With their schedules filled with one appointment after another, networking, industry parties, and local entertainment, it can be very tempting for affiliate marketing professionals to slack off on their daily responsibilities while at a conference. Frankly, who can blame them? After a long night at an industry party and a full day of networking, hitting the hotel pool with a mojito can sound like a pretty good idea. However, just because you are away from your office, doesn’t mean that your daily responsibilities will magically disappear. The professional world doesn’t stop revolving once you hit the exhibit hall floor of ad:tech or Leadscon. Campaigns still need to be monitored, emails still need responses and deadlines still must be met.
Fitting in your daily responsibilities while at a conference is a difficult task for even the most focused industry pros. However, with a little bit of organization, time management and scheduling, you can manage to keep up on your daily responsibilities while weathering the chaotic “roller coaster” that is an affiliate marketing industry conference. Therefore, in order to help you meet this challenge, we have listed five strategies below that will help you execute your daily duties before, during and after your next industry conference.
5 Ways to Keep Up With Your Daily Responsibilities While at a Conference
1. Programs and Files: About a week before your trip, take an inventory of which items you will need to stay productive while at your conference and download/install/sync those items to any electronic devices that you will be taking with you to the conference. Often, you will be without Wi-Fi during travel and while at the conference. Therefore, we recommend that you also download as many apps for the programs that you typically use as possible. Downloading app versions of popular productivity tools, such as Google Drive, WordPress and Basecamp, will allow you to work quicker and save data. By having all essential documents and programs with you while you are away from your home office, you can knock out some of your daily responsibilities whenever time allows during travel and during the conference. For example, an hour and a half layover between flights makes can be a great opportunity to get some work done.
2. Know Your Wi-Fi: Internet access is of vital importance to keeping up with your daily responsibilities. Knowing where internet access is available during travel and your conference will allow you to better schedule blocks of time to focus on your daily duties. We recommend that you create a simple document before you leave for your conference that lists all potential “hot spots” and their associated fees on your travel route and in the areas surrounding your conference. A great way to flesh out this document is to begin calling your hotel, venues along your travel route, and businesses near your conference to determine internet availability. Consulting travel sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor can be helpful as well. Additionally, most major airlines including Southwest, United and American Airlines, have information about which flights have Wi-Fi (and power ports) now listed on their sites.
3. “Nicheworking” Opportunities: Everyone knows about the large parties that are held at most affiliate marketing conferences. Often happening simultaneously, these events are held at nearby night clubs and last until the sun starts to rise. If you choose to attend one of these events, time for working on your daily responsibilities often gets “kicked to the curb,” as your evening is basically booked up. Therefore, when scheduling activities for an upcoming conference, we recommend that you search out a few nicheworking events. Often held in bars, hotel suites, or restaurants, nicheworking events are small gatherings (less than 100 people) that center around a particular interest, marketing style, or vertical (i.e. Affiliate Karaoke or the Blue Keel ASW Happy Hour for payday affiliates at Affiliate Summit West 2013). Featuring a smaller and more informal setting than major industry events, nicheworking events allow for quicker networking. Therefore, after a nicheworking event, you may actually have some time to head back to your hotel room to get some work done. Taking place during the day and evening, nicheworking events can also help you knock out more of your daily duties by providing your schedule with more networking flexibility. Basically, you are no longer tied to the events that “everyone” is going to and now have more opportunities to focus on your daily duties at whichever times are most convenient for you.
4. Schedule Everything: As soon as you begin planning for your conference, you should also begin inputting all of your activities (conference and non-conference related) into a calendar. Inputting everything, including industry parties, meetings, nicheworking events and leisure activities, will allow you to mark off blocks of time that can be used to catch up on your daily duties.
5. Get Your Health On! The number one complaint that we hear from our colleagues post-conference is how everyone got sick. To avoid being sidelined for weeks after your conference, make sure to load up on zinc and vitamin C, eat fruits and veggies, wash your hands regularly and try not to stay out too late during the conference. Though these measures may be tough to follow during a conference (especially not staying out too late), remaining healthy after a conference will allow you to take on the challenge of conference follow up and jump back into your daily activities at full strength.