The Linkshare Symposium New York 2012 definitely lived up to the standards of those before it, offering up the affiliate marketing community the abilities to network, learn and engage with new partners all the while maintaining its reputation for throwing one amazing party.
We opened the week with a trip to The Citi Field to see see the The New York Yankees visit The New York Mets. The game finished 6-5 to the Yankees and Fi, Chris, Sandra, Ross and Chris Johnson thoroughly enjoyed the game plus sampling a few hot dogs and Bud Lights!
The Symposium commenced Monday with Linkshare Universities for both Advertisers and Publishers along with an Agency Luncheon, informing all about new advancements within the Linkshare community.
Several of the notable bits of information were:
1. Linkshare will now be known as Rakuten Linkshare
2. Network sales are up 34%
3. Introduction of their Affiliate Program Manager certification
Closing out Day One, Linkshare held their Golden Link Awards Pre-Party at Inside Park at St. Barts where several award winners were announced including that of OPM Agency of the year, Best Lead Generation Publisher, and Best Search Marketing Program.
Following the pre-party our 7thingsmedia group skirted off for a late night dinner at one of the most famed sushi restaurants in all of New York- Koi! We were joined by Jenny from Skimlinks, Mike from Macy’s, Eric & Katherine from Time Inc., and Chris from A4U.
Day two of the Symposium kicked off bright and early at the iconic Waldor-Astoria Hotel with Executive remarks from Yaz Iida, President and CEO of Linkshare. This was immediately followed by a very compelling keynote speech by Andy Hoar from Forrester Research outlining the affects of affiliate marketing both directly and indirectly.
Several points of interest from his keynote were:
- US online commerce is set to grow 36%, up to $327B by 2016
- Affiliate sites have now become destination sites for consumers
- Online consumers tend to shop 2.7 sites before making a purchase online and are more likely to buy if the product is listed on multiple sites
- US affiliate marketing spend to double by 2016 from $2.4B to $4.5B
Head over to Econsultancy and read The Value of Affiliate Marketing Today, with more information from the session written up by Chris Bishop our Founder & CEO.
Midway through the day, we broke for lunch and the Golden Link Awards which were hosted by the incredibly funny Michael Ian Black. Massive congratulations to all of the winners!
Post lunch, offered symposium attendees the opportunity to choose from one of two sessions- Venture Capital and Ecommerce: Why online shopping and related sites are attracting Billions or Data Feeds: Industry leaders discuss the future of product feed and monetizing them today.
Both sessions were immediately followed by everyone’s favorite networking event the Rakuten Linkshare Dealmaker. Here attendees are encouraged to mingle amongst themselves, meet with the various companies with tables set up, and hopefully make “last minute deals.” One of my favorite highlights from the Symposium was when Chris took on a viral marketing tactic taking over friends of the agency Allsaints’ dealmaker table and duel branded to include our name and business cards:
Rounding out the symposiums festivities was probably the most popular point of the conference, The After Party!! This was held at a rooftop lounge sitting high over New York City called Sky Room. The event was catered with a variety of finger foods, bartenders serving up very delicious cocktails with a stunning sunset over the city and of course plenty of Symposium attendees winding down after a long day.
Once again on behalf of the 7thingsmedia team in attendance, we would like to say thank you to Rakuten Linkshare for hosting the event and all of the sponsors for their support. Its safe to say the Linkshare Symposium New York 2012 was a huge success and we look forward to seeing everyone again in San Francisco in January!
Head over to our Facebook page for more photos from the week.