The big bad A4U Expo wrapup post


I got back yesterday afternoon absolutely shattered from the 2nd annual A4U Expo at the Excel in Docklands, London. It is only now a day later that I feel mentally fit enough to switch on the PC and write down my thoughts. It wasn't the 3 parties over 3 nights that has left me exhausted, but rather the 2 solid days of networking, meetings, panels and presentations that has me worn out. Well OK, maybe the parties didn't help either :) So what were the highlights for me? One thing that stood out this year was the number of SEO people who were involved in the panel sessions. People like Becky and Dave Naylor, Mel Carson, Dixon Jones and Joost De Valk to name but a few. Sure, they're an odd bunch ;) but our sectors are so closely linked that it made perfect sense to have a few more SEO sessions this year. One panel that I particularly enjoyed was the "Effective Voucher Code Implementation" session with Frostie, Duncan, J Lil and Richard from Comet the DSG group. Hero did a grand job of presenting an overview of the sector but unfortunately we only had 10 minutes to ask the panel questions. With voucher codes being such a hot topic at the moment we could have done with a 15 minute overview and 45 minutes of questions and answers. Maybe next year. I missed Al's presentation on "Million Dollar Blogging Strategies for Affiliates" which I was gutted about. Happily I heard nothing but good feedback about his session though, which is great considering I was the one who twisted his arm and suggested he be involved in the Expo in the first place. I was also delighted to hear loads of positive stuff about the new sunPress tool from Chris and the gang at Sunshine.co.uk. It's certainly a fantastic tool for my favourite blogging programme WordPress. Then there was my "Meet the Super Affiliates" session with Jamie, Doug and superbly moderated by Shak. We were in one of the biggest rooms and the session was packed, however as we were the very last session of the last day I think that this took it's toll on the audience. When we opened up the floor for questions we got a few but nowhere near the volume of questions that we had on the same panel last year (which was on in an earlier time slot). Speaking to a few people after the session, they said they enjoyed it and would have liked to have asked some questions but were a bit daunted as nobody else was. If I had been prepared, I should have brought some of the great questions asked by my blog readers in this post. But as ever, I wasn't but will answer them in a separate and upcoming post. Thankfully the session went OK and we didn't have to revert to Doug's questions that he had hastily prepared just before the presentation on his notepad. Thank goodness! I was also pleasantly surprised to meet up with Carrie from the Google Affiliate Network. She made the trip from Chicago to do a bit of fact-finding before a full blown launch of the Google beast into the UK. Should make for an interesting time ahead. Finally I'd just like to thank everybody who took the time out to come and say hello to me and shoot the breeze about affiliate marketing, ContentNow.co.uk or white cars :) Great to talk to you all and meet so many new people. While the exhibition and the sessions themselves were great, for me it was the networking and the drinking with friends old and new in the parties afterwards that proved really invaluable. This is where deals are struck, domains and sites are sold, joint ventures are born and new opportunities created. Roll on A4U Expo 2009. Here are some other people's experiences of the 2 days... Awesome A4U Expo 2008 Doug's A4U Photos A4U Expo Day 1 - by Fraser A4U Expo Day 1 - by Jason A4U Expo Day 1 - by Pete Best A4U Expo Event Ever! - by Jason Didn't we have a lovely time Day 1 photos A4U Expo was great, yet again SEO Dinner at A4U Expo A4U Expo presentation online now WordPress SEO tips Was the A4U Expo any good? My review My A4U Expo Roundup A4U Expo - Conversion rate experts reveal conversion is all a matter of persuasion Can I got to bed now please? A review of the A4U Expo 2008 Affiliate Marketing Conferences Add Value Cost Per Monk Story from A4U Expo A4U Expo 101 A4U Expo - Another ripping affiliate shindig A4U Expo - it's a rap! Why the A4U Expo sucked! A4U Expo Day 2 - by Fraser A4U Expo London 2008 Making an exhibition of ourselves A4U Expo was a blast A4U Expo Review Reflecting on the A4U Expo experience A4U Expo London 2008 9 lessons from A4U Expo 5 things I learnt at the A4U Expo What I'm listening to right now: Ne-Yo ft Jadakiss - "By My Side"

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18 Responses to The big bad A4U Expo wrapup post

  1. You really can write for England:)

    Well done…great overview.

    Doug

  2. Pingback: A4U photos | Doug's mouthpiece

  3. Andrew Mason says:

    Hi Kieron,

    I got a lot out of A4U and it was good to catch up with you and other twitter users!

    Thanks,

  4. Mel Carson says:

    I’m chuffed you think I’m an SEO – I haven’t the faintest idea what Dave and Dixon are on about most of the time. Great to meet you at last and catch up soon!

  5. Great summarisation of the expo Kieron. Real pleasure to catch up with you there.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the SEO sessions, though, like some others have commented elsewhere, there was too much glorification of black hat cheating by some of the panellists which I throught was disappointing.

    The names of these pop groups get stranger by the year. There used by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Now I see you’re listening to “Ne-Yo ft Jadakiss – By My Side”

  6. and' says:

    thoroughly enjoyed my time at the conference being a first timer!

    attended some excellent presentations (e.g. Mark Russell & Keith Budden on incentivising affiliates and Duncan Jennings on ppc) and also some ropey ones (e.g writing paragraphs of text on presentation slides)!

    will defo look forward to next year!

  7. Pingback: Why the A4U Epo sucked! | One Man Went To Mow

  8. Pingback: A4Uexpo was a blast! | Roy Huiskes . com

  9. Pingback: Making An Exhibition Of Ourselves | pfft

  10. Emil says:

    Hi Kieron,
    I was a great Pleasure to see you in the “meet the super affiliate” session.
    How can I contact you for more personal discussion.
    Yes, I know I’m a Bully, Yet shy sometimes :-)
    BTW – Great Blog!
    Emil

  11. Thanks for the wrap-up. Looks like you guys enjoyed the expo.

  12. Pingback: Reflecting on the a4u expo experience (and a few session notes) » Self Made Minds

  13. gadget says:

    I thought this year’s a4u Expo was good, but not great. I found the SEO sessions especially useful and have already put some of the tips into practice, with the rest on my to-do list.

    One thing I do find off putting though is how clichy a lot of the ‘super’ affiliates are. There seem to be a lot of in-jokes that whilst it’s fun to observe the banter, I’m sure may intimidate a lot of newbies and alienates the rest of us.

  14. Neil says:

    I think Gadget’s post about “cliquey” super affiliates is an interesting one. I don’t think it’s cliquey per se, and it was the same in some of the SEO seminars as there was a lot of in-jokes and esoteric uses of terms and people in the industry e.g. talking about Matt (Cutts – of Google) etc assuming everyone would know who they were.

    I think it’s difficult for the speakers to be all things to all people as you have a mix of newbies and people who have been involved for a lot longer so I would guess it’s difficult to find a level to pitch the session at without alienating the different groups of listeners.

    Neil

  15. Nick Broad says:

    I didn’t think it was as good as last years, but still worth it. Some really good presentations and some decidedly iffy ones. I’m learning to avoid the self-styled gurus which helps.

    The venue is pretty ropey and could it be in a worse place – I thought my DLR days were long gone.

  16. channel5 says:

    I think gadget is correct with some of the Clique-iness..

    and as one speaker said to me in private “You won’t see the real Super Affiliates at a conference like this, they’re sat in their mommas basements raking in the cash!”

  17. Pingback: My favourite bits of 2008

  18. Pingback: 5 Reasons to Attend SES London 2009 SEOptimise

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