a4uexpo thoughts


Last week was the 3rd annual A4U Expo and I thought I would share some thoughts on it here. For me, the real benefit of the conference was the opportunity to network, have meetings with people that I don't normally have the opportunity to and also to catch up with old friends. Because I'm based in Sunderland and the companies that I work close with or predominantly based in the South then the Expo was a great chance to meet up with them in the same location and cram as many meetings in a couple of days.It was also great to just wander round the exhibition and catch up with friends who I normally only get the chance to speak to at these events. As I was on 3 panels over the 2 days I thought I'd give my impressions on how they went: The Affiliate Doctors Live - Day 1, 12pm to 1pm Myself, Chris Garrett, Duncan Jennings, Jamie Harwood and Dixon Jones gave our honest opinions and ideas for a whole range of websites that were submitted in advance to us via this blog. Some of the sites we talked about were Sletoh.com, DVDBoxsets.co.uk, HomeandGardengifts.co.uk, Geekery.in, MobileMentalism.com and WhereCanIBuyOnline.com. Speaking to some of the site owners after the session, they seemed happy with the advice we had given out. Overall this was a fun session to run and I hope everyone thought we gave some useful tips. Start-up And Launch Strategy - Day 2, 12.15pm to 1.15pm I was really pleased to be on this panel as it was the "music" panel with me representing ShareMyPlaylists.com, Seatwave, GigLocator and Spotify in attendance. We were asked questions from the audience as well as our moderator, Pamir, who did an excellent job of keeping the conversation running. Feedback after the session was absolutely fantastic and it was brilliant to see a full room for this session. For me it was interesting to hear how other companies in this space were affected with similar issues to myself, especially around getting word out for your business, boot strapping, investment etc. Meet The Super Affiliates - Day 2, 4pm to 5pm As this was the second last panel on the last day and there were more than a few people in the audience who had clearly suffered "death by Powerpoint" from previous sessions I knew that it would be a bit of a challenge to get the audience participating. So after a slow start I invited questions via Twitter which seemed to get things going and also helped out those in the audience who were a bit shy or hesitant to speak out to a room full of people. Sessions like this are always a bit out of my control as we rely completely on the audience asking us good questions. Hopefully we answered as honestly and entertaining as we could and nobody was disappointed. If anybody was wondering why I gave the guy in the front of the audience a bit of a hard time when he asked about what would we do when Google ban all affiliate sites it was because he spent the WHOLE of the session talking to the person next to him and was very distracting. In fact I was very close to asking him to leave. The 3 sessions that I would have liked to have seen but unfortunately missed were Joanna Butler's "Barriers to Conversion and Discovering Untapped Opportunities with Analytics" - mainly because Joanna is a good friend, knows her stuff and it was me who persuaded her to talk :) Judging by the feedback I heard about her talk afterwards she did a great job. I was also gutted I missed Dom's, Naomi and Mel's talk entitled "You want to Tweet What!? - Social Media, Twitter and Affiliate Marketing" which was very entertaining by all accounts. Finally, Nadeem's "My 12 biggest mistakes in 12 years" was very well received, most probably because he used a quote from me in his first slide :) What were your thoughts on the a4uexpo? Do you have any feedback from any of the sessions that I was involved in? Please leave your comments below, I'd love to hear from you :) What I'm listening to right now: Polly Scattergood - "Please Don't Touch" More a4uexpo blog posts: Official a4uexpo Slideshare channel Nadeem The Bearded Warrior One Little Duck Ray Elaine Messy Desk Shopzilla CJ Lammo GeoffBlog SEOGadget Search Cowboys

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16 Responses to a4uexpo thoughts

  1. Mike Evans says:

    As owner of one of websites you guys reviewed (MobileMentalism), iwaiting to have your website critiqued by you guys in front of an audience of 100s was terrifying!

    But you guys rocked though :) great advice, and all delivered in an easy-going, constructive way.

