Affiliate Summit has always been my favorite conference because as I like to say you get all types. Everyone is an entrepreneur, so there's a lot of self-made people and a lot of hustle. This was at least my 5th time attending and honestly one of my favorites. I didn't expect what I found!
How Affiliate Summit has changed
No one goes to classes any more.
At past Affiliate Summit's people came to learn affiliate marketing. Now they go to meet and make deals. The market has matured to the point that the classes were hardly full but the “Meet Market” and exhibit halls were. In fact all the halls were full. If someone opened the door there was a roar of sound coming from the hall!
In the past people went to classes, tweeted and otherwise shared their experiences on social media. Not this year. I didn't see as much activity on Twitter during the conference. It felt like most of the people who went to classes were newbies.
What this means: if you attend a class you have a great opportunity to network with the speakers. They are experts and you have access to the smartest people in the room. Over the years some of my best experiences have come from meeting the speakers.
The blogger/media room was practically empty.
Again, I remember this being a big deal. I met other bloggers, there were interviews going on and networking. This time if it weren't for some Utah bloggers, I think it would've been pretty quiet. Besides my blogging friends from Utah, there was John Chow, Zac Johnson, travel bloggers Yeison and Samantha from Our Tan Feet, and Will from Going Awesome Places. Yeison and I talked about setting up private affiliate programs with local businesses. I really loved how he takes care of each customer as if they are his own.
John affectionately nicknamed our group The Real Housewives of Affiliate Summit. Here they are sporting some swag from the exhibitor hall:
He took a video and blogged about the “Real Housewives of Affiliate Summit“. Now they're even more famous!!
Again, this is probably because people want to meet up and aren't as interesting in reporting. I saw this as a great way to get know bloggers and made some great connections.
Meet Stefan, the mobile game entrepreneur. He stood outside Affiliate Summit holding a sign to try to get investors and publicity for his mobile game. What I didn't know is that he was rude to Missy and staff, didn't have a ticket, and so was asked to leave. I was interested in his story but found it difficult to like him after hearing this. Check out more on John Chow‘s post and my Facebook update.
I've put on events and someone taking advantage of my hard work by not paying or not paying their fair share is maddening.
Instead he could've done this (ok, I'm not 100% sure this is allowed):
Affiliate Summit was profitable for me too. It's already resulted in a sale of $1,000 and many introductions and knowledge that are worth more than that to me.
What hasn't changed is that Affiliate Summit is a lot of fun, it's hosted at a great place and it's still has it's share of characters! Just don't expect to see anyone but the Utah bloggers at breakfast on Saturday. Everyone else is hung over and still sleeping.
Thanks Shawn and Missy for another incredible conference! I'm so glad it's in Vegas (one of my favorite cities). Can't wait for next year!