Makers Gonna Make

Sessions I Want to See at Affiliate Summit East 2010

Posted on May 7, 2010 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking |

Super Affiliate Rosalind Gardner Checking the Affiliate Summit AgendaHave you ever looked at the schedule for a conference and wondered, “How did these sessions get picked?”  I know I have.  The conference I go to the most, Affiliate Summit, has always had a closed-door process for putting together their agenda from their speaker proposals.  Yesterday I told you about how Affiliate Summit has opened up voting for the panels that will be on the agenda for Affiliate Summit East 2010, and implored you to vote for the Podcasting 101 panel I hope to sit on.  Today, I’m going to share the love and tell you about the other panels I voted for and hope to see on the agenda.

Any long-term readers of my blog know that one of my favorite things to do is to attend conferences, take copious amounts of notes, and share them here with you.  I learn a lot in these sessions, and feel it’s practically my responsibility to pass on that learning to everyone else.  Granted, it’s not the same as attending the sessions at the conferences yourself, but it’s close.  I vote for 15 panels out of 117 up for voting on the Affiliate Summit Slinkset site.

Bear with me, with 15 panels to explain my vote for, this is going to be a long post.  Here’s the ones I voted for, and why.

  • Beyond Business Cards: Move beyond passing out stacks of business cards and adding legions of Twitter followers to promote your business.  11 steps to forging relationships to yield results beyond leads and self-promotions.  Speakers: Jen Goode, Au-Co Mai, Lisa Picarille, Lisa Riolo, & Karen Garcia.  Why This Got My Vote: There are a lot of people in the industry that will tell you that the core of affiliate marketing is building relationships, and I agree.  Not enough people will give you advice or actionable items on how to build these all-important relationships though.  I know almost all the speakers on the panel, and they’re fantastic at networking and building lasting relationships, so I have no doubt that their 11 actions are going to be dynamite.
  • Bloggers Successfully Connecting with Audiences and Advertisers: Advice and tips for bloggers to increase their success in connect with audiences and at the same time making them more appealing to advertisers and increase revenue.  Speakers: Murray Newlands, Kristopher B. Jones, Drew Bennett, Tim Jones, & Eric Schechter.  Why This Got My Vote: Honestly, this is more a chance for vindication.  At the last summit, these same speakers appeared on the Monetizing Blogs for Affiliate Marketing and SEO panel (sub John Carcutt for Eric) and I was let down by the ho-hum content.  It took them 30 minutes to even mention the word “monetize”, and it seemed less focused on monetizing and SEO and more focused on general “how to start blogging.  I know that the panelists, being bloggers themselves, were all very interested in getting feedback, so I’m really hoping that they take the feedback from the last time and refocus and deliver a really kick-ass panel this time around.
  • Trademark Bidding in Affiliate Marketing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of trademark bidding in affiliate marketing. An in-depth look at the impact trademark bidding has on all players in the affiliate space.  Speakers: Paul Schroader, Justin Bowen, Chuck Hamrick, John W. Dozier, & David Naffziger.  Why This Got My Vote: This is a seriously confusing area in the PPC arena, and any light that can be shed on it is always good for affiliates.  As well, David has a great product with Brand Verity to help, and a lot of insight to be shared.  Not the sexiest topic, but an important one.
  • Connecting Your Community: Online/Off Social Good: There are opportunities for affiliates and advertisers to support great causes, both online and off to foster a larger online community. This panel will look at examples in social media that helped.  Speakers: Dina Riccobono, Sloane Barrent, & Bruce Wang.  Why This Got My Vote: So much emphasis in affiliate marketing is about ME, and how can I make a fortune, but people should remember that there’s a world out there that can also benefit from your support.  I’m interested in people learning more from Dina and the panel on how they can successfully integrate their work and marketing efforts into also benefiting great causes and making the world a better place.
  • Affiliate Program Case Studies: Strategies and Practices: Discussion of what it takes for a retailer to get their affiliate channel to the next level. Merchant case studies reveal and illustrate strategies and practices that attract and keep affiliates.  Speakers: Melanie Seery, Madeleine McGregor, Adam Riemer, & Kimberly Salvino.  Why This Got My Vote: Case studies are always great, because they show real results.  It’s more than just hypothetical tactics, it’s proof positive.  All of the speakers are very knowledgeable and represent various angles of a merchant program that really works, from the network, affiliate, and affiliate managers.
  • Creating a Stronger, Balanced Affiliate-Merchant Agreement: Can we have a stronger, fairer Affiliate-Merchant Terms of Service agreement to better protect affiliates and merchants? Discussion of the current inadequacies and challenges in creating a better TOS.  Speakers: Melanie Seery, Brian Littleon, Adam Riemer, & Kimberly Salvino.  Why This Got My Vote: Well, honestly it almost didn’t.  This panel has the same panelists as the last one I voted for, except for the substitution of Brian for Madeline.  Affiliate Summit has a policy of not allowing people to speak on more than one panel, so theoretically once the advisory board makes the final agenda, one of these panels won’t be on it.   But, this is just as valuable as the case studies panel.  Many merchants don’t have a good TOS, so any help they can get is helpful!
