Happy New Year! For those of us in the Affiliate Marketing industry, January means Q1 Prep, Q4 Review and Affiliate Summit West. After attending six of these conferences, I have a pretty consistent list of things to do prior to my departure from Chicago. These are as follows…
1. Upload Material to Dropbox (or similar)
This has been a lifesaver for our marketing team. Whatever you need for your trip, upload to a cloud. We will upload the design files for our marketing material, our business card files, confirmation emails, schedules, maps and anything else we can think of. We are then able to quickly access it from our phone or tablet without having to dig through emails or confirmation papers. For more organization tips, check out Erica’s “Keeping Conferences Organized” Post.
2. Write Down your Goals
Goals keep you focused and make you accountable. Goals are especially important at Affiliate Summit as there are a lot of amazing sessions to attend, people to meet and parties to make an appearance at. You should write down at least five goals for ASW. Who do you want to meet? What questions do you want answered? What do you want to learn? What problem do you want solved?
3. Look at a Map and Schedule of the Conference
As mentioned previously, there are a lot of amazing sessions to attend and people to meet at Affiliate Summit. Be sure to look at the map of the Meet Market and Exhibit Hall so you can map out who you want to meet with and where they will be during the conference. You can check out the interactive map here.
You will also want to carefully review all the sessions to schedule out which ones you would like to attend. Not sure where to start? Reference your goals! View the schedule here.
4. Setup an Affiliate Bonus Campaign, Automatically.
This one is for Merchants! Before you head out to Affiliate Summit, it would be wise to map out a plan for recruiting Affiliates. One of my favourite ways to recruit and motivate Affiliates is to utilize Auto-Tagging and Commission Rules within your ShareASale Account.
You can create a specialized link that automatically tags Affiliates with “Affiliate Summit West 2014” and assigns a specific recruitment bonus to them!
There are a few steps involved in this process, but one of my previous blog posts “Conference Pre-Planning – Organize New Affiliate Signups” will explain it all! For additional recruitment ideas, check out a post by our Director of Client Services on “Recruitment Promotional Ideas“.
5. Find a Superhero or Supervillain Costume
ShareASale’s Under the Stars Party at Affiliate Summit West 2014 is Superheroes vs. Supervillains! Be sure to find a costume beforehand so you can enter in the Best Dressed Costume Contest! If you need a few ideas on a costume, check out our Pinterest Board.
6. Get your Marketing Material Together
Whether you are an Affiliate or Merchant, it’s important to have a few pieces of marketing material on hand. There are four major pieces to prep prior to attending or exhibiting at a conference:
- The Informational Document(s)
- The Business Cards
- The Giveaway
- The Booth
There are a number of important practices to remember when developing these pieces – take a look at a few best practices here. And don’t forget to upload these files to your cloud!
Get Marketing Material Ready | ShareASale Blog
Marketing Material can make or break a conference. Although as the Marketing Manager, I may be biased. But seriously, it can. Let’s talk a little best practices.
7. Start Networking
Before you fly off to Vegas, I would recommend connecting with a few fellow attendees. This could be folks you met last year, a few of your current partners/vendors or just people you find talking about Affiliate Summit on social media.
- Affiliate Summit Facebook Group
- Affiliate Summit Twitter
- Affiliate Summit West 2014 Official Hash Tag
8. Go Shopping
You are investing a lot of time and resources to attend Affiliate Summit West, so you should make the most out it. Buy a couple new pieces of business casual attire – shoes, slacks, dark jeans, a new blouse or blazer. Rocking a sharp new piece of clothing can really help boost your confidence and professionalism. Check out the great tips our Marketing Communications Manager put together last year…
Dress to Impress | ShareASale Blog
Conference Season is upon us, and with so conferences in different locations around the country, you should be thinking about the wardrobe you will be bringing to help put your best foot forward.
9. Research the Town
It’s important to know where you are going. How are you getting from the airport to the hotel? If you ask a potential client to dinner, where are you going to suggest? What’s the weather like? Is it going to be 20 degrees in Vegas like it was last year?
Luckily Affiliate Summit has done most of the work for you here! Thank you Affiliate Summit. Check out their great Pinterest Boards…
Las Vegas Food & Drink
Vegas is known for some fine dining and has a large variety of places to eat and drink at. Why not enjoy a day at Affiliate Summit followed by a nice dinner and drinks!
Las Vegas Attractions
Affiliate Summit West is taking place in January 12-14, 2014 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. While you’re in Vegas, why not see what this city has to offer.
Don’t laugh! Conferences are a marathon, especially in Las Vegas. You will be attending sessions, browsing the exhibit hall, meeting with clients and inevitably you will forgot to drink the good ‘ole H2O. Drink lots of water two days before the conference, and remember to drink as much as you can while you are there. Not sure if you are dehydrated? Check out these 10 Symptoms of Dehydration!
Shawn Collins saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 9:19 am
I’ve got something for people going to Affiliate Summit for the first time – I wrote a new book that’s free on Kindle through January 3 called How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Conference http://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Most-Attending-Conference-ebook/dp/B00HCQM01W/
Brian Littleton saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 9:30 am
Thanks Shawn – as you are the co-founder of Affiliate Summit, your insights into that one will be really cool to read!
Linda Toqe saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 12:40 pm
Are there (reasonably priced) tickets still available anywhere for ASW this month?
Shawn Collins saysJanuary 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm
There may be some that pop up on eBay from people who can’t make it. But otherwise, they’ve been sold out for a week.
Alli saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm
Love the post Lindsey! Great tips for sure (particularly the “Hydrate.” It’s so true!) Looking forward to seeing you all in Vegas!