Now that 2013 is underway, it’s time to start thinking of attending some affiliate conferences and meeting up with people you work with mostly online. Conferences are a great place to meet face-to-face, network and learn about the gaming industry in a short period of time, plus you get to travel to some really cool places.
1. Set your schedule. Do some research on all the affiliate conferences coming up this year and figure out which ones would be the best to attend if not all of them, depending on your budget of course.
2. Set your priority list of industry conferences. Talk to everyone and figure out where most of the people you need to see and meet will be attending and look to see if you can justify the expense.
3. Go to the big events like ICE and LAC as they are combined in the same place (London) and usually everyone goes to those conferences and to both events. Plus, if you go to ICE you can see all the operators, software providers and industry companies that drive and compliment the gaming world.
4. Keep a record of the leaders of the industry/consultants and check to see if they will be attending or even speaking at the conferences. You need to figure out once they will be there and set some time around when they will be speaking to get some individual time with them.
5. Plan to visit all the operator booths and watch your time on each one. If you have a meeting with the affiliate manager, do that and then see if you can plan some social time with them at many of the after show networking events. They might even give you some tickets to get into the exclusive events, or even plan a dinner with them.
6. Get together with your fellow affiliates. You will be spending time with operators and affiliate managers, so make sure you set some time to meet up with your fellow affiliates.
7. Social networking events are a must. After a long day at the affiliate conference, make sure you save your energy for the evening social events. Go back to the hotel, freshen up and head out to any awards shows or parties and make the most of them.
8. Look at the conference schedule before you leave and attend all the informative speaking and work shops that are available. There will usually be SEO experts, Legal Counsel, Industry Pioneers, Product Managers and Successful Affiliates who have entered new markets and have lots to share.
9. Get there early and stay late. You have spent a lot of time to travel to these events, so make sure you make the most of it and condense as much as you can into the three days they are usually on for. You will also need some spare time to leave open incase you run into someone you didn’t think of or forgot. They may be with a new company or have some information for you that you can use.
10. Make sure you don’t pack your suitcase too much before you leave. All operators and affiliate programs have tons of specialty advertising materials for you to collect up like: T-Shirts, Pens, Brochures, Calculators, Clocks, Stress Balls and the list goes on an on. Finally, make sure you enter any conference contests for affiliates and stay to the end for the draw. You never know, you just might win an iPad or cool gadget like that to take home.