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In October I traveled to California once again to attend Shareasale’s Think Tank. After my great experience last year, I was really looking forward to it. This year it was held at the beautiful Pelican Hill Resort on the Newport Coast. I had an early flight in on Friday morning and was very glad to meet up with my friend Bill Swartwout and his daughter Jill Pepitone of GirlyChecks.coms for a ride to the resort.
We arrived and check in was done in high style. Everyone from the valets to the front desk staff were top notch. The resort is made up of bungalows, so to get around they have golf carts and shuttle buses. They dropped me off at my front door and the conference was on. Shareasale even had gotten custom keycards for the door, which I thought was a very nice touch.
Friday night there was a welcome reception with very good food, great drinks, and time to say hello to people I met last year. Plus I met some new people, which is always great. Early in the day some of the people went golfing on the beautiful course at Pelican Hill and we got treated to a very funny video with highlights from the day.
Saturday was the heart of the conference though. We started off the morning with breakfast outside and then moved into a conference room for 4 panels with merchants. It was a great way to get to know some of the merchants in attendance, their products, and their demographics. I was very impressed by Jared Saunders from JensonUSA, Matt McWilliams from Legacy Learning, and Michael Lyman from Signing Time. I don’t currently have a sites to fit their programs, but they are on the horizon. Really all of the merchants there were top notch and I found many of them to have programs I would love to promote.
Lunch was an upscale barbecue outside (oh the onion rings!) with tables hosted by various merchants, trade shows, and companies. I spent my time with TeamLoxly and got to sample yummy teas and hear more about the travel tour company Viator.
The afternoon was spent around the pool. Not lounging about, but working! The merchants were set up in cabanas and they hosted meetings with affiliates on a small scale. I got to talk to several and get to know them and ask questions about their program, plus give them feedback on their products, website, etc. Super helpful and I love having a face to face meeting with merchants. And how cool is the meeting in the cabanas idea? I loved that!
Sunday morning was a nice session called Things We Need to Fix. I was really looking forward to it, as it was my favorite session from last year. Basically it is just Brian Littleton from Shareasale taking questions and feedback about his company. The accessibility of the staff at Shareasale is one of the top reasons I always promote for their merchants first. Knowing that I can call or email someone directly and not just submit some random support ticket is key.
After that session was over, I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at the fabulous resort for another night. I took advantage of the hotel’s shuttle to the beach and got to go swimming in the Pacific Ocean for the first time. It was the perfect end to a very hectic weekend.
I just want to thank Shareasale and all of their employees for inviting me once again to this top notch event. I am so happy that I was able to attend and am moving forward with some really great ideas that I learned there.