If you are like me, you probably spent the last 3 months in a blur of Halloween costumes, Black Friday promotions, and too many cookies. January seemed so far away. The good news is that you made it through Q4. The bad news is that we are already almost a week into January and you are probably not yet ready for Affiliate Summit.
Here are some last minute ideas to help you get ready if you are planning on attending. Even if you are not attending, some of these tips will come in handy.
1. Check your stock of business cards. Worst-case scenario you can use Staples Copy & Print service to get some made same day. They don’t have to be fancy, but you need to have business cards. I am always amazed at the people who come without business cards and then try to write their info on someone else’s card or use plain paper.
2. Binge watch “Making a Murderer” on Netflix. If you don’t have Netflix, at least check out some of the bazillion articles written about the show. It’s the hot topic right now. People will be talking about it in casual conversations when they don’t have anything else to talk about. You want to at least be able to be a part of the arguments.
3. Plan on attending at least one session. You might have 5 or even 10 of them on your calendar, but you probably won’t make it to all of them because meetings will run over or you’ll get caught up in a conversation in the hallway. But pick ONE session that you absolutely don’t want to miss and commit to it no matter what. If you make more than that one session, it’s a bonus. (Double bonus if it is my session with my mom, Cindy Ballard! Affiliates & Affiliates Managers: Partners or Adversaries?)
4. Follow the #ASW16 hashtag on social media. Even if you are not attending the event, you will learn something or connect with someone when you follow the conference hashtag. In these last few days leading up to it you can see who else is attending and pre-network with them. At the actual event you can see where people are gathering, which sessions are going on, who is running contests, and more.
5. Take your Vitamin C. For many of us, we start taking Emergen-C a few days before the conference and the whole way through it. There’s almost always cranberry juice at breakfast to mix with the orange flavor. Orange on orange action isn’t too bad either.
6. Set 3 concrete goals. You may not actually do this until you are sitting on a plane for 4 hours with nothing better to do, but better late than never. Come up with 3 things you want to get out of this conference so you can go back afterward and see if you actually did it. Need help? Check out my post “What’s Your Plan for Affiliate Summit?” from last year.
7. Start drinking water and don’t stop until you get home. There are many ways to get dehydrated from the moment you step out your door: airplanes, dry Vegas air, sweating in the Meet Market, alcohol consumption, etc. The best way to keep yourself healthy over the next week is to drink water, water, and more water. You are less likely to get hungover, conference crud, or any of the other things we will all be complaining about next week.
8. Use some kind of calendar. Whether you like print-outs or day-timers or Google, start entering absolutely everything you want to do in the next week into your calendar. Include your “can’t miss” sessions, meals, meetings, happy hours, flights…everything. Don’t just rely on your memory or the agenda in your conference bag. You don’t want to miss out on something important because you forgot about it.
9. Packing. Whole posts have been written about packing by people who know what they are talking about. To condense it down, my most important items are: comfortable shoes, cough drops, phone charger, cash, and aspirin. It seems like a random assortment, but I use all of those things every single time.
10. Sign up for karaoke. It’s a great place to meet people and pretty much a guaranteed good time. It’s become a tradition for many of us and whether or not you sing, you’ll be entertained. For $25 you get admission plus transportation.
I am excited about seeing many of you in a few days, and I hope that if we have never met in person you will flag me down somewhere and we can chat. Make this conference count!! You owe it to yourself and your business.
What are you doing last-minute to get ready?