As I’m practicing my talk for Affiliate Summit West 2011 in the wee hours of this Tuesday morning, I wanted to take a few minutes to write about why attending a huge conference like Affiliate Summit is always worthwhile.
First, it doesn’t matter what aspect of online marketing you’re into, you’ll somehow benefit from the sessions. Even if you’re just an E-commerce shop with no affiliate program, you need to realize that affiliates work with margins that are fractions of yours. Because of this, it’s critical that their websites work, their check out flows work, and that their sites be highly optimized. This is something you can absolutely benefit from so that your site can convert and make you more money. Maybe even enough money to start your own affiliate program? And just think about the awesome high conversion rates you can tout to affiliates.
Second, if you’re looking to move into new or novel areas of online marketing like Mobile, or Social Media, you’re going to meet a whole lot of people that are already there and already making money off of it. One of the biggest hurdles that I find when expanding into new niches or disciplines is that if I feel like I can hear crickets instead of cash registers, I start to worry. Sometimes, just seeing someone who has done it, or is doing it, and getting to ask them even a couple of questions saves you lots of time, agony, and heartbreak.
Third, People. Because the affiliate market is so diverse, it includes everyone. If you’re looking for a place to cultivate great business contacts, this is it. Also, because of the highly entrepreneurial nature of online marketing, a lot of people have more than one project going at a time. This means your opportunity to work with people is exponentially higher than at a regular conference where you meet people who do one job for one company. Because people are diversified in their projects, it means that each project is less of a big deal, and you can pick up links, guest posts, and collaborative efforts way more easily.
Lastly, there is great diversity at Affiliate Summit. You’ll meet people who gross 7 figures a year and people who gross $7 dollars a month. This divide means that you’ll certainly be able to to find lots of people at your level, and almost certainly people better than you. Surrounding yourself with knowledgeable people that are successful in your field has always been one of my goals, and has served me well. If you’re the best person in the room, time to find a new room.
If you haven’t, check out which one is closest to you, and check it out!