The first affiliate marketing conference I attended changed my life.
I took a week’s vacation time from my job and went to Affiliate Summit East in 2008.
I met some of my favorite affiliate marketing bloggers. I met with my affiliate managers and formed relationships. And I met other affiliate marketing newbies who I masterminded and learned from.
If you’re chasing the next level of success, you NEED to meet the right people. And face to face time is 100x better than any forum or Skype group.
But there’s one problem: You don’t know which affiliate conferences are good, and which ones you’d rather avoid and spend the money on your campaigns.
When you’re working from your computer 12+ hours a day, it’s easy to fall into the trap of forgetting that you’re building a real business, and you’re working with real people.
I know what you’re thinking: it takes too much time and money to attend these events. Even worse, you’ll have to step away from your business for a few days.
I can’t (and won’t) argue with any of those points. You’re exactly right. But even so, if you wanna take your game to the next level, face-to-face time with your contacts will get you to a higher level.
Over the past 9 years, I’ve attended so many conferences that I’ve lost track, so I want to give you the 80/20 of affiliate marketing events.
Here’s what I’m going to cover in this post:
- Which affiliate events are my favorite
- A feel for what each conference is like
- Internet marketing events from around the world so everyone has the option to attend one
Choose Your Affiliate Marketing Conferences Wisely
As an affiliate marketer, you’re always being pitched on how different products / services can change your life.
Most of them are run by marketers, so they know all of our sales tricks…
Don’t be that guy who attends every single event, and never launches any campaigns.
It’s a challenge to decide where to spend your time and money, but I don’t want this to stop you dead in your tracks.
Instead, I want you to consider every event by focusing on the finer details of each one. From there, you’ll be able to make the decision that’s best for you and your business.
I’ve had the good fortune of attending almost every internet marketing conference imaginable. Some were killer, providing me with the opportunity to network with successful people, share my ideas, and pick up on tips for growing my business.
Then, there are some events that are not so good.
My “Absolute-Must Attend” Affiliate Marketing Conferences
Affiliate World Conferences
Next conference: Schedule here
Affiliate World conferences are run by the guys that own STM forum. They have added another level to the benchmark of affiliate conferences. These are the best affiliate marketing conferences to attend if you want to grow your network, discuss high-level strategies with successful affiliates, and learn from some high-level speakers.
In 2016, the Affiliate World Europe event took place at the beautiful Berlin Congress Center on July 18th and 19th. Berlin was a cool place to hold the event, and it’s not too much of a big flight for me so I don’t get jetlagged.
I’ve just got back home from AWA that was held in Bangkok earlier this month, and it was incredible. It’s cool to see the evolution of the STM company, and how they keep focusing on building better events each year. There were about 2,200 people at AWA, but it still feels like an intimate conference.
My favorite speakers this year were:
- Drew Eric Whitman, Author of Cashverti$ing
- Neil Patel, Co-Founder of Quicksprout and KISSmetrics (among other companies)
Affiliate World Conferences offer opportunities for everything:
- Partying and networking with other affiliates
- Career potential – a lot of the booths are hiring at these events
- Getting to meet the speakers / super affiliates
- Learning from the speakers
- Meeting affiliate managers, traffic source reps, and owners of tools/software that you use such as Voluum or AdsBridge
Affiliate World Europe 2017 is still many months out, but you can bet I’ll be there. For me, it’s a “must-attend” conference (plus they ask me to speak at every event and it’s hard to say no).
Next conference: Schedule here
Every year, the company hosts a one-day event for some of the top affiliates in the world.
Honestly, for me, it’s hard to say no to an event that has so much going for it. It’s mainly US guys that come, so it’s a good networking event to find affiliates who are local. Here are my thoughts on the A4D event held this year (2016):
- It’s all learning, all the time. There are no sponsors. The speakers on stage aren’t trying to sell you anything. Instead, it’s all about you, the affiliate.
- It’s the kind of event that all affiliates love, where you get to spend your time with like-minded professionals. There aren’t any wannabes here. It’s all about people who want to grow their business.
Some of the speakers last year were:
- Jason Akatiff, CEO of A4D
- John Malach, CEO of NativeAds
- Tim Burd, CEO of DigitizeIQ
From the start, it’s easy to see how A4D is structured to make you a better affiliate. There’s one schedule for everyone. Everything is packed in the same room. And best yet, it’s extremely organized in order to maximize everyone’s time.
Even though there were somewhere between 300 and 400 people when I went, it never felt overwhelming.
