With the Affiliate Summit just days away, here’re a few pointers especially if it’s your first time to the summit:
- Vegas Throat: Specific to Las Vegas, you will lose your voice very easily if you don’t take care of your throat. The dry desert air creates a lot of static electricity, it also dries out your throat and you’ll find yourself losing your voice at the end of day 1 or day 2 if you don’t drink enough liquids or take throat lozenges to give your throat a break. Also worth trying a a honey drink at the end of the day (real honey, not that cheap honey-flavored sugar syrup typically sold at grocery stores). I’m bringing a herbal throat syrup that I expect will do wonders (known in Chinese as “Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa”.
- Camera/Video Camera/Flip Camera: Do the touristy thing and take lots of photos during the summit. Better yet, take lots of pictures with people so you can remember what they look like. It’s fairly safe to assume that 90% of bloggers will look NOTHING like what their avatar looks like. (present company included).
- Business Cards: Yes, the reciprocity thing takes place. I give you my card, you give me your card. Generally a great practise, although if you live in the US, you can expect to get lots of follow up calls over the next week. The most important thing about collecting business cards is to follow up within a week after the summit, something that Stephanie Agresta (AKA Internet Geek Girl) is great at. On another note, if you’re like me and collect a couple of hundred business card each year, be sure to carry a pen and scribble “ASW08″ on the back of the card, especially after you put it in the huge pile in your office later.
- It’s COLD: Expect a low of 32 deg F according to the weather forecasts, so bring a heavy coat if you get chilly.
- Networks ahead of the summit: Contact people and companies you’d like to meet, especially if you go through the exhibitors list, or if you know that a particular affiliate or blogger is headed over. Some of the people I’m looking forward to meeting: Heather Paulson, Stephanie Agresta, Sam Harrelson, James and Arlene Martell, Jim Lillig, NeverblueAds’ Samantha Brachat, Revenuewire CEO Geordie Carswell. I talk to many of these folks on a daily basis, but it’s always great to meet up in person.
- Take the shuttle bus: If you’re not in a great hurry, the shuttle bus at the airport costs $7 and goes to the major hotels. The taxi ride costs $20 and is a whole lot faster, but you’ll not see as much of the Strip as you would from the bus.
- Plan your schedule: There’s lots of exciting stuff going on at the summit at any single point in time, so you need to work out a schedule of where you want to be at what time. Else there’s a good chance you’ll miss a meeting or miss a workshop session because you were out on the show floor talking to people.
- Get enough rest: With the summit lasting three days, it’s not too bad. But by the morning of day 2, you’ll start to see people dragging themselves along, or mysteriously disappearing in the afternoon to catch some rest. If you rest up on Friday and Saturday, you should have enough energy to last through the event (even with some parties going on till 4am…)
- ***Most important***: Have a goal and an agenda in mind: Are you at the summit to check out a specific affiliate/CPA network? Visit their website, talk to other affiliates before you attend the show. Are you there to network with a particular individual or company? Visit their blog, find out if they haunt a specific forum and read their posts there. If I were an affiliate manager, and if I was motivated to recruit new affiliates, I’d compile a “hit list” of the top 50 (or if I was really motivated top 100) affiliates, I’d visit their blog or website, and check them out, make some notes. Contrary to popular belief, just having ONE canned presentation doesn’t cut it. Sad to say, but going to every booth and being told “we have the highest payouts, and we have many exclusive offers” makes for quite the yawn-fest. I think being able to present your product and your network in a unique fashion, helps pique the interest of experienced affiliates who’re already have accounts on 10 other CPA networks. So please, have a little pow-wow before heading to the summit, figure out a plan of attack that goes beyond “highest payout, exclusive offers” and you will definitely hook more than your fair share of super affiliates.
Does anyone have other advice?