Well guys and gals, I’m sat here in my jim jams absolutely knackered. Another great conference from Matt and team has convinced both Duncan and myself that it was well worth delaying our Honeymoon to attend!
2 days of hugely informative conference sessions, networking and some truly amazing after parties have really been a testament to how hard the organisers have worked to better last years great event. Like many others, I’d meant to post during the conference and give updates about what was going on. Unfortunately, I was enjoying myself so much I just couldn’t rip myself away.
So the highlights…
- Like just about anyone else with a single Iota of common sense I really, really enjoyed Joost De Valk’s great WordPress Seo Strategies session. There were some amazing resources and gems of information in there. I’ve taken bags of notes so I will try to make a separate post listing some “must haves and must do’s” for all you WordPress Groupies out there.
- Once again, the “Meet The Super Affiliates” session gave a fascinating insight into the mystic world of the big money guys. As Kieron said, there were less questions than last year which was a bit of a shame. I think the late session time meant there were a lot of very jaded affiliate peeps in the session. It’s quite intimidating asking a question in a packed room, so I suggest that next year we set up a system similar to that used by comedian Jack Dee…. let affiliates text in questions during the conference. Again, I have some notes from this session I’ll try to publish separately.
- I particularly enjoyed Affiliate Future’s “Pirate Hour” on the last day. Now I too can legitimately harp on about how great Mountgay Rum and Coke is. It also gave me an opportunity to show off my extremely convincing “Yah-Har!!” Which I learned from the boaties at Airlie Beach, Australia, when I was hanging out there. Alas, I didn’t win their excellent stand draw which was a trip to Barbados so I could impress them further 😉
- Sunpress. What a great tool, you’d be mad not to use it!
- Generally, the networking and stands were great. The Sky bar was a great idea, as were the various bits of booze, nibbles and general hospitality doled out by many. My favourite one was, of course, Affiliate HQ – the Existem stand. If you’re a merchant or network and you can’t find affiliates at the conference, this is the stand to hover near. Here’s a pic of me and some others hijacking their sofas to eat lunch on day two. Now how many other agencies would really have affiliates hanging out with them like that? Merchants with management requirements take note!!
The Networking Parties
- One thing I’d like to comment upon is just what a thoroughly nice chap Joost De Valk really is. I bumped into him a couple of times and noticed that he spent a lot of time chatting to different people and was happily answering questions from many different people. It’s nice to see someone with a profile like his taking the time to generally shoot the breeze with his many admirers.
- The Thames Cruise – whichever member of Matt’s team who thought that one up deserves a pay rise. It was an absolutely stunning evening, and one I’ll take a long time to forget. I’ve never seen London from that angle so it was a real pleasure. Yeah, it was a bit sparse on the food (I’d eaten already though) but good old Mr Wood came charging to the rescue back at Novotel with a massive order of chips to fill those affiliate tums.
- The Hilarious Benny Hill Style Moment when hungry affiliates caught sight of a poor waitress laden with chips and quite literally chased her into a corner. When she managed to duck around them she ended up dashing through the bar with Ray Theakston and Chris Frost in hot pursuit, yelling and waving their arms in a comedy fashion. They were soon joined by a few others!
- Meeting a chap who was very friendly up until he worked out I was the girl who’d posted a picture of him falling asleep at the Buy.at do last year. He soon got friendly again when I threatened to re-post it though, so yet another demonstration of “the power of the blogger”.
- The VIP Sky Bar on the last night was great. Not least because of the large amount of champagne Duncan and I managed to consume. Yummy. So well done to those guys at Stream 20 for organising that. Alas, not being a sporty type, I’d no idea who their celebs were but loads of other people seemed really very excited.
- Finally, it wouldn’t be the Expo if someone didn’t manage to insult me in a comedy fashion. This year’s was very obtuse, but I was chatting to the lovely Dom Hodgson who told me he’d “Never heard of or seen my blog”. Fair enough. But when I explained I had moved to Australia he proclaimed “Oh, yeah… you’re that girl. I have seen your blog” He then went on to explain that a friend had showed him my blog remarking that Affiliate Marketing must be easy because “This Affiliate Cow has just moved to Australia”. What is it with me and people thinking I look a bit bovine? I reckon the only solution is to stop wearing this bell and Moo-ing every time I want a drink?!
- Finally, finally I’ll leave you with a picture of my gorgeous husband taking his networking very seriously…
In our defence (i.e. the picture takers as opposed to just me and Dunc), I shall just point out we did make sure this chap had somewhere to sleep that night. In his defence, it was 3am and it’d been a long hard conference with lots of free booze.
To everyone who came to say hello. It was great to meet loads of new people, and good to hear that my inane ramblings have helped people make sense of the affiliate business.
See You All In Amsterdam
Yep, Matt has it all arranged already. Next up is a stonking great affiliate Jolly to The ‘Dam. It’s on 28th & 29th April 2009 and we’ll be booking our hotel as soon as venue details are released. We can’t wait, and love the fact that Affiliate Marketing is at last having these kind of events.
Right… I’m Off To Pack
I’m off to Singapore tomorrow and the removalists are arriving in an hour to grab our gear to ship to OZ. I better go get dressed!!