Now that almost 24 hours has passed since I left New York City, I am finally getting around to decompressing and reflecting on Affiliate Summit East. When I tell people that I have been to 7 Affiliate Summits, they always ask me if it is still worth it every time. “Don’t you just see the same people and hear the same things over and over?” Yes, and no. I see the people that I like to network with again to touch base and find out what is new with them. But I also meet new people each time and learn more than I can every imagine.
I could blog about all of the great friends I met with, the merchants that I now want to add to my site, and the swag I brought back for my members. I could drop in a few digital pictures (even video!) or complain about my feet hurting. But I would rather step back and give you the big picture that I ended up with.
Every Affiliate Summit turns out to be a different experience depending upon where I am in my career and what my goals for the conference are. In the beginning, I learned about affiliate marketing in general. Then I started making connections. After a few more, I started working on getting out the name of my business. Last time, I worked on getting out my personal brand.
For ASE09, my biggest takeaway way in getting up the courage to introduce myself to more of the “heavy hitters” and learning by their examples. For the first time ever, I introduced myself to the keynote speakers. I actually met and chatted with Chris Brogan, Julien Smith, and Peter Shankman (HARO). I even introduced myself to Ted Murphy (CEO of IZEA) at an after party and managed to get a couple of pictures with him. Each of them was engaging and conversational and made me feel like he was pleased to meet ME.
As I clean up my email and start sorting through business cards, I can’t help but keep peeking at Trust Agents (by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith). It really sums up my experience at Affiliate Summit this year. I trust some industry professionals because of the way that they act and the information that they provide. I do NOT trust some of the people in my industry because I see how they act when they think no one is looking (at least not the people who are important to them). I want to build a business that people trust because I treat people right and give them something of value in some way. Thanks to ASE09, I’ve got more tools to accomplish just that.