  • Search Marketing Campaign Review: Attendees will apply to have their site and campaigns reviewed before the conference. Our panel of experts, one each in SEO, Link Building, PPC, Social, and Affiliate will choose 4-5 companies.  Speakers: Kate Morris, Joanna Lord, Scott Polk, Kristy Bolsinger, Jane Copeland, Carolyn Shelby.  Why This Got My Vote: I’m a big fan of interactive panels, and real-life examples.  This panel will allow for real-time, off the cuff analysis and can be incredibly helpful to everyone in attendance.  My first affiliate summit, I attended a site review similar to this kind of clinic-approach panel and volunteered up the site of the company I worked for at the time.  It was an eye opener!  In the interest of full disclosure, I briefly worked with Kate Morris during our time at New Edge Media, and I know Kate to be really good at explaining how things can be changed for the better in a constructive way, which is what people need for public critiques!
  • Seven Deadly Sins of Affiliate Marketing 2010: A fast paced multi-media presentation on affiliate danger zones focusing on the latest FTC enforcement priorities and initiatives and plaintiffs’ targets infused with useful tips and humor.  Speaker: Bennet Kelley.  Why This Got My Vote: With a title like that, how could you NOT vote for it!  Actually, I’ve seen Bennet speak before and he’s incredibly knowledgeable and makes sometimes boring topics like law, enforcement, and the FTC actually interesting and relevant.  I feel very strongly that it’s in every affiliate’s best interest to know what their limitations are legally with their marketing efforts, so this is important.
  • Innovate!  New Exciting Applications of Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is increasingly used in new web start-ups, services and applications. Discover the most exciting new ideas that are helping to grow and highlight affiliate marketing industry.  Speaker: Joe Stepniewski.  Why This Got My Vote: Affiliates are some of the most creative and innovative marketers out there, online or off.  I love to hear what crazy things affiliates are coming up with and what tools and tricks are out there.  Working for a vendor of an affiliate tool myself now, I’m excited to see what kind of innovation is out there that might compliment the For Me To Coupon service.
  • Feed Powered Affiliate Marketing: A review of how product feeds are playing an ever-increasing role in online marketing and how they can be successfully deployed in affiliate marketing. Using real case studies and examples.  Speakers: Lee Brignell-Cash & Robert Durkin.  Why This Got My Vote: Again, considering I work with data feeds every day now, I’m interested in the creative things affiliates are doing with various types of data feeds.  A lot of affiliates are concerned with how to best optimize their time and marketing efforts, yet not enough use data feeds to help automate their sites.  Hopefully more sessions like this can bring data feeds to more affiliates.
  • The New Frontier for Infomercials: Affiliate Marketing!: Marketers behind the Snuggie know the power of TV to drive online sales. They have big budgets and are more focused than ever on driving online sales. Discover more about this giant opportunity.  Speakers: Rebecca Madigan, Peter Bordes, & Ron C. Pruett, Jr.  Why This Got My Vote: I admit it, I have a fascination with informercials and TV pitchmen.  So I’m fascinated to see how they’re going to tie this in with affiliate marketing.  I’m a bit surprised that someone from Impact Radius isn’t involved in this, given their big focus on integrating traditional media with affiliate offers, but my intrigue has been piqued nonetheless!
  • Successful Multiple Network Strategies for Merchants: The arguments for and against launching performance marketing programs in multiple networks–and how to make the strategy you do select successful.  Speakers: Lisa Riolo & Durk Price.  Why This Got My Vote: I’ve yet to see a merchant that really leverages multiple networks right.  Most seem to just throw their program up onto as many networks as possible with no real strategy at all, so I’m exited to see what tips can be shared for these merchants to really leverage multiple networks instead of just casting their nets as wide as possible.
  • Demystifying Online Attribution: Real answers on how to track a customer’s searches through all phases of the buying cycle, how to measure cross channel assists, and how to avoid the dangers of only last click attribution.  Speakers: Don Batsford & Jonathan Treiber.  Why This Got My Vote: A lot of affiliates (and even some merchants) know the basics of cookies and how affiliate links are tracked, but when you start talking to them about click attribution, how to separate affiliate traffic from PPC traffic from organic traffic, eyes start to glaze over.  Hopefully this session, aimed mostly at merchants/advertisers, will help new affiliate merchants understand how to better differentiate their traffic sources and become more aware of how tracking really works.
  • Conquering The Mega Niches for Mega Profits: Very few affiliate marketers dare to enter the most competitive and profitable niches. They follow the general advice of focusing on the small opportunities.  Speaker: Hamlet Batista.  Why This Got My Vote: It’s always encouraging for a super affiliate to come to the conference and share some of their secret sauce with smaller affiliates hoping to really crack some opportunities.  I’ve met Hamlet and I know he’s been incredibly successful in large niches (hello Viagra!), and he’s a good speaker as well – just the right mix of informative and motivational for those smaller affiliates looking for hope!
  • Are You Kidding Me?  Merchant Mistakes: Going over common Merchant Mistakes and why they are bad. Limiting to 100 Affiliates, Not participating in forums, Being on AutoApprove, etc.  Speaker: Adam Riemer.  Why This Got My Vote: I love Adam on a personal level – he’s a riot to chat with and is super passionate about the industry to boot.  So this session promises to at least be entertaining.  As well, as a self-taught (former) affiliate manager, I’m always interested to hear other affiliate managers’ opinions on the dos & don’ts of managing merchant programs.  Unfortunately, as Adam is listed as a panelist on two other potential panels, as I mentioned before he can only speak on one, so I’m torn as to which I’d rather see him on!

I heartily encourage you to click on the links and vote for these sessions as well.  Just click the blue arrow to the left of the session titles to vote.  You will have to register for an account, but it’s a great opportunity to get the most out of your money when attending Affiliate Summit.  If you haven’t already done so, register for Affiliate Summit today.  I will have a pass to give away at the end of this month so stay tuned for contest details!