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Affiliate Summit East once again set the tone for the affiliate marketing industry through a combination of inspiring keynotes, topic specific sessions, an always crowded exhibit hall and the even more crowded meet market.
This year in particular the keynotes were outstanding, with Frank Luntz, author of "Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear " describing those ideas and phrases that are motivating in an environment that is understandably pessimistic given the economy, housing downturn and unemployment.
Jim Kukral, the 2nd keynote provided inspired insights into what it takes to be successful in affiliate marketing. He shared the simple insight that the internet is visited for both entertainment and to solve problems. He suggested that affiliate marketers avoid blogging and develop quality sites that solve these two problems. Jim also shared wisdom from his new book Attention! This Book Will Make You Money: How to Use Attention-Getting Online Marketing to Increase Your Revenue
The trade show floor and more intimate meet market were both crowded and represented a cross section of the industry. While it was incredibly difficult to separate one affiliate network from the rest, mixed in were also some innovative companies that offered new go to market tools and strategies. Some of the more interesting exhibitors included VigLink, that turns ordinary links into affiliate links, and others which provided models for marketing to targets such as women and the education market.
There were multiple affiliate networks represented, although it was incredibly difficult to differentiate one from the next. This appeared to be a symptom of having too many offers to manage. Missing from the show were many of the companies represented by CJ, Linkshare, ShareaSale, Buyat and Google, making it appear that affiliate marketing was more about the get rich quick offer than building marketing programs that use mainstream companies for monetization.
Sessions as always provided valuble marketing information, tools and techniques that I can put to use immediately. These include timeless advice by Wil Rogers, an affiliate summit regular who never disappoints. His link building case study was insightful and provided perspective on proactive link building vs. the somewhat less effective public relations approach. The other outstanding session was on crowd sourcing resources, and the many sites that can be used for that purpose.
For me, the event also included an outstanding dinner hosted by CJ at Tao, valuable networking and I even met a few readers of this blog.
Thanks to Shawn Collins and Missy Ward for another informative Affiliate Summit. This was once again a show that shouldn't be missed by any marketer, whether you operate in the affiliate space or not.