a4u-london-expo-photosAfter two and a half days of networking and seminars, the 2009 London A4U Expo is over… and what an event it was! This was my first year at the Expo, and I feel privileged to have spent a few intensive but enjoyable days in the company of so many interesting and dynamic people.

Chris Johnson, from event organisers Existem, revealed over 1,000 people had come through the doors on day one alone which proved that, despite some complaints about ticket prices amongst the affiliate community, the Expo is regarded one of the key events on the affiliate calendar and worth every penny.

I agree with this wholeheartedly – the time went by incredibly quickly with unmissable seminars every hour. With three streams of presentations running at once, it was often difficult to choose which of the tantalising sessions to attend. Luckily, I was joined at the Expo by five of my Azam Marketing colleagues so we were able to attend most of the key talks and share feedback afterwards.

One of the many presentations at the A4U Expo London

I pushed myself to attend as many varied seminars as possible, knowing that the opportunity to learn from the industry’s finest is invaluable. One of my favourites was “Meet the Super Affiliates” on day two, a panel-style Q&A session. After a hesitant start, the questions soon came thick and fast by way of a Twitter feed on the big screen – an innovative way of allowing the audience to grill the panel without raising their hands and revealing their identities (although the avatars were often a giveaway!)

Speaker Tina Judic from artemis8 estimated only around 50% of all new projects and ideas succeed; but was quick to point out the key to success in the industry is persistence and having the drive to keep trying new things.

Another inspiring session was “The Affiliate Doctors Live!”, hosted by Duncan Jennings of eConversions, affiliate and blogger Kieron Donoghue, Jamie Harwood of UK Web Media and Dixon Jones of Receptional. The superb line-up of panellists generated thought-provoking discussions and struck an ideal balance of giving practical advice with insights into their own experiences.

Audience members were also invited to submit their websites for critique, and it was fantastic to see the panellists were willing to share their secrets and tips with newbies. I came away from the presentation with a notebook full of hints to pass onto my own clients and colleagues.

expo-stands-busy

Further highlights of the Expo for me included getting my caricature done by the Gone Digging artist on the Webgains stand, and watching Nadeem take to the stage to speak at the A4U Expo for the first time. His two seminars, “My 12 Biggest Affiliate Marketing Mistakes in 12 Years” and “The Affiliate Sales Kit – Writing Killer Proposals and Selling Yourself To Merchants” were among the best received of all the sessions, and Nadeem was mobbed by audience members afterwards all wanting his business card!

I was also pleased to catch up with a few of Azam’s new clients such as Signature Gifts. The exhibition hall, which had over 40 stands this year, provided the ideal backdrop for us to meet and chat with relevant network staff and affiliates.

vac-media-a4uexpo

To read more about the event and to download all the presentation slides, visit the a4uexpo blog. On behalf of the team at Azam Marketing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organisers for putting on another excellent event, and the sponsors for all the complimentary drinks and food we enjoyed whilst at the Expo networking parties. We can’t wait to come back next year!

Related Link: A4UExpo 2008 review and pictures