2 months ago I was lucky enough to attend Affiliate Summit West 2013 at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas. It was my first time at a Summit and my first time in United States, so I guess the next tips might be helpful for someone in a similar situation:
1. Buy your ticket as early as you can. You can save probably around $1,000 by registering early and reserving your hotel room and ticket plane several month before the Summit. I know it’s a nobrainer, but i didn’t do it. So I want to remind you that the tickets for Networking Plus (at Affiliate Summit East) now cost $279 and they will end up with a cost more than $600. Do the math.
2. It’s a very big event, so plan very carefully ahead. I had an hour-by-hour schedule for all three days, with several meetings established weeks before, workshops or presentations to attend and well…. parties . Leave enough room for new contacts, as well – to have coffees/drinks with, they might be extremely valuable.
Beside all aspects, it will take you a lot of time to walk from one location to another (not to mention again, well…. parties). And you don’t do a lot of new business when you’re tired. Speaking of this – if it’s possible for you to arrive to Nevada time-zone several days before Summit, do that. I did spent 4 days at San Francisco before arriving in Vegas, but coming from GMT+2 took me almost a week to get rid of the jetlag, when the Summit was already over.
3. Go to all the parties you can – public or private (you can manage to get invited to many, people are friendly in Vegas).
4. Always keep a photo ID with you. It’s been a while since I’m over 21 but I couldn’t get in to a big party without it and I was too tired to get back to my hotel room and get it (remember tip no.2) .
5. Always be networking. Go to meet market and stop at each booth. Check everyone’s badges and if you see someone interesting – approach him! Everyone is there for new business. Rehearse your lines very well – you will have to introduce yourself more than a hundred of times, most likely. “I run an affiliate network in Eastern Europe” was my answer to “what do you do, Dorin?”.
And bonus – the extra tip: don’t go at a Summit alone. I went with a friend and partner, and it was very helpful for both of us.