Affiliate marketing conferences (or any kind of marketing conference) are not difficult to find. There are dozens of events every month, in different parts of the world, and each with their own special ‘take’ on things. Finding and attending a suitable conference is easy – getting the most from it in terms of networking, generating leads and improving your bottom line is more difficult.
I’ve attended quite a few affiliate and marketing conferences, and I’ve seen how it works. Making the most of an affiliate conference is not just about showing up on the day. It takes real forethought, planning, and strategic action. So what do you need to do? Well, it all revolves around 3 key phases: pre-event, during the event, and post-event. Let’s take a look at each stage and see how to maximize the payoff of your next affiliate conference:
Pre-event: Be prepared.
What are you looking for?
This is by far the most important question you need to ask yourself before attending any affiliate event. Are you looking for demand or supply partners? Are you looking for new business partners or perhaps to strengthen your relationship with existing ones? Do you prefer to work with direct advertisers or maybe network and marketplaces that hold dozens of offers? Are you even looking for business partners, or is your main goal to just listen to lectures, brush up your skills and learn more about the industry?
Once you’ve figured this out, you can narrow down the events that are relevant for you, and choose the one(s) that you believe will be most successful in helping you reach your goals.
How far should you travel?
The next issue you need to consider is travel. You’ve already decided which types of conferences you want to attend, but you need to decide how far are you willing to travel and whether you can justify it, in terms of cost, time and effort. If you live in the US, should you go to a local event or maybe even jump on a flight to Thailand, Germany or Israel?
The best way to answer this question is by checking out the attendee list, sponsor list, and of course the agenda of the conference. If you are looking for affiliate networks (and most of them tend to participate in a specific event over others), then you should jump on that flight. However, if your goal is to meet your existing business partners, and they are all local, then you should stay closer to home and attend the conferences they are attending.
What are your KPIs?
As an affiliate marketer, you already know the importance of measurable goals. The same is true for your own marketing activities, including conference attendance.
So, ask yourself – how are you measuring your success at the event?
Will it be ROI? The number of meetings? Increasing existing clients? Or signing IOs with new partners?
Once you have decided on your success indicators, the easier it will be for you to reach your goals, and make any event you attend a successful one.
Promote your attendance
Part of getting prepared for an affiliate conference is letting people know you will be there. That way, you can increase your chances of booking relevant meetings in advance and maximizing every available hour of the day. Use the power of social media (LinkedIn, FB, Insta), and let the world know you are attending the event. The more posts you share, the higher the exposure you’ll get. Don’t leave it all to chance – lay the groundwork before you arrive.
During the event: Be professional (but be yourself).
Affiliate conferences are highly social and fun events but don’t forget the ultimate purpose is business. Be outgoing and friendly, but be professional too. Of course, you do need to be yourself, but there is a thin line between friendliness and behavior that could seem unprofessional – keep your KPIs in mind and make sure you don’t cross that line. On the other hand, no one wants to talk to a robot, so let your personality shine through.
Another key thing you must do at every affiliate or marketing conference is to listen. These types of events offer valuable opportunities to learn from others, and from those who enjoy sharing their knowledge. This could happen in a 1-1 meeting, but more commonly in panels, sessions, and workshops. You would be surprised just how many people are willing to share the secrets to their success. Be open to hearing it and internalizing it. You never know which piece of advice might just make a big difference to your success.
Post-event: Be pro-active.
The conference might be over but your work is definitely not. Remember the dozens of meetings you had? The people you met? The emails you swapped? It’s time to get things moving and start sending out follow up emails and messages. It’s important to remember that following a successful conference, people receive hundreds of emails. It’s part of the game. Don’t be shy – you’ve got to be in it to win it! You can feel comfortable sending out a second follow-up email, to make sure you don’t get forgotten and that you get the most out of the event.
It is also the time to start measuring your KPIs and set yourself a timeline to do so. This will help you understand if the event was successful or not, and if it is worthwhile for you to attend again next year.
And the most important thing of all when it comes to making the most of affiliate marketing conferences? Have a good time! True, it is a professional work event, but there is no reason not to like it while doing so. Whatever you achieve will be even better because you enjoyed yourself.