Once the day’s events came to an end, they have a great after party. And while I definitely learned a lot from the 10 or so speakers, parties like these are where you really benefit.
I wrote a wrap-up on the last A4D event that I went to if you want a more “insider’s” look.
Affiliate Summit West/East
Next conference: Schedule here
If you’ve attended this event in the past, it needs no introduction. Las Vegas especially gets kinda crazy.
I’ve written about my experience at Affiliate Summit West a couple of times.
The 2017 ASW event is shaping up to be one of the best ever, thanks to the three-day schedule (January 15 – 17) that’s packed full of action.
Taking place at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, everything you need will be onsite from the moment you arrive.
With three tradeshow areas, you’ll find yourself moving from one room to the next to network with vendors, merchants, technology providers, and of course, plenty of affiliates.
Affiliate Summit conferences are also one of the best when it comes to scheduling networking events. You may not be able to attend each one, but make sure you put the effort in to get to one of them.
Some of the top speakers for 2017 include:
- Marty Weintraub, Founder of Aimclear
- Sean Dolan, President & COO of PushFire
- Brian Massey, Founder of Conversion Sciences
- Adam Riemer, Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC
But remember, those are just a few of the speakers taking the stage during the three-day event. You can check out the rest of them on this page.
With networking passes as cheap as $249 and VIP passes starting at $949, it’s affordable, but you can pay a lot for a pass. But don’t look at the cost and forsake value. You have to consider what you get in return for your investment.
With an expected audience of 6,000+, Affiliate Summit West will be kicking off the 2017 event schedule with a bang.
LeadsCon (Las Vegas & New York)
Next conference: Schedule here
Another marketing event that’s run both in Las Vegas and New York, LeadsCon has over a hundred speakers at each event and showcases the latest new marketing technology.
The name “Leadscon” kinda gives away the fact that it’s a conference about lead generation, but here’s a quick overview of what the conference involves:
There’s a heavy focus on direct response marketing (online) and lead generation.
The main verticals that booths cover are in finance, for-profit education, insurance, healthcare, automotive and home services.
Around 3,000 people attend each of these conferences, so you’re virtually guaranteed to make new connections if you get out and network.
There’s a lot to say about Leadscon, but they are made an amazing video giving an overview of what it’s like. I’ll let you watch the video to get an idea of how it goes:
Mobile World Congress
Next conference: Schedule here
Mobile World Congress is a pure mobile event. When you think mobile, don’t just think popups on torrent sites. This conference is about how every different type of company can incorporate mobile marketing into their businesses.
This is a bit more of a “big leagues” sort of conference as it’s mainly large businesses there. For example, Samsung unveils their new phones here each year.
There’s a lot of movement in the VR space at the moment, and MWC always has the latest tech gadgets there.
Some of the speakers are guys like:
- John Stankey, CEO of AT&T
- Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix
- Patrick Gelsinger, CEO of VMWare
You can see these guys are not exactly affiliate marketers. This is more of a B2B event where tech leaders come together to collaborate, network and learn.
This is an interesting event for guys who are looking into different areas, or in more tech industry businesses and looking for an advantage.
Next conference: Multiple dates
Ad:Tech holds events in multiple countries including USA, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Some of the speakers include:
- Mark Cripps from EVP of Marketing for The Economist
- Ari Sheinkin, Data Analytics at IBM
- Loren DeAngelo, VP of Marketing for Audi
As you can see from the speakers, AdTech is a lot more focused on more traditional online businesses than CPA marketing.This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attend though, especially if it’s being held near you.
One thing about these conferences is that they open you up to new ideas and strategies, opportunities and possibilities that you wouldn’t hear about on STM, popular blogs, or in your masterminds.
More info about Ad Tech here.
DMEXCO (Digital Marketing and Exposition Conference)
Dmexco is not in Mexico, and it’s nothing to do with Mexico lol.
It’s one of the biggest digital conferences. In Germany this year, they had 50,000+ visitors attend and over 1,000 sponsors / exhibitors. That’s not a typo either – 50,000+ people.
The biggest companies in the world have speakers / exhibits at this event, and they turn it on. The booths are next level (some party booths can be spotted), and the networking is crazy.
If you’re going to go to a DMEXCO event, have a game plan. It’s not like AWA where you could get around all of the booths if you tried. DMEXCO is like a city of marketers.
Some examples of companies who have sent speakers are Google, Facebook, Nestle, P&G, BMW, AOL and Bloomberg.
