Affiliate Marketing Education – A Journey, Not a Destination

In December of 2011, I started a conference dedicated to affiliate marketing education for brands that wish to leverage affiliate programs to grow their business. I called it Affiliate Management Days, and positioned it as “a professional forum for affiliate managers and marketing executives responsible for their company’s affiliate marketing strategy, program management, and related operations.” The first of these shows occurred in San Francisco in March of 2012 [if interested, see what I said in my Business Insider interview leading up to it]. As with all first-time events, that conference drew an intimate crowd, but its laser-focused content clearly resonated with the target audience that the show was meant to attract — brand-based people in charge of affiliate marketing. In the fall of the same year, we ran an “East” version of the conference in Fort Lauderdale. That one drew an even smaller crowd, and I made a call to stick with annual editions in the US, adding a UK/European version a couple of years in.

Since the first show in 2012, I ran twelve full-blown two-day AM Days (to which Affiliate Management Days was later rebranded) in a conference format. But it was something that I heard from a fellow affiliate manager that stuck with me since around 2016. As I was inviting this person to attend our seventh show, I heard back something like “What’s there for me to learn?” I still remember how stunned I was by this remark.

Having attended more than 100 shows, and having spoken at more than 80, I still learn something new at every new event that I attend. How could you not if you operate in an industry as dynamic in change as affiliate marketing is?

Last summer, after running my seventeenth AM Days (this time, as a series of workshops within Affiliate Summit), I was asked why I would recommend anyone to come to Affiliate Summits. My video response was as follows:

In a nutshell:

Come to conferences for education! You can never overinvest in your own education; and there’s always something to learn! Online, things change daily, and especially so in affiliate marketing. So, attend conferences for their educational component. There’s a lot of networking, as well; but it is for the education that you do want to come to Affiliate Summit and AM Days within the Affiliate Summit.

I am not tooting my own horn here. I’m using my story as an example. For me personally, and for every affiliate marketing veteran that I know, education is a continuous journey, not a destination! Those of us who treated it as the latter are long gone, while those who continue to learn and evolve continue growing and contributing our industry in meaningful ways. Many of them have spoken at AM Days before: from Kevin Edwards and Chris Tradgett in the UK to Todd Crawford and Wade Tonkin in the US, to Zane McIntyre in Australia, and Markus Kellermann in Germany, and Dorin Boerescu in Romania… To me, they (along with many others!) are exemplary cases of lifelong students (and teachers!) of affiliate marketing, and that is what makes them stronger and more valuable every day. Follow their examples, and invest in your own education: free or paid. Never stop and keep learning!

I have another AM Days coming up on July 29, 2024 [and you can get in at a 30% discount here], but there are plenty of other affiliate marketing conferences and other learning opportunities to learn. Do leverage every opportunity to evolve!

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