A4U Summer Networking event – 6 reasons not to attend


Well I'm all sorted. I've booked my tickets for the A4U Summer Networking event in Bristol taking place Friday 20th July. The flights are booked as is the hotel. All good. But then I was chatting to a few people via MSN Messenger and I found out that people still have their reservations about attending these events. Now maybe I've just been blind to this as I've attended industry events for years and love them. The idea that people are nervous about attending was news to me, but understandable. So after some further discussions, here are the top 6 objections on why people don't like to attend. 1. I'm only 18/17/65/85 etc. and only do this part time, I'm worried that I'll be the youngest/oldest there. Don't be. There are a lot of people there the same age as you. There are also a fair few students and even pensioners who do this on a part time basis. In fact no matter what age you are you will find yourself in the company of others the same age. The beauty of these events and Affiliate Marketing in general is that anybody of any age/background can be involved. 2. I don't want to let people know what sites I run and feel I will be under pressure to tell people about my business and the URL's of my sites. Well I've been attending these events for years and I still don't know the sites that some of the other regulars run! Its simple really, if people ask you what sites you run just say "I work in finance/retail/travel" or whatever sector you operate in. Other good answers are "oh, too many to mention", "loads" or simply "I prefer to keep them to myself thanks". However though you will find that most affiliates simply won't ask you, its kind of an unwritten rule of conduct. We'll probably ask each other what sector you are in, how are you finding it etc. but thats about it. Networks, merchants and agencies will ask you, but then again its in your best interest to tell them as they can help you grow your business. 3. I've never been to an event and won't know anyone. OK, couple of suggestions: post on the A4U Forum asking if anybody else is going to the event and maybe meet up a bit before in a hotel bar or at the event. I an guarantee there will be in the same position as you. We'll all be given name badges too, so you will see lots of names from the forum, just go and say hello! Failing all that, find me and I'll buy you a Peroni and introduce you to some cool people. 4. I can't afford it. Just so we're clear, it is only £41.13 including VAT to attend. Now I don't know about you but that's barely a few hours on a good night on the town, certainly nowhere near enough to get you anywhere close to last orders. Bearing in mind that this measly £41 includes a BBQ and free drinks as well as great networking then please show me where you can get better value for money. Sure, I appreciate that for some people it will involve travelling and staying away (you really should stay as it will end LATE) but there are local hotels from around £50 a night. And you will get your money back in many other ways from the invaluable contacts you will make and the juicy nuggets of information you can gleam from your peers. 5. Are the Wurzels really playing live? Do I have to put up with "Combine Harvester" all night? No, thankfully they have had to cancel. Phew! :) 6. I'm worried I might get in a similar state to Frostie in that picture taken in Vegas earlier this year. You mean this one? all wrong Well, chances are that yes you will get in that state. What can I say? In all fairness to the Frostmeister we had started drinking large amounts of lager in the early afternoon at the Ricky Hatton fight. This was followed by silly amounts of Grey Goose Vodka at the Buy.at party at Pure, Caesars Palace. And the reason I'm not in the picture is because I staggered off home early. Too much! Has anybody else got any reasons for not attending? Or why newbies should attend? Please leave a comment below. What I'm listening to right now: Rihanna ft Chris Brown - "Umbrella/Cinderella"

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35 Responses to A4U Summer Networking event – 6 reasons not to attend

  1. Frostmeister says:

    Thanks for that mate!

    Just to back you up on everything, there really isn’t any reason why not to attend.

    1. You will not be the oldest/youngest there. Trust me!

    2. As you have already mentioned, there’s an unwritten rule of conduct. We wait until you’ve drunk and then ask you ;o)

    3. I still don’t know anyone – can I have a Peroni please? The morning after is always the same. I have a fist full of business cards, none of which I can put faces to and then get emails from merchants and networks with details of things we ‘discussed’ the night before :o )

    4. My first one was many years ago (not sure if it was the very first one in some Gardens place in London). At the time, I think I was making 100 per month.

    5. Thats a crying shame!

    6. Thank goodness you haven’t posted the one from Amsterdamn in March!

    As always, looking forward to this one!

  2. Jason says:

    Another suggestion would be.. “I don’t think I’ll get anything from it!” .. evaluating the worth of attending will vary from affiliate to affiliate, not all of it will be in apparent monetary value though (e.g. getting higher commissions, offers etc) but there’s plenty of hints, tips, advice, camaraderie, friendship etc that can be found.

    Another would be “I’m not very good at networking” or “I don’t like it” – I’m happy to admit I fall in both categories even after numerous affiliate events.

