Every two weeks, CAP brings you an exclusive question-and-answer column with online marketing guru Bob Rains. From affiliate best practices to SEO — and all points in between — our bi-weekly Bob Rains Q&A is designed to provide you with the insider info you need to succeed online.

Bob Rains Q&A for Wednesday, January 21, 2009: Just in Time for CAP Euro London: Getting the Most Out of Affiliate Conferences

Question:I’m heading off to CAP Euro London next week, and it will be my first affiliate conference — what do you suggest for getting the most out of it?

Bob Rains: Conferences like CAP Euro London are one of the perks of working as an affiliate in the online gaming industry — you made a great choice to treat yourself and go.

The best way to get the most out of an event like CAP Euro London is to get down, and stay down with OPP: Opportunity + Preparation = Profit!

Opportunity: Make sure you stay open to and take plenty of opportunities to meet and speak with everyone you can; you never know what kind of opportunity will open up just by networking. Never forget, “networking” is just one letter away from “not working”, so keep your eye on the ball, and your mind on the game. After sessions or panels are over, go up to the speakers. Even if you don’t have a question to ask, you’ll get a lot of information from those around you who are asking questions. And you never know what kind of connection or partnership you can make from a quick contact.

Preparation: There’s no avoiding it; CAP Euro is all about back-to-back panels, meetings and parties. If you’re going to survive, make sure to make some time for yourself to re-set. Bring some painkillers, some seltzer, grab a couple of redbulls — you’re in for a wild ride.  Always remember to grab your business cards when you leave the room, and don’t forget to ask for cards from others.

One style point: if you get an business card, drop the person a “how are you” email when you get back, and then wait a few days to jump right into business. This should go a long way towards establishing a good rapport.

Profit: Take notes during the panels, take extra time with people who you have something in common with from a business perspective, and cut it short with those who you don’t. It may sound harsh, but conferences can be a major time suck if you don’t keep your eye on the prize. Remember, you’re here to make connections that will add value to your offerings, or will pay you for your time. So have fun, but don’t end up asking yourself later what you really got from the experience, and feeling empty handed. There are tons of networking opportunities outside of the conference and exhibit space you should make sure not to miss out on.

Don’t forget to ask yourself, you down with OPP? Yeah, you know me!

Here’s a rundown of what you should absolutely not miss at CAP Euro London ’09:

Thurs 29th January – The CAP Awards
CAP has been planning this for more than six months and has totally pulled out the stops to ensure that this is the best event you’ll ever attend. Unfortunately all tickets sold out a few weeks ago, so if you want to attend, you’ll have to settle on adding your name to the waiting list. To do that, shoot an email to kiera@igamingbusiness.com.

Fri 30th January – C-Planet ‘High Roller Blowout’
Venue: Orchid, 7-14 Coventry St, London, W1D 7DH
Party in true C-Planet style – maximum quality and excitement all the way, including:
Open Bar, serving one-of-a-kind C-Planet custom cocktails, live DJs, complementary massages from the Cherry Red Angels, gorgeous dancers, and some great prizes! First Prize is a Nokia e75 Mobile Phone; Second and Third Prize are PlayStation 3, plus games.
For this party, you’ll need a CAP Euro wristband in addition to RSVPing here: http://www.c-planet.com/partyLondon2009

Sat 31st January – Casino Coins Party (CAP Euro Wristband needed — see www.capeuro.com)
Venue: Sway Bar, 61-65 Great Queen Street near Holborn Station
Simply collect an invitation when you visit Casino Coins at stand 66. Hand your invite and Business card over at the VIP entrance and enter one of the best clubs in London with an open bar from 10pm – 2am.
The party kicks off at 10pm with hourly giveaways from 11pm -2am. You can even get a chance to win the grand prize an all expenses paid trip to your next CAP.

Sun 1st February – The Sunday Session
Sunday Tourism Session (CAP Euro Wristband needed — see www.capeuro.com)
The tourism part will be a bus and walking tour of the best sites in London including St Pauls, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Covent Garden and lots more. The buses will depart from the official hotel at 10am and will drop you off at the Sunday Beer Session at 1.30pm. Details will be emailed to all delegates this week.

Sunday Beer Session (CAP Euro Wristband needed — see www.capeuro.com)
100% informal and completely relaxed. The Sunday session is all about chillin’ with a frosty brew and forgetting about business cards, stands, conference sessions or in fact the time. It all sparks off at The George in the Strand. See you there from 1.30pm.

And all this starts next week. Time to get planning!

Ask Bob Rains your online marketing questions. Email Bob at expert@casinoaffiliateprograms.com today!



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