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Recap of Affiliate Summit Central and Shareasale Think Tank May 2012 #asc12 #thinktank12

by Deb Carney on May 25, 2012

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In this uncharacteristically long episode we talk about the good, the bad and the fun about Affiliate Summit Central 2012 and Shareasale Think Tank 2012. Affiliate ABCs hosts Vinny O’Hare and Deborah Carney discuss what they experienced during what Debbie fondly calls “Conference Week 2012″. Two conferences that are normally not at the same time, one smaller than normal and one that is always more intimate. We had a great time, productive with fun time built in.

Affiliate Summit is traditionally a large conference, they tried out a smaller, local conference, which I found very beneficial. Less sessions, more focus, easy to meet new people. The full conferences still have a huge place in the industry but I can see these smaller ones having a place also, like the Affiliate Summit local meetups.

Vinny sat in on sessions and got a great tip about using http://webpagetest.org/ to test your website loading speed. I had a round table and talked about creating books to create new audiences.

On to Shareasale Think Tank, where we had a very hectic schedule that was broken up with relaxing networking and a boating play date.

There were an insane number of stairs to descend and climb, but the time of the boats was well worthwhile for us. We stayed in the air conditioning, had a breeze, and talked to affiliates, other OPMs, merchants and providers of services. That was more beneficial than individual meetings actually, I am a big believer in the power of group thinking :)

Shareasale Think Tank was originally created as a way for merchants to talk directly to affiliates so that both could find ways to work together, and to give the merchants feedback from the top, and most motivated, affiliates that are in the Shareasale network. Back in the beginning, OPMs were just starting to become a force in the affiliate industry and not all merchants were managed well. From those first meetings came successful merchants and as the industry has grown more merchants hire OPMs (outsourced program managers) to run their programs effectively. However, I still like to have the Think Tank focus be on Merchant to Affiliate, because in the end if the merchants don’t attend and listen to affiliates and meet them face to face, merchants just see affiliate marketing as a “channel” and not as people helping them build their business.

As an OPM I love to be able to suggest to our merchants to attend events like this where they get to know everything about the industry and the people in it, the good and the shady. The more educated our merchants are (and all merchants) the better off everyone in the “circle” is.

Merchant Tables at Shareasale Think Tank 2012 that are Managed by Team Loxly

{ 5 comments }

Shawn Collins May 26, 2012 at 8:21 am

Great to see y’all last week. I’m not sure what Vinny was talking about, because that’s clearly a rocket pack.

We’re still gathering feedback from Affiliate Summit Central, and I’m waiting until it’s all in before I read it, but I really like the smaller environment. You see a lot of the same people, and I guess it depends on whether there are people you want to see.

I feel like I’m have tons of 30 second conversations at the bigger shows, because I don’t want to miss anybody.

Those were some nasty stairs. Just be glad you didn’t have to carry a cooler filled with ice and beer down them. I did that last summer and it was much trickier to navigate.

missyward May 26, 2012 at 8:41 am

@shawn – not sure if you got off any easier this year with the stairs since you got stuck schlepping Rae and I down them :)

Shawn Collins May 26, 2012 at 9:46 am

That was entertaining, though.

Eric Souza May 29, 2012 at 12:32 am

 I have a feeling this could be a blog post unto itself.

brianlittleton May 29, 2012 at 10:02 am

The stairs were a nightmare… agreed!   Next time… helicopters!    Just think – all of those stairs are actually supposed to be underwater!!  The lake was some 40-50ft down apparently.

Thank you so much for the podcast inclusion – I really appreciate it!   Great feedback as well and glad to hear you enjoyed the “Lake Day”.  While we won’t be back on Lake Travis next year (we always move around) – I think the inclusion of an entirely free, social event for 1/2 day which we were told had a huge impact on the productivity as well.   

 Tables expensive?  That surprised me a little bit… I’ll follow up with you later.  :)  We LOVE having Merchants there because we believe strongly in the direct relationship – which is strengthened even further by the OPM/Agency being there as well.    Affiliates love having direct access, even if they already have a great relationship with the OPM.   We want more Merchants there, so we’ll chat later.  :)

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