Some of my regular readers might remember that I won a ticket to Affiliate Summit East this past Summer. Well, guess what? I won a Networking Plus Pass to Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas coming up in January. This marks the second time I've won a free ticket to an Affiliate Summit conference. 🙂 However, I won't be attending Affiliate Summit West since I have other projects I'm working on and honestly… it's not worth and I just don't feel like going.
If you read my Affiliate Summit Review detailing the conference then you will obviously know why I will not be attending again. Probably some of you reading this that have gone to past Affiliate Summit's will understand as well. Why do I mean? There are tons of useless annoying fuckers that attend.
Heres's the the thing, most internet focused conferences I've attended usually these different groups of people attending;
- People that are genuinely helpful.
- People that don't know anything and shouldn't have shown up.
- Companies looking for marketing opportunities or to expand, sell, partner, etc.
- Assholes that are trying to get you to buy “whatever” they are selling under any circumstance even if it's shit.
I didn't write about this in my Affiliate Summit Review but there were lots of people in the #4 category. When I say a lot I'm talking about 60%+ of the people who were not from companies. Most of the time there are 2 or 3 of these people at a conference, not a majority. Talking with fraction of the people that showed up to Affiliate Summit that were not trying to sell me useless shit this clearly wasn't a fluke as they felt the same way.
One guy I ran into who supposedly is an expert at driving social media traffic wouldn't give me any real world examples of what he does. He also wouldn't give me any social media advice or tips on the spot. However, he did try to get me to buy his rather costly book and webinar series, which I declined.
I made a real effort to try to meet a wide range of people to engage and learn. What I found was most of them gave me the same song and dance as this social media scam artist. They wanted me to buy their books, pay for consulting, or you know screw me out of my money. I remember one guy that had some BS private forum and was telling me how great his conversions were like 70% percent or some ridiculously high number. I asked, “How do you get such high conversions.” his response, “Pay to join my private forum.” my reply, “Hell no!” and I walked away.
This was a similar conversation I had with people in all sorts of fields. Why would I buy anything from you if you don't want want to share knowledge? For most attendees you already paid the entrance fee, paid for a hotel, and showed the hell up. If I can't take anything away useful from you it is very unlikely I'm going to consider using buying anything from you in the future whether it be a book or consulting. I guess the hard up-sells must work on some people.
Last conference I attended there was a blogger I met that didn't know about Google Webmaster Tools and didn't have it installed on her blog. I just got out my laptop and set it up for her on the spot. I don't mind helping pope when I know they put in effort to come to these events.
Most beginners, people who have only had a website up for a few months, looked somewhat confused by everything at Affiliate Summit honestly. From talking with a lot of people about I doubt they felt they got a lot out of the conference. Also I was kind of surprised at the advice I was giving people there.
Keep this in mind, I could take the free pass to Affiliate Summit West and go have tax-deductible fun in Las Vegas (aka Sin City) for several days. Flights to Las Vegas are ridiculously inexpensive from most major cities since casinos subsidize airline tickets. You can find a reasonably priced hotel if you play your cards right. (Yup, pun intended.) Affiliate Summit parties have open bars which a lot of people will readily use… but it's still not worth going. That's saying a lot.
I'll have other chances to go to Las Vegas since there are plenty of web conferences held there throughout the year. It's not like I'm missing out on anything I can't go experience another time you know.
I did send a request to the Affiliate Summit people asking if they could at least give me the Virtual Pass, which shows the videos of the sessions afterwards, in exchange for the Networking Plus Pass. I figured at least I won the pass and they should give me a Virtual Pass. Besides out of ALL the sessions I only found 2 useful from Affiliate Summit in Philadelphia. (Luckily they were the 2 I went to. I'm good at cherry picking good sessions at conferences.) Here was their reply;
“Unfortunately, the pass is not transferable in any matter, so we cannot replace it with a virtual pass.”
So not only is Affiliate Summit a waste of time but the organizers are inflexible. It's their conference and their rules though. Of course the video player in the backend for the Affiliate Summit Videos was a freeze monkey, so I guess I should be glad they are saving me the hassle of dealing with that and not having to watch and skip a lot of badly recorded sessions.
Even though I am not attending people are probably curios to know how I won both tickets to two different Affiliate Summit conferences. The first ticket was provided courtesy of an eBay contest which was posted on the eBay Partner Network blog. (That's eBay's affiliate program.) All I did was leave a valuable comment about what I thought the best opportunity was in Affiliate Marketing. eBay provided me with a Networking Plus Pass since I was an awesome commenter. This ticket to Affiliate Summit West I won from actually attending Affiliate Summit East. They have people fill out forms after sessions and keynote speakers to let us know what we thought about them. They randomly pick 5 cards each day and one of the feedback forms I filled out was one.
Are you planning on attending Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas? If you haven't ponied up the money to go, did this article change your mind? Let me know in the comments below.
If you are looking at any other conferences remember to checkout my tips for attending a conference inexpensively. There's some good advice I've complied there.
If you've got questions you want to ask me privately about Affiliate Summit feel free to contact me by the way. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about it.