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  1. #1
    Member phantomcat's Avatar
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    Talking 2005 "Friends of.. " conference!
    I wish to thank Carolyn and Brian for a wonderful experience in Chicago. Walking away from the workshop portion of their efforts I truly felt privledged for the opportunity to attend. Chicago is more central than Vegas, with slightly less distractions, and seemed to attract a very interesting and diverse cross section of affiliate marketers.

    I have a new-found appreciation of all three sides of the "proverbial" coin which we all wish to have direct deposited into our account.
    (affiliate-network-merchant)

    Carolyn was a gracious hostess who unerstandably has a very real need for Orbitz to be the premier travel broker on the internet. Before I attended this conference, Orbitz was simply a banner to me, now Orbitz is Carolyn and an impressive customer care department that is truly remarkable.

    Well done Carolyn, your thinly veiled intensity and very apparent and sincere committment has clearly influenced my marketing efforts to lean towards Orbitz.

    Brian Littleton was nothing short of impressive. Both he and Carolyn allowed our discussion topics to run their eclectic courses but masterfully interjected direction when direction was needed.

    I must say, although, to Brian, that on the way back to Milwaukee I kept replaying our discussion about the affiliates need to help make the sale, prior to the customer's click-through to the merchant. While I understand that this is a long-playing record that the merchants play for you, and I think highly of your suggestion of interjecting, "have you heard enough?" links into the copy, attempting to close the sale before they find a reason not to buy, I truly beleive that what the merchants are not grasping is that it is not the sales copy on each site that makes or breaks (the affiliate's portion) of the sale, but rather it is the relevanct of the site that attracts it's own specific traffic to that site. If I change my meta discription for a lingerie site to: "beautiful models in sexy underwear", I'll get thousands of teenage boys clicking through with nary a sale. And all the "closing" links along the way will not pry those kids from their lunch money.
    And while I know that I'm preaching to the choir, just as the search engines have put a huge premium on site relevence, I too have a renewed committment to improve my sites in order to appeal, not attract!

    To NYfalcon, thank you for your very logical "hot dog" concept. (you had to be there) Simply stated, it is that it is better to get all the hits for a corner hot dog stand than it is to get 1/1,000 of the hits for a large established restaurant, or 1 of 100,000 hits for a national chain of restaurants. If 10 search for the hot dog stand you have twice the success than if one-half million search for the national chain.

    I for one am very thankful to Carolyn, Brian, wiz, falcon and all for a great learning experience among a great group of professionals. I hope to see more of the same.
    Terrie
    Moonbeam Mega Mall

  2. #2
    Crazy like a fox suzigeek's Avatar
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    Uggg I REALLY wished I could've made it....darn husbands and stomach flu's.

    I should left him sick and with the 2 little ones for the weekend!!!

    Really though I'm glad you had a good experience phantomcat. I hope this will be held in Chicago again and I can ditch my family for a couple of days .

    Kudos to Brian and Carolyn .
    Suz~~GearGirl~~

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I missed it this time, too.

    But like Suzigeek, I hope there will be more events in Chicago! It's one of my favorite cities.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  4. #4
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    East coast next time please.

    NYC, Boston, Montreal. If it's Montreal then Chris AMWSO could come, too. Montreal is a great city, as cities go.

  5. #5
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Phantomcat glad to hear you had a good time and picked up some valuable information. That's what it's all about. Carolyn and Brian are both really great and really know their stuff.

    I unexpectedly wound up in Chicago briefly last night. I seriously comtemplated the possibility of an inpromptu move of the gathering to O'Hare. So close and yet so far away......

  6. #6
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    It was a really poor showing of people. (But all the people was really nice). I don't know if it was the timing or the locastion. I suggest we do what we did last year. make it in Las Vegas in early May. Please, any excuse to go to vegas :-)

    BUt lets see, Whiznot did a great job of moderating and the discussions was very good. Everyone waited their turn and everyone got a turn to speak

    The things I learned about orbitz travel services really impressed me, Cool that Orbitz has people who constantly checks the weather and will phone, email you when your planes are delayed because of the weather. The also claim they can rebook you if your flight is concelled. Bit thumbs up on them. People with cellphones should use orbitz. And you know this is sincere b/c I'mnot putting up an affiliate link ;'-)

    I got cool thinks to play with, firstly a cute orbitz stress squeeze blimp (and no, donna you can't have mine, you should have taken the one off you know whose desk). I got a fat wallet glow in the dark playdoh type thing and some fat wallet mints.

