As affiliate marketers, our focus is on generating online sales for the businesses we represent. Henceforth, most (if not all) of our business dealings are done through the interwebs (i.e.: we research and choose a niche, register a domain with hosting, build a site, develop content and drive targeted traffic to generate conversations). But we can’t (and shouldn’t) underestimate the power of face-to-face meetings.
I encourage you to maximize your networking opportunities at affiliate conferences, such as Affiliate Summit. Many affiliate managers want to talk to affiliates face to face. It’s crucial they know who and what methods are being used to promote their programs. And they want to know what proven marketing methods you are using. Sure, this can be explained via email, but face-to-face adds another element to your business dealings, the human element and consequently, solidifies your relationships. And just think of the possibilities of meeting and learning from affiliate gurus – in person!
With the recent economic downturn, however, it’s no secret that many businesses are cutting back on expenses, which includes travel for f2f’s. In a recent CFO Research Services/American Express global study, a solid majority of survey respondents (87%) say their companies plan to spend less on business travel this year compared with last year. The same report mentioned “that companies seek to control travel spending without compromising sales activities, client relationships, and critical business operations.” Conflicting, isn’t it? What are business to do?
Well British Airways has one solution. The airline and its partners are giving away FREE travel “grants” to 100 small-to-medium size U.S. businesses to anywhere in the world British Airways flies. The campaign, entitled “Business Opportunities Grants”, is part of a multi-phased initiative to help business get ahead by focusing on tangible, human connections as a crucial driver of business growth. As part of the program, British Airways will award each grant winner 10 roundtrip transatlantic Club World business class tickets, Courtyard by Marriott will provide each winner $1000 toward accommodations and Canon will give them a Wireless Office all-in-one printer, specifically designed for small businesses. Pretty cool, eh? How do win your own grant, you ask? Compete to get one here: Business Opportunity Grant. In doing so, you will continue to value the power of “F”.