Last week I went to CJU in Santa Barbara with our owner and CEO Jamie Birch. This was my first trip to CJU and the event certainly lived up to all of the hype. This was an exciting conference since it was my first since accepting a full time position with JEBCommerce.
If you were there, you may have noticed that we take a different approach to these conferences by inviting our clients to join us. We do this for a couple of reasons; it allows us to spend more time with them and they are also able to meet the publishers that promote their products and services. This increased level of transparency has paid off for us in strengthening our partnerships.
Jamie and I went to CJU with several goals:
- Meet new publishers and potential partners
- Meet with our current partners to continue to grow these relationships
- Spend more time with merchants that joined us at the event and introduce them to our affiliate partners
- Look for new potential merchants
In addition to a full slate of meetings, we also hosted four of our merchants, Ned from 6pm, Brandon from Doba, Sumit from Luggagepoint.com and Steve from drop.io. We found that our affiliates really enjoy meeting our merchants and we really enjoy hanging out with them.
Tuesday afternoon Sumit hosted his table for Luggagepoint.com and Brandon hosted Doba’s table at the CJU Expo. This was a great networking event and we even gave away some luggage courtesy of Luggagepoint. We were excited to see some of our current publishers as well as meet some new ones that have a lot of potential to do well for us.
After the CJU Expo, we hopped on buses and headed over to the Dell Welcome reception where we enjoyed some delicious appetizers and drinks while continuing to network. Pictured below on the right is Steve from drop.io giving a brief demonstration on the stop to TrialPay. Who needs wifi when you have an iPhone and a Mac?
Wednesday started interestingly enough when Jamie woke up and realized he had no voice. No matter how many times I told him to stop talking, he just kept on talking. He was a real trooper. Too bad Jamie doesn’t have an iPhone or he could’ve just used the “bump” app to network. (A special thanks to Sumit from Luggagepoint for showing off this really cool app). In fact, I suggested a 5 minute Bump networking session for CJU 2010.
We had a busy day full of sessions and meetings. Sumit, Brandon and I split up and covered some ground at CJU Connect, this was a unique networking opportunity where the publishers had tables and we came to them. I think Brandon and Sumit would agree that we had some very fruitful meetings during this event. The CJYou Awards Dinner was a classy event, great food and excellent conversations. After dinner it was time to relax at the Cocktail Party at Tonic in downtown Santa Barbara.
With a full agenda of goals for this event, we wanted to be as efficient as possible. Therefore we created a special drop using one of our merchants, drop.io, to help us stay organized for this event. This drop allowed us to access our list of potential targets at anytime during the event. We also utilized the voice mail feature to leave voice notes after every meeting we had to make sure we didn’t forgot any action/follow up items. This proved to be a vital asset to the success of this event for us.
Thursday we wrapped up the event with a few meetings and lunch with our great team at Commission Junction. Thanks to Marie and Laura for treating us to lunch. This event wouldn’t have been as successful if it weren’t for the hard work of Marie and Laura who spent their days tracking down affiliates on our target list and introducing them to us. We are fortunate to have such a great account team at Commission Junction.
I came away very impressed from the event and anxious to follow up with many new publishers and old friends I met at the event. This year’s event was a great success for us and we are definitely looking forward to CJU 2o10.