Thousands of conference attendees and hundreds of exhibitors and sponsors came together to discuss the latest in marketing trends, SEO techniques, revenue sharing, and more. Also presenting were several industry luminaries and icons, who shared their expertise through lectures and training seminars.
The conference was split into two main sections: lecture halls and exhibition space. The lecture halls were where Keynote speakers Daniel M. Clark of QAQN and Ntiendo Etuk of DimensionU gave the day’s opening remarks. Other lectures were given throughout the day on topics such as Affiliate Compliance, Boosting one’s income using social media, Standing out from the competition, and List Building tactics.
Hunter Boyle, who gave the talk on List Building, described his talk as “A huge, knocking-down-doors success. Everyone [with whom I talked] said that they came out with new ideas.”
The primary focus for many at the conference was the exhibition space. On the first floor, many key players were out on display: Google Affiliate Network, American Express OPEN, Friend Finder Networks, and LinkTrust all had large attractive booths.
Chicago-based e-commerce tracker and affiliate manager ShareASale easily had the most impressive display, clumping several of their brands together into a faux neighborhood block party, complete with mailboxes, stop signs, and paved roads. There were booths freely passing out small, pink, rectangular slivers of paper--these were free drink tickets, which soon turned the bartenders into the hardest working employees of the conference.
The first floor was a flashy, shamelessly fun affair and it seemed like most of those in attendance preferred to spend their time here.
While the second floor of the exhibition space was less gimmicky, it was no less replete with useful information. The group that congregated on the second floor seemed to be more interested in facts, marketing trends, forecasts, and especially security.
LifeLock, the American identity theft preventer, had a very large presence here, sporting an attractive booth and a white robotic mascot patrolling both floors. Bizzclick, an affiliate of Bizzteams, also had a large booth on this floor and seemed to be quite popular with conference attendees.
Most of the attendees held a networking pass, which was most certainly the dominant activity of the day. Most booths had a small army of representatives behind and in front of their tables, talking passionately about their services. The mood of the conference was that of unreserved positivity; connections were being quickly and strongly formed, usually over a beer or three and a friendly handshake.
As the conference reached its closing keynote speech, I spoke to an SEO company that hadn't yet broken down their booth.
They told me they had gone through an entire box of business cards on Tuesday alone. They took out the emptied box and when they opened it, I was unsurprised to see it nearly filled with conference attendees' business cards. This confluence of connection is an apt summary of the Affiliate Summit East 2012.