    Joanna’s talk on analytics was also great, as was the whole analytics session (though way too painful for the hangover I had at the time ;)

    In short, A4UExpo was a great event all round. Learned a tonne of stuff, met some great people, some great contacts, and had fun all the way through.

    Will definitely be back next year :)

  2. gadget says:

    Thanks for the link to Nadeem’s presentation. Interesting to see that we all go through the same learning curve!

  3. Thanks for the compliments.

    I am gutted I missed your sessions Kieron. Your ‘Meet the Super Affiliates’ is one of my favourites each year. Hopefully they’ll release the vids soon, so I get to see you in all your glory.

  4. Pooja Baddoo says:

    Very good talk about Twittering from the very funny Dom and the gang. Anyone know where I can see it again?

  5. Greg Findley says:

    Hi Kieron,

    Found the Affiliate Doctors session really useful (especially as my site was featured! :D ) thanks again for all the feedback & ideas with that.

    I was wondering why the guy at the front of the Super Affiliates session got a bit of a grilling! I just thought it was because it was a bit of pointless question (IMO)

    Anyway, great to meet you and already looking forward to A4u Expo 2010!

  6. Kieron says:

    Thanks for the feedback Mike and I’m glad you enjoyed the session. Best of luck with the site, I’m sure you’ll have no problem shifting ad inventory.

  7. Kieron says:

    Cheers mate, not sure about the “all your glory” bit tho :)

  8. Kieron says:

    Thanks for that Greg. You’re absolutely right, the guy’s question was a bit daft, but also he was very bad mannered, hence the grilling :)

  9. I really enjoyed the affiliate doctors session – and thank you for the advice on my site Kieron. Meeting you in person and getting your opinions were a highlight of my first A4U Expo. And you were a lot more down to earth than I expected ;) I’m already working on all that I can remember from the session – learned a lot from the other sites being reviewed too – and looking forward to the video going online (I hear there should be videos of all sessions?) at some point, so I can make sure I’ve remembered all the advice correctly.

    I also enjoyed meeting lots of wonderful new friends and contacts at the final night’s party, and thoroughly enjoyed Nadeem’s talk on his biggest affiliate marketing mistakes too!

    I haven’t written up my own A4U expo review yet, but will be doing so this week as soon as I get chance!

    Thanks again,


  10. Kieron says:

    Thanks for your kind words Michelle, great to meet you too and good luck with the site! :)

  11. dan barker says:

    ahh! it makes sense now about the guy in the front row in the super affiliates session. i was sat fairly near & couldn’t figure out what was going on.

    i missed nadeem’s talk, but have just looked through the slides & wish i hadn’t. that was the only tiny negative for me: there was one point where 3 sessions i wanted to be in all clashed. can’t help that though!

    it was my first a4u. very much enjoyed it & very much hope to get the chance to keep going.

    loved the positivity of most of the sessions, learning new bits and bobs, and meeting everyone.

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  14. Wardy says:

    Was a good couple of days and some really good sessions. I’m glad the ask the super affiliate one finally got going after it looked like it was stalling at the start.
    Jason beat me to the first twitter question by a couple of seconds but mine was only more to try and get things going rather than something of much interest so I’ll let you off for not asking it ;)

  15. Ben says:

    Thanks again for reviewing sletoh Kieron. It was great to have the feedback of both the Doctors and the audience, although having only one person like the name ‘sletoh’ was a disappointment!

    Strange thing about the feedback was that it confirmed my fears on duplicate content – I think I was trying to find another reason for the site’s lack of search engine traffic! We have now set about creating some content for sletoh – it’s going to be a long slog as the site has 80,000 pages! But then if it was easy, everyone would do it!

    After the name got a beating and nobody realised it was “hotels” spelt backwards, we are also having the logo re-designed. It was telling when the Doctors revealed wat sletoh stood for and the audience let a “oh yeah” in unison!

    Thanks again,

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