    Personally I find it very difficult to kinda wander up to someone who’s yakking away and introduce myself or fling myself at someone trying to get to the toilet (that happened to me btw).

    Still, there’s more chance of networking by attending than not, so sometimes you have to bite the bullet!

    The outside London events imo tend to be a lot more chilled, so the Bristol event is a nice opportunity for getting started. There’s plenty of people in the same boat – most people are friendly and will happily chat to you (especially Kieron as he always “buys” when the free bar is on and will find you later for your round when the freebies are at an end)

    Jason

  3. I’d consider myself a shy lad and I attended my first event this year on the ferry to Amsterdam. I was put at ease as soon as I put my name badge on and people recognised the name and/or the A4U profile pic.
    It was great to meet affiliate staff I’d only been in email contact with before.
    And it was even better to have lots of drinks with fellow affiliates in the bars.
    I got so relaxed I even gave a little rendition in the Heineken brewery :)

  4. Chris says:

    I’ve just started in the affiliate industry and although showing a decent income i don’t feel confident enough to attend although that may sound stupid.

    Maybe the next one i’ll have atleast have a good few months behind my back in the industry.

    Chris,

  5. Irfz says:

    Im have only just started too. Will this be a benefit to a complete newbie like me, as i know it can be fustrating to experienced people when getting asked about basic stuff.

  6. KirstyM says:

    I did as you say at my first G2G, I just got a hold of someone who wanted to meet up first and that made it all nice and easy. Networking used to be part of my job and I still hate walking into them rooms alone!

    I can’t wait for the big Expo in London now. Specially if Frostie promises to get in that nick again. Duncan and I are going to Vegas for a week in September, so we will start practising there!

  7. Jesse says:

    They are all the reasons I give *embarassed* although the main one for me is that i’m so shy (the reason for the username shyguy0707) I’d be tempted to stay outside (speaking is not my strong point).

    I was tempted by last years Bristol one but bottled out at the last minute (about a day before).

  8. Graham says:

    These g2gs are fantastic, and although you may not think you’ve gained a great deal business wise, the contacts and relationships you’ll build are worth there weight in gold.

    Anyone nervous about going on your own feel free to PM me through A4U* and I’d be happy to meet for a beer beforehand and introduce you to a few people (*as long as you’re not an axe murdering loony tune).

    Graham
    Graham@Buyagift

  9. Frostmeister says:

    Lordy lordy. Don’t bottle out! Seriously, just consider it going for a few beers with a bunch of mates who happen to work in the same industry as yourself. It really is as simple as that!

    Don’t come along suited up, with paper presentations etc (I did on my first one lol), just bring yourself, some beer tokens and a business card. If you don’t have a business card, don’t worry, just make sure you know your mobile number to give it to a few people.

    Don’t feel that you will be judged, as you won’t be. There’s no need to having to feel 110% confident in internet business or ventures – just be confident enough to say ‘Hey hows it going’.

    Remember, the people you will want to talk ‘business’ with will be networks and merchants. They already know your sites, your stats and want to help YOU generate more income.

    KirstyM
    “if Frostie promises to get in that nick again”
    Which nick are you talking about? How did you find out I’ve spent time? I promised on my parole that I wouldn’t end up in that nick ever again! ;o)

  10. Geoff says:

    Speaking as someone thats new to the industry and never been to any events. I think one of the main put-offs is not knowing what these things actually are! I get the idea now (piss ups). You lot are doing a good job of selling them anyway. I hope i’ll get to one sometime soon.

    Geoff

  11. Max99 says:

    I believe my questions to Kieron gave him the idea for this blog post, and his answers were convincing on msn aswell as his post on his blog.

    Im still considering going to the bristol get2gether, but the part of me saying “go” is now more influencial than the part saying “dont”

    Oh and other 18year olds who are considering going…go ! lol

  12. John says:

    I’m a shy creature too, and only come out of the woodwork for a few g2gs each year. Networking really isn’t my thing, but chatting to mates in the industry over a few beers is.

    If anyone wants to meet up in Bristol before the event for a few beers, let us know (newbies and oldies welcome!) – we’re getting there early afternoon.

  13. Kieron says:

    Jason – yes you are correct, you’ll find I’m the most generous person there is…at the free bar ;)

    Chris – it doesn’t matter if you have been involved in AM for 5 years or 5 minutes. Either way you will still benefit from the event greatly.

    Irfz – yes you will most definitely benefit, even if you just take a step back and listen and learn, you will come away buzzing!

