Back to Las Vegas we go! Expecting over 4,000 attendees, the Affiliate Summit will be held January 17th through January 19th at the Rio Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. I’m really excited about this! If you haven’t already made your plans to go, you best hustle up or you’ll be left out. If you do already have your tickets, I want to give you some tips on how to greatly improve your chances of capitalizing on getting as much out of this event as possible. You could miss many opportunities if you don’t plan ahead and gear up for all this convention has to offer.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Shawn Collins, Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit who told me this would be the biggest event ever. If that isn’t enticing you to plan ahead, then how does a SOLD OUT exhibit hall which will contain 135 booths sound? To me? It sounds like you need to read through my 15 tips on how to make the most of this Affiliate Summit convention.
Prior to leaving...
1. Plan To Stay At The Hotel Where The Conference Is Being Held – If your budget affords it, stay in the Rio Las Vegas Hotel & Casino where the conference is held. If you do plan to stay at a less expensive hotel, be sure that it's close to the Rio, keep in mind that Las Vegas is a large place, it's easy to make the mistake of selecting an inexpensive hotel only to be saddled with $20 cab rides back and forth from your hotel - really adds up - quickly eating up the savings that may have been had in choosing a less expensive hotel. Staying in the hotel where the conference is held is also easier on your feet, especially if you select a room in the tower that's closest to the convention hall. I would also recommend checking out the rates for the Rio at Hotwire.com. By choosing flight and hotel together, you will often get a good rate.
2. Carefully Select Speakers (And Topics) - you will find your trip to the convention will be a lot more fun and productive if you set aside some time prior to leaving to plan out which speakers and topics interest you most, have a goal, what do you want to learn, prepare in advance, research the speakers, plan it all in advance.
3. Schedule Meetings In Advance - if you are planning to meet with your affiliate manager be sure to arrange your meeting before you leave. Find out if they have a booth and what number it is so you can drop by. Keep in mind, affiliate managers are extremely busy so be sure to nail down a time with them before you leave. Possibly plan to chat over lunch which is included with the event. Ask the affiliate manager for their cell phone number in case you can't find them. 4,000 people is a lot of people when attempting to find someone.
4. Plan To Build Relationships - plan in advance to build relationships with 3 to 4 good people who can assist you with your business. This is a much better strategy than trying to get to know 20 - 30 people on a surface level. Use your lunches and dinners effectively by using the time wisely to better get to know people, plan to meet up with people at the after parties and networking events, collect cards and make notes on them so you remember who is who. Those notes will be valuable after the convention too.
5. Bring A Nice Notebook - pick yourself up a nice spiral bound notebook prior to leaving home so you're not running around the hotel trying to find something to write on as you're heading in to listen to a speaker. It's a simple thing, but it will save you time and frustration, you don't want to miss that little perfect nugget of information because you arrived a little late.
6. Get Connected Early - a great way to get connected early on with what's coming up at the event is to join the Affiliate Summit page at http://twubs.com/asw10 where you can follow the #ASW10 hashtag, it's a great way to see who is going to be there, plus learn about the various events and after parties. If you’re not familiar with hashtags on Twitter, they are a way to group together Tweets around a particular topic. So, before, during, and after Affiliate Summit West 2010, when people post Tweets related to the conference, the tag we’re using (#ASW10) helps those who are following the conference discover the related Tweets.
At the event...
7. Grab A Total Rewards Card - you can save a bundle on your next trip to Las Vegas if you take a few minutes and drop by the Total Rewards booth and pick up a card. Arlene and I spent $79 a night for our room, a far cry from the regular conference rates at $165 a night. You can sign up for a Total Rewards card at any of the Harrah's properties (Rio, Paris, Ceasars, Harrahs, etc.) - Sign up for free for the text message coupons to your cell phone. Each day, the hotel will text you a special offer like two for one shows or two for one dining. You just can’t beat these offers. Click here for more info on the Total Rewards Program.
8. Don't Miss This Keynote - Attend the opening keynote speaker - always good - this year's keynote is Dr. Robert Cialdini the author of "Persuasion" - not to be missed. Dr. Cialdini has earned an international reputation as an expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation. His books including, Influence: Science and Practice, are the results of more than 30 years of study into the reasons why people comply with requests in business settings. Worldwide, Influence has sold over 1.5 million copies and has been published in twenty-five languages.
9. Attend the “Meet Market” - be sure to arrive in time to attend the meet market - affiliate summits kickoff event - always exciting - it is a pruned down version of the exhibit hall - it has turned out to be very popular and a good way to kick off the event. Great fun- you go from table to table to meet with various merchants and hear more about their programs.
10. Attend Networking Parties and Events - always casual and a great way to get to know people. Be sure to get your invitations early. ShareASale is famous for their parties so be sure to drop by their booth at the conference right away to get your invitation. Follow the Affiliate Summit page at http://twubs.com/asw10 where you can follow the #ASW10 hashtag, it's a great way to see who is going to be there plus learn about the various events and after parties. Try not to miss a thing; you can sleep when you get home.
11. Exhibit Hall - one of my favorite things to do during the event is too spend some time in the exhibit hall. It's a great way to meet up with merchants and vendors. Be sure to put your name in for the various draws, great prizes and little competition to win them. Last year we won a PSP - Sony PlayStation Portable. Be sure to collect lots of business cards. Be sure and give your cards out to more than just the merchants you’re interested in hearing from. Networking always pays off sooner or later.
12. DO Some Sightseeing - go out and have some fun, if this is your first time in Las Vegas, there are a number of must see hotels (Venetian, Paris, Treasure Island, Ceasars). There are lots of great places to shop and things to do. If you can make time - take in one of the shows, there are dozens to choose from and at all price ranges. Visit the world famous Freemont Street, take in the dueling pianos at Harrahs - a blast, have dinner at the Paris hotel, pick up some goodies at the M&M factory - great stuff for kids.
13. Stay An Extra Day - there's nothing worse than having to head to the airport right after the event, some of the best networking happens the evening following the event after things have wound down, so do a little sightseeing, sleep in the following day, get home refreshed and relaxed.
Back at home...
14. Follow-Up Your Business Cards - you're back, follow up by phone and email with affiliate managers, stay in touch; follow through with any commitments you made at the convention.
15. Review Your Notes - you had a chance to sit through a number of speakers during the event. It is easy to get overly occupied catching up email and other time consuming tasks, take some time upon your return to review your notes and put to work what you had learned during the sessions.
- Listen to my recent Coffee Talk interview with Shawn Collins, Affiliate Summit Co-Founder. Learn more about the industry and how this event has grown over the years
- Watch this video on YouTube from a previous summit
- Visit www.affiliatesummit.com to register now before the event sells out, it always does -
- Most important - if you see Arlene and me during the event, be sure to say Hi!
I hope to see you at the summit!
All the best,
President, Net Guides Publishing Inc.