Further details on DMEXCO including dates, speakers etc. here.
Traffic and Conversion Summit
Traffic and conversion summit is more of an “internet marketing” conference than a pure affiliate marketing conference. Most of the speeches, networking and exhibitions are still relevant to affiliates though.
Topics that are covered are normally around Facebook, search, building funnels, sales, conversion hacks, upcoming traffic sources.
The speakers here are some impressive guys like:
- Roland Frasier from Digital Marketer
- Ryan Deiss, CEO of Digital Marketer
- Carlos Angel, General Manager of Uber
I go to this event every year and I’ve met some of the biggest guys in the industry here. Affiliates can learn a lot from companies like Digital Marketer and the speakers who work in more “mainstream” internet businesses.
Funnels, CVO, copywriting, split testing etc. are all the same concepts we use as affiliates – and these guys have those skills in abundance.
If I only had to limit myself to two conferences a year, it’d be Affiliate World Asia and Affiliate Summit West.
Other Affiliate Marketing Events to Check Out
If you want to expand your horizons and hit up other events closer to you, the following might be worth your time.
Note: I haven’t attended all of these, but I’ve heard good things about most of them.
Affiliate Marketing Events in North America
Performance Marketing Summit (Chicago, USA; Toronto, Canada)
Organized by Affiliate Summit, the Performance Marketing Summits which take place in Chicago and Toronto are exclusive, private events that are limited to 100 people for an intimate networking and workshopping environments.
This smaller setting means you’ll be rubbing shoulders with some of the most distinguished voices in online marketing – if you can get a ticket, that is.
AvantExpo (Park City, Utah)
A smaller event in a less-traveled part of the US, AvantExpo is an excellent choice for attendees looking for local networking opportunities throughout Utah and the surrounding states.
AvantExpo has only been running for a few years, so it’s not as established as some other events on this list. But that just means that those who attend are in a position to forge stronger links, and that there’s not as much crush as you might get at some of the bigger expos.
Plus, it’s hard to pass up the scenery, which is pretty phenomenal.
CJU (Santa Barbara, California)
An exclusive event for partners who’ve already got connections with affiliate marketing company CJ Affiliate, CJUniversity is a fantastic opportunity for networking and connecting with partners, as long as you can secure an invitation.
While it does take some work to get partnered with CJ Affiliate, 2017’s CJU is still a long way away. If you’re motivated, you’ve got plenty of time to make connections with the company.
Affiliate Marketing Events in South America
Afiliados Brasil (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Brazil is an up and coming global power, and its need for affiliate marketers is growing alongside its GDP.
If you do business in South America, or if you’re interested in opening up this avenue for your company, consider a trip to the next Afiliados Brasil.
Bear in mind, though, that this event is conducted in Portuguese, so you’ll need to have some decent language skills (or someone to translate for you) if you want to get anything out of it.
Affiliate Marketing Events in Western Europe
Performance Marketing Insights (London, UK; Amsterdam, Holland)
Performance Marketing Insights events held in London and Amsterdam throw the doors open to a wide audience, and are attended by some of the biggest online brands in the world, including Amazon, Calvin Klein, and HP.
In addition, once a year, the Performance Marketing Awards in London honor those marketers who’ve done a particularly fantastic job at building up their brands.
These events do cover more than just affiliate marketing, but they’re an excellent place for making connections with some particularly reputable brands.
London Affiliate Conference (London, UK)
An enormous conference held in one of the largest convention spaces in the UK, London Affiliate Conference is a great place to go if you want a huge networking opportunity filled with fellow marketers.
With a wide variety of booths and over 5,000 marketers in attendance, there’ll be plenty of new people to connect with and new ideas to explore. Plus a selection of key panels and presentations gives you plenty to do over the course of this event.
Affiliate Marketing Expo (London, UK)
Two days of talks, workshops, and networking opportunities, Affiliate Marketing Expo has the handy benefit of being free for retailers and publishers, making it even more useful as a potential chance to make connections with a variety of networks.
Affiliate Marketing Konferenz (Zurich, Switzerland)
Zurich’s premier affiliate marketing event, Affiliate Marketing Konferenz is an excellent conference to attend if you’re planning on doing business in Europe.
The conference is conducted in German, as are most of the panels, but a high level of English spoken throughout Switzerland means that you’ll probably be able to make plenty of new connections even if you don’t speak the local language (though it’s definitely a plus).
Affiliate Conference (Munich, Germany)
Another excellent German-speaking conference, Affiliate Conference in Munich is the perfect place to network and learn about the ins and outs of affiliate marketing across Europe.
