So, what is Affiliate Summit? Having survived a canceled flight back from Vegas and the craziness that ensues after being out of the office for a few days, I have finally had the chance to reflect on my experience this year at Affiliate Summit West hosted this year at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.
I find myself thinking about how much the performance-based industry has grown and matured over the past few years. At ASW this year I found myself talking to more and more brands who in the past would have never attended this type of show but now attend since they see affiliate marketing as an integral part of their marketing efforts.
These leading brands are making a statement by putting in the time to understand the space, attend the sessions, and overall get a better understanding on how the affiliate marketing process works. Their presence and dedication really attests to the change in the overall industry.
In terms of publishers, I spoke with more dedicated and professional people who were serious about how they run their business. The newcomers along with the more experienced affiliate marketers were looking to have a business conversation about partnering and working together successfully, rather than looking for ways to just make money quickly.
In addition, affiliate marketers from all over the world were in attendance at this year’s show just proving once again that we live in a global business environment where it is necessary to expand beyond one’s comfort zone. I personally held several conversations where both clients and affiliates were interested in growing their conversions and effective CPMs in Europe and other areas outside of the U.S.
Of course the show was full of a lot of the same faces and companies from previous years but the underlying vibe of the show was more professional due to the increased attention brand advertisers are now putting into the performance-based advertising industry.
While there will always be companies trying to stick to the old way of doing business, I believe that those who are unable to make this change may not survive in our increasingly professional and growing industry. I look forward to continuing to be a part of this ever-changing industry!
Megan Conahan is responsible for training, developing and advising the advertising sales team of Direct Agents, a full service performance-based interactive advertising agency. Megan started with Direct Agents in 2005 and is currently excelling in her role as VP of Advertising Sales. She has played a crucial role in expanding Direct Agents’ client base into the UK and Germany. In 2008, Megan was recognized as a Stevie Awards for women in business finalist. Megan is very active in the online advertising industry and recently spoke at Affiliate Summit West 2011 on the topic of Email Marketing and the Brand.