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Affiliate Summit is almost here again and many affiliates and merchants are getting prepared. From clothes to business cards to travel plans, a lot goes into preparing for the conference. I’ve been attending Affiliate Summits regularly since 2007 and am finally starting to get the hang of it without too much stress. Here is a basic time frame of what you should be doing if you are serious about making the most out of the Summit:
Anytime: Start following the #ase10 hash tag on Twitter. In addition to seeing who else is attending, you will get good tips about transportation, sessions, parties, and more. Also join the Affiliate Summit Social Network to begin your networking.
One month out: Finalize your travel plans. You’ve missed the Early Bird rate to stay at the conference hotel, but you may still be able to get rooms at the Hilton at regular prices. You should also be nailing down your flights so that you are sure to get in and out at the dates and times that are most convenient for you.
Three weeks out: Order business cards, a Poken, or both. Decide how much information you want to share with everyone, including cell phone, email, and address. There are pros and cons to all of the above! I tend to only share my Twitter, email, and blogs with everyone and give out my phone number more sparingly.
Two weeks out: Read through the agenda on the website and determine which sessions you would like to attend. Read the various posts on blogs (you’ll likely see them on Twitter) that give more information about the sessions and the speakers. You’ll even find podcasts that may give you information that you won’t find anywhere else or give you a sneak peek into hearing more from the speakers. Determine your sessions first so that you know when you will have free time. (I’ll post my thoughts on sessions next week). Then start contacting your merchants and setting up individual meetings with any of them that you will not see at the Meet Market or in the Exhibit Hall. You should also start seeing a lot of information about parties at about this time. Many of them will overlap, so you will have some tough decisions to make! Order electronic items that you need like a backup battery for your laptop or cell phone.
One week out: Start gathering up your clothes, shoes, and jewelry. Shop for things like mints, gum, and eye drops as well. Read my previous post “Real Scoop on Preparing for Affiliate Summit” to see what I think about packing.
Final days: Make a list of all of the merchants and networks that you want to be sure to meet up with, including ones that you already have relationships with and ones that you want to meet. Set your business on auto-pilot or delegate as much as possible because you will want to spend every minute possible taking advantage of the conference and not doing your normal work.
I love Affiliate Summit and always get so much out of it. I hope that you will, too! Are you planning on attending? I’d love to meet you. Do you have other tips for those preparing to attend?