Today was the first day of the Performance Marketing Expo event in Miami, Florida. Last night I arrived with a bunch of other speakers and friends, like John Chow, Ian Fernando and Eric Schechter to mention a few. PMA sponsored a nice dinner for all of the speakers at a classy restaurant. It was great for all of us to meet up again… especially since we were all just together last week at ThinkTank in Del Mar, CA!
As for the event, it was smaller than most affiliate conferences, with around 80 attendees, but these are the smaller types of conferences I enjoy. Instead of getting lost in a sea of hundreds of attendees, you actually can meet up with everyone at the event and meet some new people. If Performance Marketing Expo decides to hold another event next year, I’m sure it will at least double in size, as inaugural events usually start off slow, then grow a decent amount in the following years.
The day kicked off with a keynote from Michael Tchong of UberCool, who is an excellent speaker. I first saw Michael Chong speak a decade ago at CJU 2000! At that time, Tchong was actually the first keynote I ever saw, since CJU 2000 was my first conference, and he always stood out as one of my favorite and best speakers. It was great to see Michael still has it, as he delivered an excellent session on how social networking and technology is changing the world we live in.
Next we had Stephanie Nelson from CouponMom, who delivered a more personal session and told her story of how she went from building a small site about how to clip coupons, save money and help provide food for food drives and shelters, to building the massive web site CouponMom.com is today. Stephanie also has quite the list of television appearances, with 17 appearances on Good Morning America and even Oprah. Oh yea… did I mention all of this was accomplished by Stephanie while being a stay at home mom? This was a great story and Stephanie did a great job delivering it to the audience.
After lunch was the keynote panel “Getting on the Affiliate Fast Track“, which included Eddie Alberty, Matthew Cherif, Greg Brynes and myself. This session also went very well. We actually couldn’t fit everything we wanted to talk about into the one hour session, but a lot of content and Q&A was covered. Main discussions were on coupon advertising, market / customer trends and Facebook advertising. John Chow did a good job of blogging the session while it was going on.
The last session I made it to was “If You Build It, They Will Come: How I Lost $500,000” with Sherry Comes of CoffeeCakes.com. The title sounds awesome enough, and the session was packed with the full story. In short, back in 1995 Sherry had the idea for an internet cafe and spent around half a million dollars building and implementing her idea. With many problems, such as hiring and dealing with staff, the world not really being ready for the internet yet, and not enough market research… the business failed. Sherry then took her idea online and is now killing it with CoffeeCakes.com. I talked with Sherry a bit on how she can improve her existing web site and hit even better number by adding her own affiliate program. I’m looking forward to hearing back from Sherry and how much her business grows after having an army of affiliates pushing traffic ans sales to her site.
I’m heading back home in the morning, but it was great to attend the first Performance Marketing Expo event and I look forward to seeing what they have in store for next year. Photo credits to John Chow, and Thank you PME for the invite!