In August I traveled to the city of Philadelphia for the first time to attend Affiliate Summit East 2013. This time around I was scheduled to speak for the very first time and I was very excited. I got into Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon and then hung around the airport waiting for several of my friends to show up. We were all planning on sharing a ride from the airport to the conference hotel.
After settling in and grabbing a quick dinner, it was family reunion time with a Philadelphia trolley tour. One of the reasons that I love traveling to conferences like Affiliate Summit (it is hard as a Mom to leave my family at home, mostly!) is that I work from home by myself and don’t interact on a daily basis with people in my industry. Over the years I have made some really great friends, who are spread around the country and into Canada, and it is important to reconnect in person. I highly recommend the Philly by Night tour, although watch out for low hanging branches if you ride in the top of the open aired bus.
My main goals for Affiliate Summit this time around where to give a great panel on working from home, strengthen existing relationships, look for new ideas and programs, as well as tighten my focus for the coming year. I took the last year off to homeschool my daughter and it really gave me some time to think. I knew that I didn’t want to keep doing the same old stuff. For one the industry has changed and two it just isn’t where my interests are at anymore.
Sunday the conference started with sessions, the Meet Market, a snack break, and an elevator pitch session. I thought this was an interesting idea. There was an open mic and people were invited to give their elevator speech on who they were and who they were hoping to connect with at the conference.
Sunday night was the infamous Shareasale Under the Stars Party. It was held at the Hard Rock Cafe. Very cool venue, especially because they rented out the whole place. There was a live band, a magician, drinks, and a costume contest. My very own conference roommate, Kim Rowley won with her impersonation of Elvis.
Monday morning started bright and early with the the Opening Keynote given by Dr. Randall Pinkett, a full schedule of sessions, and the Exhibit Hall. I attended several informative sessions and closed out the day by going to Ask the Experts. These round table discussions were hosted by an expert in their field and there were quite a few to choose from. I liked the format in that you could sit at one table, ask a question, listen for awhile and then move on.
Tuesday was the big day for my panel. I was very fortunate to be chosen to speak about Working From Home with Karen Garcia and Sabrina Malone. Unfortunately Sabrina had a bit of GPS trouble that morning and missed the first part of the session. She did arrive in time to help us answer questions from the audience. I think we were able to help a few people out with what works best for us.
Tuesday night wrapped up the conference with a trip to see the Phillies take on the Colorado Rockies. We took the Subway back and forth to the game (very convenient from Center City) and it was just a nice wrap up to the event. It was a time to relax, chat with friends, and take in a baseball game on a really beautiful night.
I really want to thank Shawn Collins and Missy Ward for accepting my panel and for another great conference. I had a great time and came home with a renewed sense of purpose and direction. I have a great new project up my sleeve that I will be working on this month and hope to reveal soon.
I also am hoping to speak again at Affiliate Summit West 2014 to be held in Las Vegas. The topic will again be on working from home, but more of a Q&A style with the audience because so many people had questions at the end of our panel that we ran out of time. If you are attending and would like to see this on the schedule, please vote on it here before September 13. Thanks!
You can also register to attend Affiliate Summit West 2014 now. It is to be held January 12-14, 2014 at the Paris Las Vegas. Early bird pricing ends in October, so register today to save hundreds of dollars!