Summit because I grow with my business. My experiences from my growth can help someone or help me by attending these conferences. Each time I go a new experience comes with my business ventures.