Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Affiliate Summit Report: Top 4 Observations

As recession and economic concerns continue to grip Wall Street (and my 401k), there are a group of business folks that couldn't be happier: affiliate marketers. And it's very evident here at Affiliate Summit in Vegas (and supposedly this doesn't have anything to do with the fact that plenty took in the "sights" of the Adult Entertainment Expo that's also happening at the same time here).

But bottom line, here's the naked truth: Affiliates of all kinds continue to see growth in their markets. Here are a few signs that online is still the place to be:

1. Huge turn-out. Affiliate Summit has had its largest show to date with over 3,000 people in attendance. Other conferences I've been to have been plagued recently with companies scaling back and speakers/panelists choosing to drop out at last minute. No sign of that here with crowds and booths filled all day long.

2. Bright future. There's continual talk and encouragement for bigger and better things to come. And I'm not talking about a cheerleader squad trying to lift the spirits of a 'Bama squad getting pummeled by the likes of Utah. It's people that are succeeding online and building huge businesses that continue to view vast opportunities. As Affiliate Summit keynote speaker Gary Vayrenchuk, host of Wine Library TV, a daily internet webcast on the subject of wine, said this morning: too many affiliate marketers are focusing on hitting singles rather than swinging for the fences. And he's a perfect example to show that there is not a textbook way to succeed in this space. Just find a passion and do it.

3. CPA net-o'-plenty. There are more CPA networks than ever before. And the truth is that they are all doing hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in payments each month. The only way this is possible is because every day another brand/company realizes they need to start an affiliate program.

4. Recession Does Not Equal Prohibition. Parties are just as numerous and liquor flowing as freely as in years past. While you have to work a little to find all the great parties, every night there has been plenty from which to choose. And even with the distractions of Vegas, affiliates are taking advantage not only to have fun, but to network and find ways to grow their businesses.

Overall Affiliate Summit is well on its way to another great conference. It continues to grow and mature, and of course, be an invaluable opportunity to the marketplace.

Check out Shawn Collins' Affiliate Tip blog for ongoing commentary and photos of the Summit.

Cheers and happy money making!

Gary Kamikawa
VP, Interactive Advertising

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