    There was some orance citrus fizzy power stuff you are supposed to add to water, yuck.

    Mike

  7. #7
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    I think there was 10 of us not including the orbitz people. But I didn't count. As I remember there was dozens in Las Vegas. I think I'm going to hint for las vegas ABW conferences at every opportunity. Also this should be in late April, early may. There was lots of internet/marketing conventions in June. Ask Carolyn, she had the complete attenence.

  8. #8
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Talking another county heard from
    and there are some of us whose income just doesn't allow the grand trip to schmooze.

    I'd like to propose that it could be possible to have mini-meetings (OK, one-day coffeklatches) in slightly out of the way cities for those whose budgets would allow a long drive but no overnight.

    this might bring together some affiliates and merchants who are in the same neighborhood. the networks might decline, given the potential ROI.

    and some merchants might be able to connect face-to-face with their (and potential) publishers. cheap.

    organization would be a bear, of course . . .

  9. #9
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    Didn't we try a upstate, NY meeting last year and we just could not pull it off?

    A nice convention by affiliates for affiliates would be great

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    Local events
    www.a4uforum.co.uk has these and they seem to work.
    The problem seems to be that U.S. affiliates just BS about wanting to get-to-gether.

  11. #11
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I have to add that we have to thank the generous merchant that sponsored our after confernce party. Thanks to Carolyn and Brain and Whiznot for doing most of the moderating.

    Although it was a small turnout the trip paid for itself, The after conference networking that I did will pay off in future sites.

    Phantomcat- Thanks for the kind words but I dont think anyone else picked up on the Hot dog theory as we did most of that discusion during the Pizza break that was sponsored by shareasale. I am glad you got it though.

    I learned a few things on saturday from sitting with Potent Mix and Whiznot and others at the chicago festival that I am sure I will be putting in play. There may even be a "hot dogs" website in the future. Who knows it might top the woty idea lol

    Meeting Jrami was cool and it is good to see an ethical opm. I will be signing up and making pages for all his programs from now on.

    It was good seeing Mike from Easyclicktravel again and preparing myself for a new site. Hope he is feeling better.

    Throwing ideas around with Miss Donna was fun and I am sure we will be bouncing ideas around in the future.

    I got to spend 4 days in Chicago which I would of never done without this conference. Took in a free concert that was better than I thought it would be.

    My hotel room was huge and overlooked Lake Michigan I placed some pictures on my site of the festival which I could see me taking in again next year too.

    I think we would of had a better turnout if we were in Vegas since every city has specials on airfare to there. I was happy to be there this year and I will be at the next one no matter where it is. I am sure I will add more but its time for bed.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  12. #12
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dflsports
    Didn't we try a upstate, NY meeting last year and we just could not pull it off?

    A nice convention by affiliates for affiliates would be great
    ? never heard about it. but then, I live in the back.

  13. #13
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    Had a great time and learned a lot.

    Thanks to Carolyn Tang for helping to organize the meeting and to Orbitz for loaning us their superb executive conference room for Friday's meeting.

    Thanks to Brian for helping to organize the meeting also and to his company, Shareasale, for sponsoring our tasty pizza lunch.

    Finally, thanks to Mike Mackin and NFI Products for their sponsorship of the piano bar and samples of Energy Fizz, which really should be off limits to anyone not wanting to be blackmailed by Carolyn with her cell phone camera.

    The Congress Plaza hotel turned out to be quite suitable ... I experienced no significant problems from the strike (except the restaurant was not well staffed at breakfast). But being right across the street from the Taste of Chicago event and three blocks from the CTA train, it was about as well-located as one could find.

    Thanks to all the attendees and their willingness to share ideas and contribute to the forum discussions.

