How to prepare for Affiliate Summit.

I can’t believe Affiliate Summit is only a couple weeks away.  Most of the time I am one of the last people to prep for the show.  This time however I am actually preparing ahead of time.  Here is my check list of what you may want to start doing this week and then get together for the week before the show.  I also recommend you read my post on what to pack for Affiliate Summit.

2 Weeks Before Affiliate Summit.

1.  Buy a new pair of dress shows or dressy tennis shoes.  Not only are you going to be walking around a lot, but you’ll need them to get into most of the clubs and events.  If you buy a pair of comfy slip on dress shoes this week, whether online or at a store, you’ll get a sense for how comfortable they will be after wearing them for long periods of time.  Make sure you wear them around the house, to work and all day long just to make sure they don’t cause blisters or hurt.  You may be wearing and standing in them for 12 hours or more a day.  Break them in now to not only be sure they are comfortable, but also so you’ll know if you should buy a different pair or if you need to buy padding for the inside.

2.  Order business cards now!  You never know if a printer will mess them up.  You want your cards to be correct and ready to go without any last minute issues.  By giving yourself a week or two to send them back if there is a problem you lessen your chances for cards with errors.

3.  Finalize and set any last appointments.  Affiliate and Merchant time slots are filling up fast.  Call the companies you want to meet with this week and early next week (since it is a holiday), and try to find when you all can meet.  Then 1 week before send a reminder to make sure they are still good for that time and place.  You will also want to get their cell phone numbers so that you can find each other in a crowd.

4.  Get your handouts to the printer.  Again, you don’t want any errors.  At Affiliate Summit Boston one company was handing out flyers that said low conversions or lowest payouts.  Something along those lines.  The Affiliate Manager didn’t really care much, hopefully he or she was fired, but there is no excuse to make a bad impression or show you don’t care about the channel.  Making a mistake that shows you don’t care about the channel also shows potential Affiliates that you probably won’t care about them if they have a problem.

5.  Confirm your hotel reservation.  This isn’t a normal occurrence but there are some other very large shows in Vegas during Summit.  You don’t want to find out they overbooked and are moving you to a different hotel.  It may sound a bit crazy but there are horror stories in Vegas where you get there and all of the sudden you find out you have been moved to a hotel that is a 10 minute ride or 30 minute walk away, and you don’t get a refund or price difference paid back.

The week before and of the show.

6.  Pack your bags 3 days in advance.  Everyone forgets something at Summit.  If you create a checklist 3 days before and start packing everything that night, you will not only know what you are missing but you will have time to go buy it.

For money saving tips for Affiliate Summit, here are some things you can do.

Hotels:

Go onto the Affiliate Summit Networking site and see if anyone wants to do a hotel share.  You can also try forums like Abestweb.com or WickedFire.com.   You do have to be careful because you never know who you will end up sharing a room with.  Sometimes it is better to stay a bit further away and spend a little more.

Cabs:

Make friends and set up times to meet.  See if anyone is staying at the same hotel as you and are going to the same parties.  If they are you can arrange times to meet up and then split the cab fares.  This becomes a life saver at times if you are a bit tipsy and need someone to help you home, not to mention it helps save you money.  It also sometimes helps you find out and get into parties that you didn’t know about.

Food:

Vegas can be expensive or cheap.  If you are an Affiliate, see if the Merchants you do well with are hosting dinners.  Normally if they know you are there are you do well with them they’ll treat.  Lots of the parties have excellent food as well.  Eating at the parties is a great way to not have to spend on a meal.  There are also numerous cheap buffets on the strip at other hotels.  Go in and fill up for under $15 or $20 so you only have to eat in the morning or mid day and can fill up again at a night time party.  Las Vegas also has an In and Out burger, but you have to spend more on a cab just to get there.  The Peppermill is also a personal favorite of mine.  It isn’t budget food but it is good greasy diner food and the best breakfasts in Vegas.

Rides from the airport.

If you don’t want to pay for a cab to and from the strip, find one of the ride share vans.  They are reasonable in price and you can sometimes negotiate the drivers down.  Make sure you don’t take an illegal cab and that the shuttle or van is a legit and a licensed vehicle.  You don’t want to get in a car with a stranger driving in Vegas.

Anyways, that is how I prep for Affiliate Summit each year.   Feel free to add your own tips and advice below.

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