Affiliate Summit West 2015 took place at the Paris in Las Vegas, Nevada and it was another great event. As usual, I arrived a day early and took advantage of the early check in on Saturday evening. It took less than five minutes to pick up my badge and bag, much different than the experience of those who went Sunday morning. Since they began offering early check in I have done so and totally forgot how hectic Sunday morning check-in was until I tried to walk through the lines to get to one of the conference rooms. Even I, a native New Yorker, got anxiety in the crowd. I do have to say that even though crowded, the Affiliate Summit staff did a great job and it was efficient.
My approach to this Summit was a bit different than previous ones. Although I had a couple of client meetings, my goal was to meet new people, some random meetings and others planned in advance. Getting a chance to talk with new people allowed me the opportunity to get a broader perspective of our industry. Some new to the industry, some seasoned veterans, all were new contacts and they shared with me their thoughts, ideas and opinions; many times it was an eye opener.
It is always invigorating to speak to someone and hear the excitement as they speak of their dream. Creativity and excitement is contagious, one fresh idea leads to more and energy explodes. But it’s more than that. These meetings served a reminder of the many things that are good and positive and of what is possible – anything is possible. It also reminds us there are real people on the side of that computer, real faces behind the affiliate number, the merchant name and yes, even behind that network.
The veteran from military service, the parent looking to create a better life for their children, the retiree forced to earn money to put food on his table, the college graduate struggling to pay student loan bills, the student still in college fighting to pay tuition and even the golf fanatic looking to finance his hobby – these are the faces of affiliate marketing.
Sometimes we lose the faces, so caught up in the business and activity that we lose one of the most important aspect – the people.
There’s something special in all of them.