This guest post was written by Eric Schechter. With Affiliate Summit growing in audience every year, it’s still a first time event for many attendees. With such a massive event and agenda, how is a rook supposed to manage their time? Eric has written up a nice review sheet of “8 Ways to Get the Most out of Affiliate Summit East“.
Affiliate Summit East 2009 is right around the corner and will be here before you know it. Whether it’s your first conference (or your 1st time at Affiliate Summit) it’s important that you make the most out of your time there. Here are 8 ways you can do just that.
Connect Before the Show
Connecting with affiliates, networks, and other industry professionals before the conference can help you in a variety of ways. For one, many affiliates start putting together their schedules a few weeks before the conference, so reaching out to them early on and letting them know you would like to meet up will increase your chances of getting some face to face time and/or setting up a meeting.
Also, there are a ton of Network VIP (Invite-Only) parties going on at ASE this year, so make sure you get in touch with your Affiliate Manager before the conference, so you are in the know of any parties they are throwing and to make sure you are on the list.
Make a List of People/Companies You Want to Connect with.
Putting together a list (before the conference) of all the people and companies you want to meet, is a great way to stay productive at the show. There will be over 1500 companies, and over 3000 attendees at ASE 2009, so it will be very easy to get distracted. By having a list together, it will ensure that you stay organized, and that you actually meet everyone you planned on meeting up with. For a complete list of companies attending ASE 2009 go here and to see a list and also network with affiliates attending the conference check out ASE’s Ning Network and Facebook Fan Page.
“Don’t be a Networking Whore” – Neil Patel
If this is your first conference, your game plan might be to meet as many people and companies as possible and to leave ASE with very few of your own business cards. While expanding your network is a great goal to have, I encourage you to focus more on creating personal relationships with a few key people at the conference, rather than trying to meet every single person there. By doing so, you will leave the conference with some great contacts that will remember you and be willing to help you out when the time comes.
Face Time with Networks
While you are at ASE, it’s a good idea to make your rounds and get some face time in with your AM and/or the networks you’ve been working with. Not only does this give them a chance to put a face with the name and voice they’ve been talking to, it’s also a great way to enhance your relationship with the network and build even more trust.
Practice your Elevator Pitch
Bringing your A-game to ASE is crucial. You will be meeting some of the most important and influential people in the industry, and when the time comes, you need to be prepared. Having a brief introduction and elevator pitch ready (who you are, what you do, and why they should be interested in you or your product/service), will help you make a great first impression. Time is of the essence at conferences and the first minute you meet someone, is by far the most important – So make the most of it!
Following Up is Key
Chances are, you’re going to meet a variety of people at ASE 2009 that you will want to work with after the conference. While it’s nice to think that everyone you meet will remember you, chances are they probably won’t. That is why it is extremely important that you follow up within 24 hours of meeting them (as opposed to waiting until after the conference). A great way to remember important facts about the people you meet (for your follow up) is to take advantage of the space that most business cards give you by writing a few notes on there after you speak with them. This will help you include a personal touch in your follow up email the next day. For a great example on how to follow up via email, check out this great post by Neil Patel.
The Q&A Sessions and Panels
One of the biggest resources to take advantage of while you’re at ASE, are all the experts that are there to help you improve your sites, grow your business, and be even more successful in the affiliate marketing world. With that said, ASE has put together some great panels and Q and A sessions this year that you should definitely think about attending, especially if you are somewhat new to the industry. Here is a list of a few of them, straight from the ASE site.
SEO Site Clinic: Live Q&A, site audits and suggestions on how to help the internal site structure, as well as ideas how to build a better site for organic rankings. (Sunday at 3pm)
Ask the Experts: Ask the Experts will be an opportunity for merchants, networks and affiliates to ask questions about various specialties and issues. Hand picked experts will handle topics in their specialty, and conduct chats, answer questions and share opinions during this networking and education session. (Monday at 5pm)
Organic Site Review: Have your site reviewed for SEO by a panel of experts in the SEO industry. (Monday at 2pm)
Advertising on Facebook: Learn about advertising on Facebook and how affiliates can reach over 100 million members. Join us for a panel discussion including a Facebook advertising representative covering all you need to know. (Monday at 3:30pm)
- Featuring Zac Johnson & ShoeMoney on the panel
One thing I really want to stress is not to shy away from asking questions (not matter how basic you think they might be) or having your site reviewed. These conferences (and more specifically, these types of panels) were put together to help you learn, refine your skills and become even more successful. So make sure you take advantage of them!
Time to Partay!
If you’ve been to an Affiliate Marketing conference before, you know all about the parties. There are usually a variety of them going on (both Invite Only and ones that are open to all affiliates) and they are a definitely one of the best places to network, close deals, and hang out with other affiliates in a laid back atmosphere. Sometimes the expo hall can get a little crazy because everyone is trying to meet and talk to everyone else, so attending the parties can be a great way to get some more face time with other affiliates and build relationships that will last a life time. For a complete list of parties going on at ASE, check out this post by ASE Founder, Missy Ward.
So what other advice can you give to people that are attending ASE 2009? I know I didn’t cover everything, so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. Also, make sure you stop by the Clickbooth booth (#2217) at ASE and say hi!