A little late on the recap of my trip to San Diego for the Ads4Dough meetup, but I’ve been really busy ever since leaving for San Diego as I just moved to midtown NYC a day after I got back. So if there are any NYC affiliates that are down to chill and talk biz, just holler!
Now if there’s one word to describe the A4D meetup that word would be awesome. I’m really glad I went for not just the tidbits I picked up but also for meeting some really big affiliates, which was just as motivating. Here are the highlights:
Thursday – I got into SD in the evening and decided to keep it pretty low key. Ran into an affiliate at the airport (thanks to twitter) and the both of us along with another affiliate I had met in Amsterdam got some dinner and hit up a few spots in downtown.
Friday – The weather was just awesome so we had to take advantage and hit up the beach. After all that, we geared up for the party at Basic Bar where Jason had a whole area cordoned off for us and kept the party going with drinks and pizza after pizza. It was a great chance to meet the team and other affiliates both local and from around the country that had came down for the event.
After a couple of hours everybody headed to the party at Fluxx where Jason had a few tables reserved for us. The venue was definitely up there…I didn’t expect to find a club in San Diego that would be on par with places I’ve seen in Miami and Vegas. The music, effects, rotating cage with hot girls dancing in it, along with a giant light up robot all made for an interesting experience. We stayed there til around 2 and a few people headed home even before that which was probably a smart move considering the actual meetup started at 9am the next morning.
Saturday – The big day. This was my first A4D meetup as I couldn’t make the one last year. I have to say the trip was definitely worth every penny. This “seminar” was unlike any other that you’re probably used to at different exhibit shows. It was a lot less about the technical aspects and details of an affiliate campaign, but more so about the mind set that makes an affiliate great. Here we were sitting in a room with the likes of Jason talking about how he had a campaign making them $40k profit a day and with Stefan from Zeeto Group who went from being a solo affiliate in college studying as a student from abroad to running an actual company with an amazing office and 55 employees. There was still a bit of technical info as well as we got a really good run down on how to set up and manage media buys
I mean this is stuff you just don’t get at your average conference. There was a lot of high-level thinking revealed by many of the speakers and it was great to see their thought processes and what differentiates them from your average basement-dwelling affiliate. As with everything, it’s more about the philosophy and your business foundation than anything else. The difference between the affiliate making $500 a day and $5000 a day becomes very apparent when you just look at the mindset of people like Jason and all the speakers at the event not to mention many of the attendees.
If you didn’t make it out this time, definitely try to make it out to the next one. A big thanks goes out to Jason and the rest of the Ads4Dough team for putting together such a great event and all for free. It’s amazing what these guys do and it’s no wonder they are so well respected in the industry. I remember when A4D had just started and they continue to be one of the few remaining boutique networks that maintain a strong personal relationship with their affiliates. Jason is one of the smartest guys in the industry and it’s almost intimidating how much he knows not only about this space, but about business in general. Honestly speaking though, and I’ve run into Smaxor a few times at industry conferences since 2009 – here’s a guy 6ft something, larger than life presence, but when you talk to him he’s incredibly down to earth and willing to talk to anybody about their business and couldn’t be a nicer guy. If you’re not already running with them, go check them out at www.ads4dough.com.
Some pictures from the trip: