When was the last time you started the week with a head full of ideas and the motivation to implement them?
When was the last time you attended a trade show, workshop, or conference for your business?
Could there possibly be a connection?
2002 was the year I went to my first affiliate marketing event. Since 1999 I had been working as an affiliate marketer, and was doing pretty well. Four years on, though, I needed some new ideas and a shot of inspiration. Fortunately, by then I had heard about the Commission Junction University.
Santa Barbara is a beautiful place, the hotel was great, the food was fantastic, and I met some new people. However, these were only the features of the trip I took, not the real benefits.
Some folks come home from a marketing conference and have a tough time explaining what happens there. In my case, I just felt more confident about what I was doing, how I was doing it and why.
How Marketing Conferences Lead To Success
After a week or two at home, it became apparent what was causing my newfound confidence, and why that CJU event was so worthwhile.
- First, I had a boatload of fresh ideas that I never would have come up with on my own. This was the result of many minds coming together and sharing their creativity.
- Next, I had a lot of tips on how to avoid pitfalls, setbacks and potentially expensive mistakes. This was the result of many veteran affiliates coming together and sharing their experiences.
- Finally, I had a clearer vision of where my business could go, and I knew I could get it there. This was the result of confidence by example; they did it, so I knew I could, too.
One very tangible benefit of my attending that conference, by the way, was the cost. Yes, that was a benefit. You see, the cost of attending these conferences is tax deductible. This means instead of giving that money to the government, you and I have the option of investing it into our businesses.
The next year, I had no problem convincing my wife Arlene to let me return to the conference. As a matter of fact, Arlene joined me the next year, and together we brought forty more people with us.
Nowadays, I attend several industry events every year, and I advise other marketers to attend one or preferably two online marketing events annually. Below is a list of some of the better conferences I have attended, and I recommend them for other marketers.
My Favorite Affiliate Marketing Conferences 2011
The Affiliate Summit is often labeled the premier affiliate marketing conference, and rightly so. The Summit happens in New York and Las Vegas, and includes a many different educational events in conjunction with top industry speakers and a small army of merchants and vendors.
The Blog World Expo brings in bloggers from dozens of countries for three days of networking, presentations, brainstorming, and of course, vendors and merchants in abundance. The Expo isn’t exclusively for bloggers, though. If you are just interested in different ways to incorporate online marketing into your business strategy, you ought to attend.
Webmaster World’s PubCon was originally held in a pub, so it actually is a PubCon and not a publishing convention, as the name might imply. Webmaster’s World no longer fits in the typical pub, but it still offers a friendly, comfortable venue to trade advanced SEO methods and marketing strategies.
Commission Junction University was my first industry event and remains one of my favorites, but the reasons go beyond sentimentality. This gathering of over 800 industry leaders and Commission Junction affiliates is a great place to go for information, inspiration and a good time.
The ShareASale Think Tank is different from a regular conference because it focuses on creative brainstorming rather than simply information sharing. Affiliates, managers and merchants can learn much by attending this event.
Even if you aren’t a marketer per se, your business depends on some extent to marketing, so you could benefit from any of these events. If you don’t typically go to trade shows or affiliate marketing conferences, 2011 is a great year to begin that practice.
If your primary job is not in marketing, you could easily find some industry events which are more focused on your particular industry. You may be pleasantly surprised at what’s available if you are willing to do a little research.
Finding the Right Event For Your Business
Matt Papas is an associate of mine and has a weight loss website. While I think an internet marketing conference would help his business, he should also seriously consider fitness, pharmaceutical and alternative medicine trade shows. He could get information on how to best connect with customers in search of Medifast diet coupons or an answer for the question, “Does the Nutrisystem program work?”
Arlene still attends conferences with me, but she could also check out some events that would help her with her website, epilepsymoms.com. An insurance industry event would give her some great advice to pass on to caregivers of children with epilepsy, and certain medical conferences are chock full of information about the latest studies and treatments for all kinds of pediatric conditions.
Even if you can’t see the purpose of attending any of my favorite affiliate marketing conferences, 2011 is a good year to begin finding conference and events that could benefit your particular business.
Have You Packed Yet?
Somewhere, someone is dying to show you how to bring more customers to your gym, keep customers in your store longer, or get customers to follow you on Twitter to hear about your latest shoe sale.
So, which conference are you choosing to invest in?
Maybe I’ll see you there.
About the Author:
James Martell is well known as an affiliate marketing specialist in outsourcing and SEO. He is a sought after speaker, affiliate marketing trainer and podcaster. James is host of the “Affiliate Buzz”, the first and longest running affiliate marketing podcast in the industry. James is also the host of the Affiliate Marketers “SUPER BootCamp”, where he educates those interested in learning how to make money with affiliate programs. James lives in White Rock BC, a seaside suburb of Vancouver on Canada’s West Coast with his wife, Arlene and their 4 kids.