In just a few days I’ll be in Las Vegas (again) along with a few thousand other marketers attending Affiliate Summit West 2011. I’ve been to multiple conferences in my career in affiliate marketing and Affiliate Summit is by far the best. I’m really looking forward to next weeks conference to meet new business contacts, chat with industry friends, as well as speak on my first panel.
If you’re planning on attending, I’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of the conference. After a few years of experience I’ve learned a few things that might help you.
- Avoid Girls In Bikinis
As you walk through the conference hall and meet market, inevitably there will be companies that hire rent-a-girls to attract you to their booth. Stay away. If a company has to hire girls in skimpy clothing to stand by their booth, that is a given that their company must really suck. It will help you in the long run just to not do business with them as they will most likely be out of business in a year.
- Manage Your Liquid Intake
Drink a lot of water and take it easy on the alcohol. Vegas water is pretty expensive, so I suggest making a quick trip to a grocery store and pack it with you. You’re on your feet a lot and drinking water is good for you as well will help you think clearly. It’s tempting to drink a lot of alcohol at the open bars, but pace yourself. You’re going to be around a lot of smart people and when they get drunk they start spilling their secrets. You need to be able to remember them. Last year in Vegas I overheard a trick someone spouted off while wasted that I implemented the next day which helped earn me an extra 5 figures in profit over the next month. Have a good time, just don’t overdo it.
- Look Good But Don’t Be “That Guy”
Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that you feel comfortable in. You’ll be walking around a lot and spend very little time relaxing, so be comfortable. You don’t need to wear a suit to impress. However don’t try to impress people with your Affliction and Ed Hardy wear and turn into “that guy”.
- Don’t Schedule To Much
It’s easy to try to plan every minute your there. I like to leave a lot of my time unscheduled and just see what happens. Who knows, you might get a chance to hang with someone that will help your business out big time, but you don’t have time . Schedule a few important meetings and a few key sessions you want to attend, and then just go with the flow.
- Learn From Everyone
It is easy to stick with people that are like you at events like this. Let’s face it, their are some strange people who attend Affiliate Summit, that’s life. Don’t be afraid to talk to anyone. Maybe that person who looks like they’ve been sleeping out back of the hotel for the past few days has some pretty interesting ideas. Don’t count anyone out. It doesn’t matter if people are in the CPA or CPS world or what forums they post on, they might just be a good contact for a future project.
- Don’t Give Out Cards Unless You Have a Conversation
I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked for my card from random people walking up to me at a conference. Don’t give them one unless you’ve talked with them first unless you enjoy spam. Just say what I say, “sorry I don’t have cards” and walk away.
- Leave Room In Your Luggage
You are about to receive an abundance of crap with peoples logos on it and need a way to tote it all home. It’s free so we rationalize to ourselves that we should take that flashing magnet with a logo for some random company, or that t-shirt that we know we will never wear in public. However despite loads of crappy swag you will get some good stuff. Make sure you have room in your luggage to pack it back home.
- Don’t Eat Alone
There are thousands of smart people who attend Affiliate Summit, there’s no reason to eat alone. If you don’t know anyone, just look for someone else with a conference badge who’s alone. I’ve met some pretty interesting people over lunch.
- Thank Shawn & Missy
Shawn Collins and Missy Ward are the brains behind the Summit and do an amazing job. If you see them around tell them thanks for putting on such a great show. One of these days Missy might remember my name (I’ve met her multiple times), but she has been pretty nice each time we’ve met. As for Shawn, despite the fact he’s a Yankees fan, he’s a very great and approachable guy.
- Network Before The Show
If you aren’t networking before the show, it’s easy to get lost. Get on twitter and follow the people tweeting with the hashtag #ASW11. Jump on Facebook as well as the Affiliate Summit ning site and meet people. That way when you get to the show, you will already have a few contacts.
Hope this helps a bit and enjoy the show. Make sure to say hi if you see me wandering around the show.
What other advice do you have?