Another Affiliate Summit event went by and I’m happy to say that it was the most successful one so far for us – not only for the new connections we made, but also the number of folks to whom we got to introduce Avangate. A lot of people involved in the software business – merchants, affiliates and service providers – came to event making the 13+ hour flight there worth it … plus, of course, it’s Vegas :) Check out some nice pictures and videos on our dedicated Facebook page.
In terms of getting exposure, I hosted a roundtable discussion about selling software. We had a lot of fun – the table was full and we had a lot of interesting questions. I expected mostly affiliates wanting to explore the software niche, but was happily surprised to see that about half of the folks who came to the table were affiliate program managers looking on how to leverage affiliates to grow their business.
Getting to the title of this post, here are a few pointers that helped us get the best of this show – I recommend you keep these in mind when attending an industry event as big as ASW12 (5,000+ delegates):
- Clearly set the objectives for attending the show. For example – we want to talk to X new affiliates, get in touch with our partners Y and Z at the show, learn more about this business, etc. You will have to measure them afterwards to decide if it was a good event or even if it’s worth for you to go there next time.
- Start planning meetings as early as possible. Check your leads pool and see if they’re attending. Don’t forget to follow-up with the people you’re contacting at least once. Also monitor the event’s social media channels (Twitter, Facebook). We’ve also had success reaching out to leads attending by social media, so don’t underestimate this.
- Get the attendees list early and scan for updates weekly. I like the fact that Affiliate Summit always makes the attending companies public on their website, which clearly helps you meet the right people for you. As for the early thing: it’s easier to go through a big list months before the event than rush this in a few days right before the event. Meet possible partners in the exhibit hall – this will be a time saver for both parties. For important leads, set up a time to meet them separately.
- See what your competition is doing at the conference. Keep an eye on your competition for the show. They could be sponsoring the event or organizing a party. Or maybe they have a presentation or are involved in a panel discussion. Do drop by and say hello if you have the chance – after all, we’re only competition, not enemies ;)
- Clients are your best asset. Set up meetings with them, even outside the event, if they’re based there. If there’s more from your company going to the show, you might want to organize a special event for your partners where they have the chance to talk to each other and to you. From my experience, schmoozing leads to best results and when you’re having fun it’s even better.
- Take advantage of the live sessions. Check out the event agenda and join the sessions appealing to you. You can meet the big people in the industry and get their advice.
- Follow-up after the event. Remember those business cards you received during the show? Now it’s time to follow-up with the people and get things moving. You don’t have to do it in the same day, but some 2-3 days after the event ends is a good period to reignite the discussion.
Do you have any other items to add to the list? How was Affiliate Summit West 2012 for you?