First Timers Guide To Affiliate Summit
Attending Affiliate Summit West 2016? Affiliate Window will be exhibiting at booth #2002, showcasing our recently launched tools including payment-on-assists, the Opportunity Marketplace and cross-device tracking!
New to Affiliate Summit? Affiliate Window has great tips for making the most of Affiliate Summit in Last Vegas – provided by our Senior Account Director, Jeannine Crooks, who has mentored numerous newbies at Summit over the last 11 years at Affiliate Summit East and West!
Attending Affiliate Summit for the first time can be overwhelming. There are so many people and companies all clamoring for your attention in a very limited time period. How do you prepare to get the most out of it all? Here are ten tips to help you maximize your attendance.
1. Bring plenty of business cards
Some folks have shown up with only 50 cards and run out during the first day. Bring at least 250 so you never have that problem. That should also give you enough to enter all the great contests at the various booths and perhaps win a terrific prize. Bonus Tip: Don’t use coated stock, or at least not on both sides. People will want to write notes on the card about their conversation with you, and coated stock makes that hard. Plus, if you meet someone without a card, you can use one of your cards to write down their info.
2. Dress in business casual
The majority of attendees wear comfortable but professional clothes, because comfort matters during the long days of Summit. You’ll see everything from three-piece suits to t-shirts and jeans, so wear something that presents the image you want to make. Ladies, you could walk five miles or more each day during the conference, so really think about it before packing spiked heels.
3. Review booths in advance
Some companies only exhibit at Meet Market, while other companies only have a booth during the trade show. Spend time before Affiliate Summit reviewing each company’s information and making a target list of those you want to meet with each day so that you don’t miss them. There is so much activity during each of those events that it is easy to get distracted, so visit the target booths first then wander the aisles enjoying the other exhibitors there.
4. Badge categories are frequently incorrect
You will quickly learn the color coded system used to identify each attendee – one color means affiliate, a second means merchant, third means network, etc. Many people in this industry are involved in more than one aspect, and many newcomers aren’t quite sure how to categorize themselves. Consequently just because someone’s badge is coded as if they were a merchant doesn’t mean they aren’t also an affiliate. Never miss a chance to find out what someone else does despite their badge color; you never know who you might be otherwise missing.
5. Elevator speech
In many ways Affiliate Summit is like speed-dating, with only a few seconds to compare notes with another business person to see if there’s potential to work together before moving on to the next person. Having a polished elevator speech highlighting what you do and what makes your company/blog/site unique can help make the most out of a 30-second meeting. Don’t be surprised if you actually give your elevator pitch in the elevator!
Sometimes it can be hard after a long day, but people are naturally attracted to a welcoming smile over any other expression because it invites communication. Yes, this one sounds simple, but from an historic standpoint this has been proven repeatedly as an effective strategy at Affiliate Summit just as it is at any other business event.
7. Network everywhere
There will be many other people at their first Affiliate Summit as well, or others who are there but traveling alone. If you are at a restaurant and someone else wearing a Summit badge walks by looking for a table, invite them to join you. You already have the show in common, and there’s a good chance you can either work with them or perhaps get a recommendation of someone else from them. Networking is critical to your success in affiliate marketing, so never miss an opportunity, and Summit attendees are known for being nice!
8. Schedule appointments in advance
Time is limited at Affiliate Summit and the days go by very quickly. If possible, schedule and confirm appointments with your most desired people in advance to have a better chance of actually having a meeting take place. If neither party has a booth or meeting suite, pick a very specific place in the hotel in advance, like the elevator bank, the door to a specific hotel coffee shop, or by a specific store. Tip: Don’t be too disappointed if someone is running late and the meeting doesn’t happen. Summit is notorious for that, but if you’ve already made the initial contact, you’ve got the foundation for further discussions after the show as well.
9. Don’t miss Meet Market or the Trade Show
If you have a pass which enables you to attend sessions, your pass also ensures that you’ll receive access to the videos of each session afterwards. Plan your schedule to attend the sessions which are most important to you, but make sure to leave some slots in your day to visit the Meet Market and trade show floors; you can always listen to the sessions you missed later.
10. Take time to relax
With so many people, so many booths, so many sessions, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the insanity known as Affiliate Summit, so make sure you take time to relax. The best analogy is truly “like trying to drink from a fire hose.” Find a quiet spot, pause for a cup of coffee, and take a few deep breaths to collect your thoughts and rest up before continuing the show. Don’t worry about missing something – there is too much activity to ever do everything you wanted to do, so don’t make yourself crazy and instead fully enjoy every minute.
ASW 16 will not be one to be missed, so be sure to register for your pass here and arrange a meeting with us! Email us to set up a meeting or to discuss new opportunities available through our network.
See you at Summit!