There are dozens of Affiliate Conferences throughout the year in various places around the world.
Right now Affiliate World Asia is being held in Thailand and thousands of Affiliates from around the world have traveled there just for this Event.
This is probably one of the biggest gatherings in our Industry next to the very popular Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas that is coming up in January.
But you know what…
I won’t be attending.
Here is why.
There is a concept known as “Diminishing Returns”.
Let me explain.
When you attend a conference for the first time everything is new…
All the new companies, new people, new experiences are awesome and by the time you get home you feel as though your “ROI” of making the trip was well worth it.
The next year, and the following ones after that you start to see the same faces, same companies, same experiences and start realizing that the “ROI” you got initially started diminishing since you’ve already met who you need to at this point and everything else wasn’t worth the travel cost and time.
It then becomes an excuse for you to attend these conferences just to party and socialize…
There is nothing wrong with that but at the same time you have to understand you have an agenda for taking time out of your business to be at these events.
Don’t get lost in the cloud of smoke.
This is why I am not attending.
Every time I travel I take a week from work even though I always tell myself I’ll be able to do work in my Hotel…
It’s damn near impossible to get anything substantial work done while traveling trust me.
I end up eating very unhealthy and my sleep schedule gets thrown off bad from different time zones.
I usually get a bit sick from flying and from shaking so many peoples hands and it’s very common to take a few days of downtime after coming home just to decompress.
Overall it takes way too much Time, Energy, and Money to not get something out of it besides the socializing and partying part which don’t get me wrong I do enjoy.
That’s probably the only reason I will be attending future events is to keep a pulse on what’s new and also to keep nurturing current and old relationships that I have with people.
If you plan on attending some events here is some advice I can give you to make the most ROI out of it after my several years of attending these type of conferences.
Book Hotels and Flights in Advance.
I really don’t understand how an Affiliate who knows they’ll be going to attend an event which happens at the exact same time each year waits until the last week to book his flights and hotels.
Purchasing Conference Tickets are usually much cheaper since it’s Early Bird Pricing.
Hotel Reservations haven’t filled up capacity yet since it’s so early in the calendar year and the same rooms that peak to $700+ a night will cost you $199 a night if booked way in advance.
Same concept with booking airplane tickets… Everything is cheaper when booked weeks if not months out in advance.
Remember! Money saved = Money Made.
RSVP for Industry Events in Advance.
Don’t be the person who is waiting in line last minute trying to get into the Venue.
These are some of the prime networking events that happen at the conferences and you can get a lot done in a short time so it’s worth making an effort to go to these meetups.
Having a reservation and a schedule will allow you to make the most use of your time instead of wandering around aimlessly.
Pack Appropriate Attire.
You’re going to do a lot of walking so wear some comfortable shoes otherwise you’re feet are going to kill you.
Pack a pair of dress shoes as well because certain Venues like night clubs won’t allow you to get in with casual/tennis style shoes.
Trust me, you don’t want to be the odd one out of the bunch embarrassed that you can’t get in to the NightClub just because of your shoes…
Pack some Business Attire not just t-shirts and jeans for important client meetings and dinners.
It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Avoid Morning Meetings.
Don’t be the asshole that sets a meeting at 8am.
People are traveling, jet lagged, and more than likely hung over from the night before so the very last thing they want to do is crawl out of bed just to meet you for coffee.
Reserve mornings for people to get some rest, do some catchup work, or get some alone time for the long day ahead.
I suggest not booking any appointments until Noon unless it’s a crucial meeting and there is no other time to connect.
Then and only then would I do something early but aside from that don’t make someone feel obligated so early in the day.
Spontaneous Standup Meetings.
These are my preferred go to type of meetings.
You can be at the bar or in the Meet Market hallway and just bang out short and direct face to face meetings back to back.
This allows you to at least cross paths with people who have been trying to connect with you the entire trip.
I like to get direct and ask them exactly what they need and what I can do for them and cut out all the chit chat.
Yes, you might not get that in depth conversation BUT at least you connected and were able to discuss what was needed to be talked about.
That is better than not crossing paths at all.
These type of short and direct stand up meetings allow you to run through several people in one setting and makes the best use of your time.
Most of the meetings you’ll have are not high priority anyhow, it’s more of just stirring the pot to see if there is any potential biz.
I would not feel right if I did not mention this but seriously…
You’re going to be doing face to face talking all day long, by all means please pack some breath mints.
Nothing worse than bad breath mixed with alcohol and morning breath…
Also, you’re going to be shaking a lot of hands so use some hand sanitizer frequently to avoid getting sick which everyone usually does and avoid handshakes and do the “first bump” instead.
Goes without saying you should make an effort on your appearance.
Get your hair cut, shave, lotion up, use some chap stick, and spray on some cologne.
Don’t go around looking “rough”.
Capture Phone Numbers.
If all you’re doing is collecting Business cards it will only end up collecting dust in your office top drawer once you get back home.
Make an effort to not only get peoples social contacts but to get their cell phone number so you can contact them directly.
Especially the key people you are focused on connecting with.
When events happen later on it’s much better to be able to send a text to communicate than it is to try and email someone to see if they “got in the club”.
Also, it creates a personal connection between you two and builds.
Avoid Long Dinners.
Do understand that a typical sit down dinner will end up taking 3-4 hours of your time.
Might not seem like that but trust me it will.
Be very selective with who you choose to have a proper sit down dinner with as it’ll eat up most of your time for the day.
I prefer to avoid long dinners unless it’s a must.
Quick bites are the way to go.
Have One Early Night.
As hard as it is to call it an early night you should reserve one day to recharge.
This will allow you to have a jump on the competition for the duration of the trip energy wise.
There are going to be important nights, and some nights where nothing is happening so there is no need to pull an all nighter if you can save that for another day.
This lets you catch up on some much needed work and gives you some downtime to really plan and think about what you’re here to actually achieve.
There have been times where I was completely exhausted and other people had tons of energy and I struggled to mentally pay attention and keep up all because I was drained…
Get yourself one solid night of sleep.
Watch Your Budget.
It’s very easy to get caught up paying for everyone’s lunches, buying drinks, and taxi rides etc…
Then by the time you get home you realize how much cash you wasted.
Be courteous especially if you’re using the companies card and don’t just spend cash excessively.
Places like Las Vegas it’s really easy to end up spending thousands of dollars on bottle service with very little to show in return.
There’s been a few times where I’ve been “invited” out and ended up having to split the bill on drinks for thousands of dollars…
Stay within your budget, the fun times are cool but not at the expense of blowing through your cash.
Follow Up with Contacts in a Timely Fashion.
I find it a bit irritating when someone hard pushes to really do business immediately knowing I am still at an event or traveling home.
Give people a little time to get back situated before you really push for biz.
A few days after an event I like to send a Skype, or email and Thank them for taking the time to meetup and casually let them know if there is anything I can do feel free to reach out.
If it’s someone I am waiting on for biz I will kindly tell them to hit me up when you get back to normal…
This does two things.
Let’s people know you’re respectful and also lets those who you are trying to build a relationship with know that you’re business like enough to reach out and not forget that you met them.
Anyhow, those are are a few tips I can give you about traveling and attending Conferences that I have learned over the last several years.
If you have any advice you’d like to give feel free to post a comment below.