Earlier this month All Inclusive Marketing attended Affiliate Summit West where we had some awesome successes and experiences. In fact, this past summit was our best one yet. Affiliate Summit is the largest and most comprehensive performance marketing conference in North America, with over 5400 attendees this year at the West show alone. Seven of AIM's team members experienced the fun, education and networking opportunities Affiliate Summit brought together this year. Here are the major highlights from this year's Affiliate Summit West for our team:
1. Pinnacle Awards: OPM / Agency of the Year
A major highlight for me personally was sitting amongst my friends and colleagues at the Pinnacle Awards, the most competitive and prestigious awards in North America within the Performance Marketing Industry, watching people I love and admire win awards. Two of our team members have already won awards in past years for "Affiliate Manager of the Year" and "Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year" and we were honored and thrilled to be listed in the top three Performance Marketing Agencies of the Year. Thank you you to Shawn, Missy and those who were rooting for us for that amazing opportunity!
2. Speaking to the Crowd
I had the pleasure of taking a fun topic and brining it to life in 18 minutes or less in my session "How to Diversify Your Affiliate Portfolio for Better Results!". I had Amazon, Identity Guard and other big brands in my session, all of whom approached me after to discuss their program growth opportunities. Ashley Coombe, our social media strategist, also got to speak on a panel about How to Market your Business with Data, Not Feelings, which looked at "tips, tricks, and hacks to use data to drive efforts in your marketing processes, on site optimization, and social media." The questions in that session were plentiful and they got some great interaction from the audience.
3. Meeting New People
If you have never been to an affiliate summit, or you've been to 20 and know a ton of people already, one of the best things about it is you get to meet awesome new people. This industry is entirely built upon relationships and even 10 years after my first summit, I'm still meeting people who've been in the industry as long as I have (or longer) that I hadn't had the pleasure of crossing paths with yet. This summit I walked away with a handful of really great new friends and partners that have already improved the quality of my life and my business entirely.
4. Closing New Business
As an agency we speak to many prospective clients throughout the year. At times, it's hard to feel comfortable moving forward without having that handshake or face to face eye contact, which Affiliate Summit creates in a comfortable and relevant environment. We were able to move forward with some business we have been exploring with prospects as a result of several face to face meetings, and I imagine many more companies, retailers, affiliates, networks and service providers were able to do the same.
5. Fostering Closer Relationships with Strategic Partners
For those of us who have been in the industry for a long time, one of the greatest values of Affiliate Summit is being able to foster closer working relationships with strategic partners. Every company we speak to and engage with throughout the year related to affiliate marketing is at this show, and it's awesome to spend one on one time with people we work with to get updates, negotiate terms, learn more about and grow with.
6. Spoiling Clients
We had several clients attend the show, both whom we represented and who came to learn, network and engage with us. We had the pleasure of spoiling them for breakfast, lunch and / or dinner and give them a quiet place to sit and relax during the day. We also enjoyed watching our clients engage with affiliates and partners directly and see the excitement build as they learned more about each person and how they could work together.
7. AIM's Affiliate Brunch
All Inclusive Marketing held a private invite-only brunch with 20 special guests - affiliates and bloggers who chatted and networked for several hours over fantastic food, product discussions and in great company at Mon Ami Gabi. The feedback was solid and more than one affiliate said it was their favorite privately held event of the week.
8. ShareASale's Superhero & Villain Party
And last but not least, not to forget a great bit of fun, ShareASale hosted their famous party under the Eiffel Tower - this year's theme was Superheros and Villains. Not much to say about this awesome event other than I haven't seen that many supermen and women in one place at one time, who really are, in real life, exceptionally super!