Soooooo I’ve finally gotten a little time to sit down and write a wrap up of Ad:Tech San Fran, so here we go. Ever since I’ve gotten home (two days ago), my to-do list has been getting bigger and bigger each hour. I met a bunch of great people and did a bunch of awesome things. It’s amazing how something so fun can also be so productive. Here’s what went down :
Day 1 (Tuesday)
Tuesday was the first day of the conference. The line to register was INSANELY large, guys were standing there for over an hour just waiting to get their badge holder (the actual line for the badge itself was easily twice as long). I only got an exhibit hall pass so I showed up a little later on.
The first couple hours were just spent walking around catching up with all the people I talk to on the internet but never really hang out with in real life. I hung out at some network booths, met up with my friend and new business partner Jon Volk.
Had a couple meetings, checked out some booths, don’t want to bore you with that sort of stuff. At night it was time to roll to the PPC.bz party, which was wild. I got out of the cab in front of the club and there was affiliate rap battling going on. Enter inside and we have crazy people, girls dancing, and acai jello wrestling. I got front row seats next to my best friend Cakes and paid the price, jello splattered all over me.
After the party went back to Harrison’s suite and chilled with some cool people.
Day 2 (Wednesday)
Woke up a bit later on Wednesday :) and headed to the exhibit hall. Did the same thing, caught up with people, met up with friends, had lunch, blah blah.
Wednesday night was really cool. The night started at the Tracking 202 meetup/party. I liked this “venue” the best because there was a much higher concentration of just affiliates, and a lower concentration of ad agencies and boring corporate people. I actually got a chance to speak along with Volk, Dennis Yu, Ruck, and Larby. It was actually pretty fun. Afterwards we went to the Clickbooth party at some club. They had some Cirque du Soleil chicks performing a show, along with a show where some dude was eating fire. Pretty sweet stuff.
Day 3 (Thursday)
By now, the actual conference was over. I got up, then got some lunch with Volk, Nick, Dennis, Larby, and Wes.
Afterwards (I think, not sure when we actually did this), Larby, Dennis and I went to the San Fran Google office for their “Spring Training”. It was basically some boring presentation thing that was targeted more towards local advertisers. Since it didn’t really have anything to do with me, I ended up doodling and eating candy the whole time. They had a pretty sick kitchen with bulk candy dispensers.
I stayed a full week in San Fran, so I was probably the last affiliate standing. I spent the last 3 days hanging out with some local friends like Wes from T202. I went to his house and hung out for a bit, and we actually did a 20 minute interview on becoming an advertiser (something I’ve just started). Once his video guy gets back from Australia, we’ll get that up. It was a pretty good interview I think.
You guys don’t care what I ate at the Cheesecake Factory (Kobe burger and piece of original cheesecake), so I tried to spend as little time as possible on that. What really matters is the things I took from the conference. What did I actually find out?
Going to events is powerful.
It’s the truth, every time I go I’m reminded of how good of a choice it was. For starters, in real life people say about 100x more than they would online. I’m victim to this myself. I’m a lot more lax about talking about where I get my traffic, what my pages are, things like that. Keep in mind these are with closer friends, but in general people talk more in real life. I learned a TON of information that I’m directly applying as we speak, and making more money as a result.
The event itself…not powerful.
To be honest, the actual ad:tech itself wasn’t that great. It’s the same as every other conference, a million affiliate networks all trying to get your traffic. “You should really look at our offers, blah blah”, that whole thing. Most of my time and about 99% of my productivity took place outside the actual conference center. Keep in mind when reading this though, I’d still 100% recommend going to these conferences. The free exhibit hall is enough of a pass for me though.
Take what you learn and apply it.
This is what I talked about when I briefly spoke at the Tracking202 thing. So many affiliates go to these conferences, talk to people, get all hyped up…and then get back home and they don’t act on it. Getting all pumped is great and all, but only if you actually put your new knowledge to use. I used to go to conferences and get psyched out of my mind and when I got back home, I just picked up where I left off. That’s not the way to do things. You have to learn all of this information and apply it right when you get home, or else the fire just burns out and soon you won’t even remember what you learned. I waited a few days too long to make this post and I’m already feeling like I’ve forgotten things.
The definition of “baller” just keeps going up and up.
Every conference I go to, I feel like the “super affiliate” category just gets bigger and bigger. At the first conference I went to 3 years ago (Affiliate Summit Miami), I thought 50k/month was ballin’. A year later, people thought I was ballin’ for doing 3,000 True leads a day. 15-20k/day revenue is laughable if you say “Yeah he’s one of the biggest affiliates out there.” I’ve heard of affiliates that have done over 20,000 sales on acai in ONE day. You figure he’s getting a nice $39 payout or something…that equates to almost $800,000 in sales…in ONE DAY. Ballin’.
I’m sure there’s more I learned, it’s just hard to remember when writing a big post like this. Alright here’s some pics I snapped :
Here’s the line to sign in at ad:tech.
The view from Harrison’s suite.
The view from my room.
Volk, Cakes, Me.
Jello wrestling time.
The PPC.bz party.
Alcatraz with Mike from Firelead.
Dude eating fire.