An Affiliate Summit Newcomers’ Diary. My inside story to the Affiliate Summit Newcomer program, from a newcomer (but not any more.)
My First Affiliate Summit
I recently attended Affiliate Summit West 14 otherwise known as #ASW14 in technical terminology. I have to tell you, being a first timer to the Summit can be overwhelming. But with a little help it’s not as intimating as you might think.
Affiliate Summit is a get together of the top affiliate marketers, agencies, products, and anything else you can think of to do with Affiliate Marketing. The Summit runs for 3 days and is chocked full of information. But before I signed up for the program, I noticed Affiliate Summit offered a Newcomer Program. Would this be of any assistance to me? Yes, it was my first time attending the show, but was it worth the extra money? Well, I thought, “What the heck?”
Quick thing to point out. Affiliate Summit offers discounted rates if you register early by certain dates. Generally, a discounted price from up to about three months before the conference, another price from three months up until the day before the conference, and an onsite purchase price (this being the highest price) .
When you register for Affiliate Summit, you have the option of choosing from 4 levels of attendance packages. You must sign up for the VIP or All Access package to participate in the Newcomer Program. Once you register, you will have the option of choosing the Newcomer Program. After registration, you will receive an email from Affiliate Summit with your confirmation number. In addition, you will receive an email for you to sign up as a Newcomer. You must complete this form by the stated deadline to be matched up with your Veteran. This form will ask a few questions about you and your company, if appropriate.
After completing all the necessary registration information, you will receive a confirmation email with your veteran’s name and contact information. Oh, what’s a veteran? A veteran is a previous attendee of the Summit. They offer their time and knowledge and are a “known face in the crowd”. They will offer general assistance about the Summit, but they are not a mentor nor a business consultant.
I had the advantage of being given Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation. Nick contacted me via email and we set up a convenient time to talk. He asked me a little bit of who I was and what I wanted to accomplish at the Summit. Nick informed me that I should definately attend the Newcomer session on the first day of the Summit. He stated that it was very informative and gives you a chance to meet and here from Shawn Collins.
So, I had my Veteran and I was off to Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas. I was slightly nervous but was excited to see what I was going to learn and who I was going to meet.
I woke up early on Sunday morning to go to the conference center at the Paris Hotel to receive my badge and bag for the conference. I received my VIP badge, a tote bag to keep my things in order and an Affiliate Summit Newcomer pin. Behind the yellow name tag, there was a colored flag that stated what category of attendee you were. Blue was for affiliates, yellow for speakers, etc. Don’t forget to adhere your flag to the bottom of your badge. This gives an easy visual to those walking around what category you fall into. Also, your meal and drink tickets are behind your name badge.
I attended the First Timers Orientation Session on Sunday morning. I was ushered to the front table to pick up some goodies. No, literally, some goodies. They offered a care package that included a variety of items…lip balm, gum, some snacks, hand wipes, and a personally handwritten note from Shawn Collins’ daughter. I really like the note, it gave a personal touch to the program.
I also received two very informative books written by Shawn Collins. I skimmed over the “How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Conference” book and enjoyed the reading. The book is easy to read and offered great tips for how to get the most out of a conference. (I now know that the lip balm is to keep your lips moist so that you don’t get that white, cruddy stuff in the corners of your mouth.) After this meeting, I went on to begin my information journey.
On the first day of ASW14, they offer a Meet Market area for your chance to see vendors, agencies, and networks and to personally hear what they are all about. All I can say is WOW! So many companies I didn’t know existed, and for those I did know, I now know more. This was a great way to see who and what else is out there to assist you in accomplishing your goals. Even though there are many tables set up, I didn’t stop at all as some were not for my business goals. I chose to visit the agency and network tables.
Back to Nick Loper, you know, my veteran. He texted me and wanted to know if we could get together during sessions to put a person with a voice. I had the pleasure of meeting Nick and he was very polite and offered a friendly smile. Later that evening, Affiliate Summit offered a Newcomer Program meetup so you can get together with others who are in the same boat as you as well as your personally assigned veteran.
In the evening, ShareASale sponsored a party at the Chateau Nightclub in the Paris Hotel. This was a great way to meet people in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Since the party was a Hero and Villian theme, some decided to come in costume. Which there was a costume contest later in the evening. It was a great, relaxing time.
Mind you, we are still only on Sunday. Still two more days to go.
On To Day 2
On the second day, the Exhibit Hall opens up. Again, many vendors, merchants, networks and agencies. Walking through and meeting with these people up close really gives you a chance to see what they do and offer. Definitely take advantage of this. It ran through the end of the conference on the third day.
Day two was full of speakers that offer insider tips, tricks and information. Even though almost every session allows time for questions and answers, every speaker was open to personal discussion after their scheduled time.
After going dinner at my hotel, I attended the “official” Affiliate Ball. Again, this took place at the Chateau Nightclub in the Paris Hotel. This party awesome! The party featured past music rappers singing live. This was an all out, Las Vegas type show. Although the music was loud in the club, there were many relaxing areas outside in which you could sit down and network with people.
The Final Day
Time flew by so quickly! Can’t believe the final day was upon me already. I went to my final three sessions. Nick and I met up so we could finalize our meet-up. It was such a pleasure having him around those couple of days.
After the sessions wrap up there is a sponsored Pub Crawl in the Exhibit Hall. Again..network… network…network! With a beer to boot! Then, if that’s not enough for one day, there’s a closing cocktail reception. What a way to go out with a bang. Time to go home.
…was it worth the extra money?! Heck Yeah!!!!
If you are involved in any part of affiliate marketing you have to attend an Affiliate Summit. Information, networks, people, and good times!
Feature image via Cleverbridge