I have to admit I was somewhat reluctant when I saw the announcement that the Affiliate Summit East 2013 was being held in Philadelphia instead of New York (where it’s been for the past few years). One of the good things about the move was that holding the event in a dedicated convention center helped with the free networking activities. The space was much more generous and you could just sit down and talk with the people you set meetings with, which was really a plus. One not-so-joyous aspect of the change was the fact that all the Philly shops close at 7 PM, so if you wanted to do some non-food-and-drinks shopping later than that, you were in for a surprise. :)
Going back to the Summit, we saw the same rising trend as last year: software (especially utilities software) and cloud services had a much more notable presence at the event. Also, the software distribution models people indicated a willingness to experiment with were very diverse. Depending on the target audience, the models cited included installs, bundles, paid trials, and more.
During the Summit, we held a private event for our partners (affiliates, merchants, and agencies) at a nice Cuban-themed restaurant. Apart from the great conversation we had and the potential deals we discussed, everybody simply raved about the food – it was truly a delight. I definitely recommend visiting Alma de Cuba on 1623 Walnut St. when in Philadelphia. You can check out the pictures on our Flickr account.
At the busy “Meet Market” area and the Exhibit Hall at the Summit, we were able to find many good opportunities for discussion. Time was short, unfortunately, and there were a lot of people with whom we had set meetings prior to the event. Our packed schedule reminded us that even with six people attending an event and meticulously prepared schedules, you still don’t get to speak to everyone you’d like to.
On the last day of the event, our colleague Andra Ioana gave a presentation on how to find, recruit and work with affiliates in Europe. Although it’s a fragmented market, Europe remains an attractive option for merchants looking to find new revenue streams outside their home region. Whether you decide to do it on your own or ask for assistance from local experts, you can discover some clear steps and examples for working with affiliates from Europe in this presentation.
We led discussion on another important affiliate topic before the Summit, in an Avangate Webinar held on August 14. 5 Strategies to Grow a Mature Affiliate Program, with special guest Rick Gardiner, discussed the resources, tactics, and incentives that can grow a mature affiliate program. Download your copy today and enjoy the best practices and case studies presented in the webinar.
To wrap things up, this year’s Affiliate Summit East was full of new business opportunities for Avangate, as well as a great source of industry feedback and market pulse. The software affiliate market is clearly stronger than ever. It was very nice seeing a lot of our friends in the industry and also making new ones. Many thanks to Shawn Collins and Missy Ward, the founders of another successful event. We’re looking forward to Vegas in January!