  14. #14
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Yeah, I tried to put something together last summer for us Upstate Norkers but everyone was going in different directions and I gave up. The torch was picked up by two other folks who seem to have disappeared from ABW.

    You did too hear about it Herb.

    Best to wait until deer fly season ends if we're gonna do something outdoors.

  15. #15
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    >>>Best to wait until deer fly season ends if we're gonna do something outdoors.

    I was invited to a cookout at a park very near Syracuse NY yesterday. I've never had small flies try to take a chunk out of me before, so I think I know what you mean.

    And I'm a native?

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager
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    And thank YOU guys so much for coming and for helping us grow this industry. Events like these that get us all together to talk shop are great. I know I learned a LOT from you guys, and it helps me see things from your point of view. No matter who hosts this event next time, I am certainly up for helping in any way possible!

    And yes, Miss Donna, that tasty, cheesy, heavenly pizza that you got to enjoy was Giordanno's Chicago-pizza, a deep-dish special. Nothing like it.

    Also everyone, please remember that I do have pictures and I am Photoshop-edumacated! Additionally, I have a picture of a bacon-wrapped, deep fried hot dog for ya NYFalcon

  17. #17
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    The funniest thing is the page I made with the pics shows adsense ads for hot dogs. I almostt fell off my chair when I saw that.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    everyone, please remember that I do have pictures
    Carolyn, had a great time, how much for the negatives.

    Great meeting up with everyone and Carolyn, Brian at Orbitz Friday and sharing ideas, wished more ABWebers could have attended but guess too many events close together.

    Orbitz was a great place and it's true about how they call you with flights and schedule info etc. I had calls each time with prior flight information, etc.

    It was great meeting up with missdonna and nyfalcon at the Congress on thursday and a great time at the piano bar Friday with nyfalcon, carolyn, brian, whiznot and the rest of the friends there.

    nyfalcon, thanks. Don't forget, when you visit here let me know, clubs are all yours buddy.

    Next event, any location, I'll be there again for sure.

  19. #19
    Member phantomcat's Avatar
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    Talking So Falcon...
    Did you interview the hot dog stand guy or are you gonna just ad-lib? *smile*
    After the meeting I met my wife at a hotel North of Chicago. Enjoyed an open bar until 7:30, had a swim and whirlpool, went out to dinner, had a swim and whirlpool, and built a 500 keyword rich site from an idea you gave me. (no hotdogs in the text) All before midnight! What a romantic I am!!! lol
    Thanks buddy.
    Terrie
    Moonbeam Mega Mall

  20. #20
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Maybe I am in the wrong business - Iwillgiveyouaniche.com toom many ideas too little time.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  21. #21
    http and a telephoto
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    I just wanted to pip up and say it wasn't location as much as timing. I couldn't travel away from my son twice so close together in June. And that was brought up as a concern early in the planning stages
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  22. #22
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Phantomcat

    Is the site live yet I would love to see the master idea lol. dont put it here pm me instead the hot dog competion is too tough here.

    A few things have been implemented on my sites since picking up some stuff and its been 150% up on my sites. Most of it from ad libbing of course. Having a new writer for my sites named jessica simpson has helped especially with the new dukes of hazzard promos running on tv.

    I have been slowly getting my cousin into affiliate marketing and she is amazed at the stuff I have been showing her. She picked up on my new "Near the Best Hot Dog Stand" approach. After all it might be the best one that people are searching for.

    Pontent Mix also gave me an idea for a site that I was planning but it was on the back burner. Hmm the "back burner theory" I like the sound of that. You all will just have to wait until next year to hear it lol.

    I made a url + meta tag change to some new pages and traffic up in google. Trip paid for already. Sometimes its better to listen and something was said at the meeting that I am sure no one else picked up even though they heard it. I acted on it
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  23. #23
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    back-burner.com sounds like a grill site for bbq's deluxe grills maybe hmmm
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  24. #24
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Thanks Rhea, Montreal or anything north or south of the USA works for me

  25. #25
    Newbie
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    Does Haiko speak at these conferences?

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