Once again Affiliate Summit did not disappoint. I attended the conference in New York City last week and found it an invaluable tool for catching up with clients, getting some new leads and educating myself on the most-pressing issues in the affiliate space.
Shawn Collins and Missy Ward put on the best show in the industry and the event continues to grow (more than 3,500 attendees in NYC). And as always, Affiliate Summit offers so many educational opportunities. Although I attended several amazing sessions, I also missed way too many. It’s just too easy to get caught in the hallways or exhibit hall and get sucked into interesting conversations. Luckily, I had a Platinum pass, which means that I will have access to see the videos of the sessions I missed. I can’t wait to start viewing those sessions. They are usually available about 3 to 4 weeks following the show, which gives me just enough time to implement what I did learn, before I have more to do.
The keynotes this year were exceptional. I knew just a little about Frank Luntz’s work as an author, consultant and pollster before Summit. Luntz’s specialty is testing language and finding words that will help his clients sell their product or change opinions on candidates. His keynote gave me a lot to think about. Being a 20+ year journalist and writer, I may be biased about a keynote focusing on words that work since I’m a word nerd.
Jim Kukral’s keynote was also a treat. Total disclaimer here, Jim is a long time friend of mine, a collaborator on several projects with me and the co-author with me of the upcoming book (The Ultimate Pitch: 17 Surefire Strategies to Get Exactly What You Want in Work & Life - Wiley & Sons).
Jim set out to challenge the audience to have the career they want. I think he accomplished that. I was inspired to be even more of a “doer”. I felt energized and coupled with also reading Jim’s new book (Attention: This Book Will Make You Money) I am really motivated and inspired.
In addition, I was also honored to be part of Jim’s Affiliate Super Friends, a group that he contacted to help him spread the word about the launch of his book a few weeks ago. The email thread morphed into something more and GTO Management’s Karen Garcia made an entire website dedicated to the Affiliate Super Friends and then turned everyone into super heroes by sewing capes for us. Karen is truly amazing.
At the conference I heard some truly inspiring ideas for new businesses that are in the works (I’ll be able to say more about some of them very soon). Many of them take advantage of blogs, social networks and gaps left by the networks for additional tracking. I am always blown away by how clever and savvy affiliates are. Affiliates move quickly, seize opportunities and make things happen. There are doers.
I also saw a lot of third party tools, which for me signifies the maturation of the industry. While, some observers may still regard affiliate marketing as the Wild West, in my opinion the industry has come of age. There is no doubt it is a viable, growing industry that delivers – a trait that guarantees affiliate marketing will be around for years to come. I look forward to seeing it evolve and grow.