If you have anything to do with the internet marketing or affiliate marketing industries, then you know that Affiliate Summit West is coming up very soon in January. Thousands of affiliate marketers, networks, advertisers, merchants, and vendors are going to be heading to the Rio in sunny Las Vegas to meet up.
What you may not know is how big of an effect going to Affiliate Summit or one of the other large conferences (like ad:tech) could have on your business. Is it worth it to shell out your hard-earned bucks for a plane ticket, hotel room, plus the price of the ticket (which could run anywhere from $350 to $2,000+)?
The answer is yes! These events are absolutely priceless when measured in the amount of opportunities you have to network & expand your horizons. That might sound a little vague, but consider the following…
Affiliate marketing is more and more about relationships. With 300+ ad networks out there competing for your business, there is bound to be some overlap, and there are going to be a few (if not many) offers shared between the networks. So what do you do? Is it better to bounce around from network to network chasing an extra $0.25 per lead? Or should you stick with one network and give 100% of your traffic to them no matter what the other guys are doing?
I would say neither. A good affiliate marketer must always be on the lookout for the next big thing, but at the same time it is essential that you develop strong relationships in the industry. This is what will give you the upper edge. Imagine if you had been able to jump into the Acai or Ringtones markets a good 3-6 months before the competition. You would already have found the profitable keywords, you would have your campaigns going full tilt, and at that point the new guys coming in will have to go through or over you before they can get a piece of the market. That is a very good position to be in.
So how does this tie into going to a conference? Simple. You will have the opportunity to meet with network reps, AMs, and advertisers in person. This is so much better than trying to chase someone down over the phone or email. You will leave a much longer-lasting impression on the people you meet, and a good friendship/connection in this business could be worth tens of thousands of dollars. Also, a lot of the big networks and advertisers use the events to unveil their new products/campaigns/announcements to the affiliates. You will have a leg up on the competition because you will be there and get it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Finally, if you are at the conference and staying at the hotel where it is being held, hanging around at the hotel bar can be an excellent way to network with people. I would even say that if you are within driving distance of the conference, it might be worth it to take a drive over to the hotel, just to hang out there and network. After a couple of drinks, you would be surprised what kind of information will come out of the mouths of “super affiliates”.
So there you have it. If you haven’t been to one of these yet, you need to be there and experience it. And if you have already been to one, I have little doubt you won’t miss one again. If anyone is going to Affiliate Summit West in January, drop me a line and let me know if you’d like to meet up for drinks or drop by the affiliate.com booth and introduce yourself. See you all there!