ad:tech London 2013 Wrap Up!
This time last year I arrived at ad:tech London having just quit my job as a full time chef. I was nervous, naive and pretty clueless as to what to expect. A year later and a hell of a lot has changed.
Over the past year I have been working my socks off establishing my name and companies within the internet marketing world. So when ad:tech finally rolled around I was anxious to get stuck in and make the most of it. Over the past year a lot has changed for me weather it's creating several successful companies, taking on Airline.com or most recently taking the quietly proclaimed CPAFix.com to new heights. No matter what had happened, this year I was returning to my second at:tech for a purpose!
I started my commute to London at 6 o'clock on the Wednesday morning. Having driven to my business partners house in Bristol we caught an early train directly down to London town. The one thing I love about London is how easy it is to get across the city, so we hopped on the underground and made our way to the Olympia. When we arrived we opted to attend a breakfast with a close friend and a new contact in the affiliate marketing industry. It was a great opportunity to get some early meetings underway (and an excuse to line our stomachs).
We then arrived at the exhibition hall at around 12am. Although very small on scale in comparison to the US summits and events the room was buzzing with business. On the far left of the hall the seminars were well underway, but we opted to split up in order to walk the hall and talk to whom we needed. I was impressed with the amount of booths and the effort that went into them, however the one thing that let me down this year was the lack of affiliate networks and US companies on show. Last year I was lucky enough to meet the likes of MaxBounty, Affiliate.com and CPAWay. It became apparent that most of these guys had chosen dmexco this year in favour of London.
It didn't stop us from meeting several new clients and contacts and the hall was better equipped this year for you to hold talks and meetings. It boasted a small bar and a Pizza Express attached were you could slip away from a coffee or something a little stronger with your colleagues. Lots of companies made a great effort to brighten up their booths but I remember tweeting about the booth that stood out the most. Monetize, a UK affiliate network had a world record attempt kicking off(literally), as a young gentleman attempted to break the keep uppy record. This kid had some great skills and it certainly drew added attention to the stand. If exhibitors are reading this take note. Get someone or something abit different on your stand and it will draw attention.
In the afternoon we had several meeting arranged and nipped round the corner for a coffee or three. The great thing about the Olympia is there's several bars, pubs and coffee houses located closely so if you want to get away from the hustle of the event for a quiet chat you can.
it happened to be my business partner and close mates birthday so after we had done what we needed to we took a short trip to Fulham to check out the Lamborghini garage. He's a huge car fanatic and knows the company well so we were shown around the showroom and it was a great experience. We then headed back to the event which even tho it was coming to a close for the day was still buzzing with people. We met a few friends and chatted about business whilst the stall ran by Intella handed out free beers to those who remained.
The most disappointing thing I find about London is the lack of events and parties in the evening. When you read about these super club events and parties that AffiliateFix.com and myself sponsor in the US it kinda puts us to shame. Not one real party was arranged this year but luckily a mate of mine from Group One Media called Carl put together a few drinks. Me and Andy met early in a pub with my old friend from the states called Jesse and introduced him to the UK "beer". We then all hopped back on the trains and headed across town to Carls event. Although there wasn't any real parties we still managed to have a great night out, I always feel the evening is where you can do your best business as everyone seems a lot loser after a pint or two. We met up with some other friends and a few guys we had met earlier in the day and enjoyed a great night out in London town.
The day after we headed back to the show but it seemed a little more subdued. Another thing with London is if you haven't got meeting arranged on the second day you've probably exhausted the exhibition in the first. Luckily we headed to chat with a few potential clients before we headed home after a successful trip.
Overall I always love ad:tech London, as I strongly believe networking is one of the most powerful tools you can ever utilise. The event was great but it was a shame not to see so many companies from the US this year and also the lack of a party let it down. Next year I hope we can see more guys coming back and the need for us all to get together and throw a party. I returned with a great energy and focus just in time to launch www.AffiliateFix.com
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