I recently attended the ShareASale ThinkTank. It was an event organized by ShareASale, which they hold every year. This year it was held at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA.
SAS invited a mix of around 200 merchants and affiliates for 3 days and 2 nights for a mix of golf, sessions, eating and drinking. It was a great experience and I would definitely go again.
It was really great to talk to a mix of merchants big and small, as well as affiliates. As this was a closed, invite-only event, the caliber of people there was much different to an Affiliate Summit or adTech. Also as SAS is mostly cost-per-sale, most of the affiliates are more open about what they do and how they drive traffic. I met some interesting people and learnt alot.
Day 1 was golf and spa day. This was mostly the arrival day, I turned up around mid-day. As I wasn’t playing golf, I got lunch with a few people I knew and drank some beer instead. After seeing how awesome the golf course was, I kind of regretted not playing golf.
Then I hit my room for a while to do a little work before the opening dinner/reception.
It got pretty messy from here on with an open bar… A bunch of us ended up trashed in Jason Rubackys room drinking Blue Label Johnny Walker, good times…
Day 2 we started all the sessions. I attended mostly the merchant sessions and popped in to some of the affiliate sessions. Some of these were really interesting as some of the speakers really knew what they were talking about.
In the evening we attended an OPM wine tasting at a winery. I must admit there was a large OPM presence at the ThinkTank, and I didn’t really question what an OPM was until the wine tasting. Honestly I am still slightly confused as to what it is they do… Much wine was drank and I spent most of my time talking to some SEO affiliates and had some interesting chats with affiliates who target seasonal niches.
Day 3, the final day, ended with a large session on “Things We Need to Fix @ ShareASale”. I don’t think this session was too productive as a few people got carried away with the “feedback” system on SAS which ate up almost half the time. After this I had lunch and a few final whiskeys with Jason and a few other affiliates and headed back to San Francisco in the afternoon.
I think in future, one way to have more effective sessions is to make them much smaller. For example instead of having 200 people in one room, separate them into groups of 50 instead. Same goes for smaller sessions, have smaller groups of 20 people or less, I personally think these would be much more productive.
I would like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to ShareASale. They really went above and beyond with this event and they are a GREAT affiliate network to work with. If you are not currently working with them, you really should.
Where am I now?
On the personal front, I’m now in London, UK. If you’re in the area, get in touch with me soon if you want to meet up, I’m heading off to Oporto, Portugal on Wednesday.
The plan after this is to go south through Portugal, and cross over into Spain, hire a car and drive the coast for a while, maybe pop over to Morocco, take a look at Gibraltar, and head to Madrid before the 30th December for my flight back to Colombia. Overall, a relaxed 2 months with no real plans. Get in touch if you’re around any of these areas and want to meet up!