I just got back late last night from the ShareASale ThinkTank 2009 at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, California, which took place October 23-25, 2009.
If I had to choose one word to describe the event, it would be “spectacular”.
What makes this affiliate network event so unique is that all invited guests are provided with complimentary accommodations in a beautiful resort, food and entertainment in exchange for their collective brainpower to help identify new ways in which to increase their respective businesses and enhance the ShareASale platform.
What is interesting is that one would expect that only top-tier affiliates and merchants would be invited, yet there were many up-and-coming affiliate marketers in attendance, eager to gain knowledge and build new relationships.
I arrived a day early and was fortunate to attend the Yankee game (although everyone in California was calling it the Angels game)with some long-time affiliate marketing buddies.
The conference started the next day with the annual golf-outing with ShareASale's CEO, Brian Littleton. I preferred to sit the round out and instead take some pictures and video of the golfers as I tormented them (and the non-ShareASaleThinkTank-players) with my crazy golf cart antics.
That evening's event consisted of the Sunset Welcome Reception and dinner which was a fun, networking experience loaded with yummy sushi, lobster, pasta and more. It was the perfect setting to rekindle old business relationships and forge new ones.
After breakfast on Saturday, the day was filled with sessions geared towards understanding various demographics including women, men, education and life experience and home/office. This was followed by a Vendor Lunch in which tables were set up so that attendees could have the opportunity to speak with the various participating companies. My business partner Shawn and I manned our Affiliate Summit / FeedFront Magazine table and it worked out great for us.
From 2pm-6pm, there were exhibit opportunities for Merchants to meet with current and potential affiliates. Unlike your traditional exhibit hall, there were no booths. Rather, each exhibitor manned their “Cabana” outside, overlooking the pool.
Saturday night was a “free-night”, so a bunch of us went out to Javier's Cantina for dinner and headed back to the hotel to continue chatting the evening away.
Sunday's breakfast was followed by the “Things We Need to Fix” session in which every attendee had the opportunity to express their opinions in person to CEO, Brian Littleton. Many feature requests, suggestions and even a few complaints were addressed which will help shape future ShareASale offerings and enhance their already dynamic platform.
This is my 3rd ThinkTank and by far, it's been the best. Hopefully one of the suggestions that came up during the “Things We Need to Fix” session will be instituted. If it is, maybe I'll see you in Hawaii for ShareASaleThinkTank 2010 😉
To view the rest of my ShareASale ThinkTank 2009 Photo Collection, please click the image below: