ASW11 (Affiliate Summit West 2011) started for me on Saturday night with the Canadian Affiliate Meetup held at the First Food and Bar at the Palazzo. The event was arranged by Peter Koning of Affiliate Software Review with munchies sponsored by AdCanadian. Other than a group of five who stuck to themselves and then left without paying thair bar bill (how unCanadian), the get together was great.
Excellent in fact, considering the gathering was supposed to go from 5 – 6:30 and we ended up staying until 11 talking about affiliate marketing. No surprise that I later met quite a few folks who asked to be “honorary Canadians” at the next Affiliate Summit.
What I discovered that first night was repeated throughout the entire Summit — the bulk of new affiliate marketers with whom I spoke are professional people who either have chosen affiliate marketing to enhance or supplement their incomes, or have had their jobs eliminated during the recession and are using their skills to build new online businesses.
How refreshing to speak with newcomers who aren’t dewy-eyed with the ‘get rich quick’ dream, but know that success will take time and work. Like music to my ears, to be sure.
The best part of the conference for me always is meeting old friends, making new ones and meeting folks for the first time with whom I’ve done business for years.
During this Summit, I had the great pleasure of meeting my Rosalind Gardner’s Academy business parter, Justin Scott Parr, for the first time – as well as one of the Super Affiliate Handbook’s most enthusiastic promoters, Super Affiliate Lynn Terry of ClickNewz. Justin and I hashed out a whole plan for ABP in 2011, while Lynn and I had great fun sharing personal and business war stories over tasty treats and beverages.
Both Justin and Lynn attended my Ask the Experts rountable on Monday afternoon and contributed highly valuable information to the discussion, as did 2 of the industry’s most extraordinary and fun characters – Tom Bell and Dave Taylor. It was also a treat to meet up with a some of our Rosalind Gardner’s Academy members – special mention to Boots Gibson who attended the roundtable and told us about her very cool product for travelers – smart lady!! I really enjoyed doing the roundtable – a much more intimate and IMHO a more productive and informative session for the attendees than when I give a lecture. (Were you there? Your comments appreciated!)
Special thanks go to those Super Affiliates who took the time to find me to let me know that they got their start with the Super Affiliate Handbook.
The only ‘con’ that I experienced with ASW11 was in the exhibit hall. I would suggest that with SO many people in attendance (4600 at the conference), that exhibitors pay more attention to the lineups forming at their booth and attend to those waiting in the order that they arrive. When I wait 10 minutes at your booth to get more information about your product and am then passed over for someone who just arrived – YOU lose any chance that I will ever buy or promote your product. Sound harsh? First impressions count. Disrespect my valuable time and I won’t trust you to respect my referred customers.
One last point. Affiliate Summit venues are HUGE and it takes at least 10 minutes to walk from anywhere in the hotel to meeting rooms and the exhibit hall. So, wear comfortable shoes or get a foot massage like I did (see pic above).
Better yet, do both.