Although I’m suffering through a nasty cold and still behind on sleep, I couldn’t let the day go by without recapping the incredible experience that I had at Affiliate Summit West. Life’s about choices and here are some that I made in the last few days about which I am most happy.
Time With Friends
Affiliate Summit is about business, but for me that business is about working with friends. Whether we were chatting over a meal, bonding over sports teams, shaking it on the dance floor, singing along to karaoke, or just reconnecting in the hallways, the time that I spent with friends (both old and new!) at Affiliate Summit was invaluable to me. I especially enjoyed all of the time that I spent with my mom (Cindy Ballard) and Ashleigh both from a personal and a professional aspect. It’s always an adventure!
Meeting New People
It’s easy to get into a rut where you only talk to people you already know or work with people you have worked with before. Affiliate Summit is the place to refresh old relationships but also start new ones. I am busily sending LinkedIn connection requests, following people on Twitter, and friending people on Facebook today.
Mastermind Groups Presentation
Working with Eric Nagel and Todd Farmer was one of the best decisions that I made in all of 2011. I sincerely hope that came across in our presentation. My Mastermind group was at the root of much of my success this year, and I know that it can be the same for people who learned from us and try it on their own in 2012. I was grateful for the chance to share what we have learned with the people who attended our session. And I was especially grateful to be on a panel with two of my favorite people!
AWeber Session with Hunter Boyle
I don’t attend a lot of sessions because I figure that I can watch them later on video, but I wanted to attend this one because I know that I can’t wait for the video to come out to stop being lazy with my AWeber account. Hunter Boyle did not disappoint. He gave some great examples about how to make the most of my newsletter. If you have an AWeber account (and you should), you need to be sure to keep an eye on what he is saying because there isn’t any reason to do it if you aren’t going to do it right.
I consider the Affiliate Summit Newcomer program to be one of the best kept secrets at Affiliate Summit. Even though they publicize it a lot, not nearly enough people take advantage of it. I was teamed up with a great newcomer and enjoyed seeing Affiliate Summit through her eyes. I also enjoyed the meetup on Sunday where 80+ veterans and newcomers could get together in a laid-back atmosphere and talk about the conference and our industry as a whole. If you haven’t participated in this before, you need to add it to your list for Affiliate Summit East. Kudos to Daniel Clark in taking it over this time!
Using Available Technology
One great way to make the most of Affiliate Summit that people often overlook is to follow the hashtag on Twitter. I was able to see what was going on in other rooms, figure out who speakers were, and be more of a part of the whole conference by keeping my eye on it. You can now see everyone heading home and following up if you follow #asw12. When will we make the switch to #ase12?? Foursquare was also helpful because I could see where people were heading, who was in the same place as me, and who I needed to connect with.
Staying at Caesar’s
I know I have said it before, but I truly love staying at the conference hotel. I like being able to pop up to my room between sessions or meetings. I like being in the same place as the majority of the attendees. If you can get reservations in time and your budget permits, I definitely think it is worth it. Thankfully there were also some really good options right around Caesar’s this time, too.
Dancing Upstairs at the ShareASale Party
I’ve been to a lot of ShareASale parties, and I have to say that this one was definitely a classic. The view from upstairs while we were dancing was amazing! I heard that there were desserts somewhere, but I couldn’t bear to leave the dance floor long enough to find them. Thanks to Brian Littleton and his crew for again throwing a memorable event. And thanks to everyone who shared the dance floor with this midwest mom.
Leaving Time Open in My Schedule
At some Affiliate Summits past I have scheduled everything down to the minute. If anything ran over, I was thrown off track. This time I scheduled just enough to have a plan but also left myself time for setting up last-minute meetings and even just hanging out in the Blogger’s Lounge. I felt much less frenzied and was also able to talk to people that I might not otherwise have been able to.
Eric Thomas’s Keynote
I don’t usually attend a lot of keynotes, but I am glad that I went to this one (and not just because I received a Pinnacle Award!). Although I never faced the adversity that Eric Thomas did, I still appreciate his optimism and spirit. I love that he stressed that you have to visualize what you want and then work to achieve it because no one is just going to hand it to you.
Thanks on a very personal level go to Shawn and Missy for all that they have done for me (minus the country music). You truly make Affiliate Summit what it is, and my business and brand would not be what they are today without Affiliate Summit.
What did you do at Affiliate Summit that you are glad about in retrospect? Sessions, parties, presenting, people you met?