Having just returned from Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas (and while the event is still fresh in my mind), I like to go over the five reasons why you should try to make it to an industry trade show. With travel, hotel, food, etc., attending a major trade show can be an expensive affair but the pay off is more than worth it.
1 – You Will Meet Some Great People
The networking opportunities at a major show like Affiliate Summit is second to none and it’s the main reason I attend a trade show. No matter what anyone else says, you still can not beat face to face networking.
Pretty much everyone who is connected to the industry is there. Have you been wondering why a certain affiliate network keeps rejecting your application? Just go to their booth and ask them. Chances are the affiliate manager will get you approved right there on the spot. When you attend a trade show, the network takes you a lot more seriously because you’ve made the investment to be there.
I’ve meet many great people at the trade shows. Some have turned into lifelong friendships. You will form some great friendships as well when you attend your next show.
2 – You Will Learn a Lot
In addition to the amazing networking, a big show has tons of individual and panel sessions where experts in the industry can teach you the tips and tricks of the game. Often times, the hard part is deciding which sessions to attend. I know I ran into that problem during Affiliate Summit. It’s a good thing ASW records all the session for attendee to view at a later date.
3 – You Will Have Tons of Blog Content
Trade shows are a fantastic source of new blog content. When I’m at a show, I have no problems finding stuff to write about because there is always something to the write about. The problem is trying to keep from overwhelming the readers with too much content! I limited myself to four posts per day during ASW but I could have easily done ten.
Generally speaking, the more posts you make, the higher your traffic – to a point. I noticed a traffic increase during Affiliate Summit. However, I am not sure if this was because of the show or because of my increased posting frequency. Most likely, it was a combination of both.
When Engadget attended the Consumer Electronic Show, they pumped out over 100 CES related articles during the four days the show ran and this was in addition to the normal articles they post everyday. Their traffic was also significantly higher during the show.
4 – It’s Tax Deductible
If you run your blog as a business (and you should if you’re not), a trip to a major trade show is considered a business expense and therefore tax deductible. This tax deductibility of also the reason many show are held in exotic locations. Who wouldn’t want to go to Las Vegas or some other sunny place with the help of the IRS? However, you should see your tax adviser before trying to write off anything. There are rules on what you can and can not write off and a tax advisor will be able to keep you out of trouble.
5 – It’s One Big Party
More than a few people commented that I went to Affiliate Summit just to party. Well, it’s true. Affiliate Summit is one big party! Most trade shows are. The best networking are done at the parties so you should try to attend as many as possible. Just keep your drinking to a level where you’ll remember what happened the night before and you’ll do fine.