    Jesse – same applies to you, and I’ve seen you kicking about my blog for a while so get yourself along, I promise to “buy” you a Peroni. Even if the free bar is closed! Take note Jason.

    For anybody else still hesitant to go, I do understand your concerns. However out of all the events this one will be the most relaxed, so a perfect opportunity to come along and just enjoy a drink and a chat.

  14. Geoff says:

    On a similar note, I gather you’re from the North East like myself Kieron? Are there many events up our way? I saw the one at Shields on the Ferry but I got the impression it was a bit unusual to be this far north.

  15. Kieron says:

    Geoff, yes every November/December Buy.at host the Christmas Cracker which is usually held in Newcastle. Watch out for it!

  16. ian-d says:

    hmmm, might be tempted along to this myself. Haven’t really paid any attention to it being new to AM. I have been to just a few ‘car events’ in my younger days on my own and whilst scary, you get over it and everyone chats to each other. I’ll buy drinks if ppl will talk to me ;)

  17. Mack says:

    Question???
    I am just starting out (literally launching first site). Now would it be more worthwhile for me to spend the money that it would cost me to go to bristol(around 150) to launch an experiment campaign or would i learn more coming to bristol?

    Please don’t say do both as i am on a really tight budget. Thanks in advanced for any responses.

  18. KirstyM says:

    Aww…. I want to go to this event now. I don’t suppose anyone fancies a quick break over to Perth, Australia to buy me a Peroni. Kieron? No? Awww… I miss other affiliates! :(

  19. Marc says:

    Don’t laugh, but I love Combine Harvester… and I’d love to hear it live.

  20. StevenM says:

    Ditto what KirstyM says in comment 6. She was kind enough to meet up with me prior to my first affiliate do which made it a lot easier!

  21. Kieron says:

    Mack – I take it you mean keeping the 150 for a ppc campaign? Thats a tough question as there are benefits to be had from both. I always say just to go ahead and try ppc campaigns so you can see for yourself what works and what doesn’t. On the other hand you could meet a lot of PPC experts at the event who will maybe give you some tips. So my answer? Come to the event, learn loads from us all and then by the time you have saved up another 150 you will be in a better position to start a ppc campaign.

  22. Kieron says:

    Kirsty, never been to Oz so am surely tempted! On the other hand I’m more tempted to wait until you guys go to Vegas and meet you in the cocktail bar at the Wynn hotel for Strawberry Daiquiris. Gorgeous!!

  23. Kieron says:

    Marc – seek help.

  24. KirstyM says:

    Woohoo! Daquaris, do you know I’ve never had one of those? I’ll pop that on my Vegas “to do” list.

  25. Geoff says:

    Thats a hard offer to turn down Kirsty, I miss the place! A Sunday session at the Cott and you’ll forget Affiliates ever existed! :-P

  26. Kieron says:

    Well Kirsty if you’ve never had a Strawberry Daquaris I can highly recommend the ones at the Wynn hotel in Vegas. We spend many an afternoon/evening there and got very merry on them indeed. Gorgeous!

  27. Great post Kieron and loads of good points which should help encourage people to take that step and come along for the first time.

    If you do get to the Wynn Kirsty don’t forget the Margarita’s as well :)

  28. Frostie says:

    The Wynn? Happy days :)
    By the way, here are some more hints and tips for newbies going to their first affiliate event. I listed these for the DFDS event in Newcastle, but they apply to all Get2Gethers

    http://www.webaffiliate.co.uk/blog/affiliate-events/affiliate-marketing-events.html

  29. Zinc says:

    I am very very tempted no Kieron. A shame about the Werzals, that was the icing on the cake.

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  33. Zak says:

    Hello all,

    Graham says…

    “Anyone nervous about going on your own feel free to PM me through A4U* and Id be happy to meet for a beer beforehand and introduce you to a few people (*as long as youre not an axe murdering loony tune”.

    Well Graham, I’m pretty nervous about going, so could you please arrange to meet me several hours before for a few liveners. I should then find attending the G2G a lot less troublesome ;-)

  34. Kieron says:

    I’m just nervous that someone gives Zak a microphone again. Am bring earplugs this time :)

  35. Dan says:

    Well I’m a newbee merchant, new to the whole industry really, and have just booked my ticket after reading this. I’m not quite sure what I’m expecting to get out of it other than a night out in Bristol. I was going to say you’ll probably find me on my own at the bar… But from reading some of the other replies here if I am at the bar it doesn’t seem like I’ll be there alone. Thanks for the positive words, hope I bump into a few of you next Friday.

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