Local German attendees will feel right at home, though visitors from further away can take it as a great opportunity for a vacation. After all, these conferences are about a lot more than just sitting in presentations!
Affiliate TactixX (Munich, Germany)
Munich really is a great hub for affiliate marketing, as evidenced by yet another annual conference which meets in the city. Affiliate TactixX features some of the biggest names in German affiliate marketing, and gives you a chance to further expand your affiliate business if you’re located overseas.
Berlin Affiliate Conference (Berlin, Germany)
If you’re interested in making affiliate marketing connections throughout Germany, but you’re not sure if you have the language skills to make it happen, check out the Berlin Affiliate Conference.
Run by iGB Affiliate – the same group that runs the London Affiliate Conference – this German event is a lot more outsider-friendly, providing more English language support and a large venue filled with attendees from across Europe.
Amsterdam Affiliate Conference (Amsterdam, Holland)
Again organized by iGB Affiliate, Amsterdam Affiliate Conference is a great event to attend if you’re looking to make business links not just in Amsterdam, but throughout the Dutch-speaking world.
This convention is actually part of a larger event, the iGaming Super Show, meaning that once you’ve had your fill of affiliate marketing, there’s plenty more to check out across the convention center.
Affiliate Marketing Events in Eastern Europe and Russia
Russian Affiliate Congress and Expo (Moscow, Russia)
The Russian Affiliate Congress and Expo is one of the more Westerner-friendly events on the Russian affiliate marketing calendar, with slightly more resources for English speakers than some of the other events listed below.
That said, it can still be a challenge to navigate unless you’ve got a friendly Russian speaker with you, so prepare in advance unless you want to get really, really lost.
CPAconf Affiliate Conference (Kiev, Ukraine; Moscow & St Petersburg, Russia)
If you know what you’re doing when it comes to Eastern European languages, it’s worth checking out one of the various CPAconf Affiliate Conference events that take place both in Kiev, and in the Russian cities of Moscow and St Petersburg.
All of these events take place in absolutely gorgeous cities, so be sure to do some sightseeing while you’re there.
KINZA (Moscow, Russia)
KINZA in Moscow boasts a very impressive range of speakers and a huge number of key businesses that’ll be an enormous help if you’re looking to network in Russia.
This event is attended by a large portion of the Russian affiliate community, which also provide excellent opportunities for networking if you’re interested in expanding your reach throughout this part of the world.
Affiliate Marketing Events in Africa and Asia
Arab Affiliate Summit (Cairo, Egypt)
A major conference in Egypt, this year’s Arab Affiliate Summit was an excellent opportunity for affiliate marketers across the Middle East to come together to network and share ideas on various projects.
This conference happened in September, and the group behind the event hasn’t yet announced a follow-up for 2017, but it’s worth keeping an eye on this conference’s Facebook page for news of future conferences, or similar events in the region.
India Affiliate Summit (Gurgaon, India)
Affiliate conferences are a fairly common occurrence in India, and they’re a great way to network throughout the country. Considering how often Westerners like to outsource their trade to India, it makes sense to make contacts at events like the India Affiliate Summit.
If you were hoping to attend this event, you’ve just missed it for the year. Keep your eyes peeled for similar events cropping up next year.
Global Marketing Conference (Previously Hong Kong, China; Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan)
It’s worth noting that the Global Marketing Conference, held every two years in different cities across Asia, isn’t strictly an affiliate marketing event.
What it is, though, is the most effective way for a Western or English speaking affiliate marketer to network across Asia.
Many of the marketers and companies attending Global Marketing Conference do business primarily in English, which means there’s a wealth of opportunities to make connections across the continent, within a wide variety of different marketing sectors.
You never know when these contacts will come in handy.
With 2016 coming to an end, I’m beginning to look at my 2017 affiliate conference schedule.
I’ll definitely be at Affiliate Summit West in January, Traffic and Conversion Summit in February, AWE in July and AWA in December. I’ll likely be at a few more in NYC this year too.
If you have the time, money, and desire, 2017 is the year to get out there and attend a few events. You have many to choose from, so there’s no point in waiting any longer.
What are your thoughts on some of these events?
Let me know in the comments!
P.S If you’re heading to an event, make sure you’ve got a game plan.
Here’s a quick video I shot about how to network at conferences (you want to make life-long connections, not just pick up a load of pens and business cards).
Subscribe to my channel if you want more video content from me!