Affiliate World Europe 2016 Berlin – Review

It’s already been a week since Affiliate World Europe took place this year in Berlin. Even without having to travel far (Vienna -> Berlin is ~1hr flight), things still got very busy after so it’s only now that things got back to normal pace, and I can start writing again. What better topic than my take on one of the most important affiliate marketing conferences of the year?

I went to Berlin on the 14th and stayed for 6 days, at an Airbnb place. Being a host on Airbnb in Berlin is basically illegal, so it seemed fitting that I use it when attending an affiliate conference.

The City

Berlin as a city was a complete let down. Of course, it’s hard to compete with Vienna, which has been listed by Mercer as the most liveable city in the world for 7 years in a row so perhaps my expectations of Berlin, considered a bigger and in many cases better city than Vienna were too high. That said, my overall impression was that Berlin is about all the death from WW2, drugs and being a hipster.

I stayed in the center, and even the good areas of the city were not really impressive. The best way I could summarize Berlin was that it looks like the most communist city I’ve ever seen. Depressing atmosphere, it looked like the people were very poor, the buses used were worse than old Romanian buses, mediocre or bad service in restaurants and cafes, etc. I really hope the STM team consider organizing future conferences in a better city, given that Europe is full of amazing cities.

The Conference

Despite Berlin being a let down as a city, the conference was great. The team behind it took all the feedback from AWA2015 and improved a lot for AWE2016. The location was much more spacious, there was also an outside area.

Maybe this doesn’t mean much for others but this conference had the absolute best WiFi of any conference I ever attended… And I attended some reputable tech startup conferences (looking at you Pioneers Festival and Web Summit!). It was flawless!

The market was open on both days, and there was plenty of space between booths. That helped for having some very good business talks with existing and new business partners. My strategy from the beginning was to spend almost all my time at the market booths, because building on existing relationships is what I consider much more valuable than speeches. The exclusive information doesn’t get passed on stage, it gets shared in private 😉

My personal highlight was that Voluum is coming out with an auto-optimization feature.

It was great to put some faces next to online only contacts up until that point.

Side events

There are always plenty of side events and parties going on. The NGO + mPire meetup took place on Sunday evening before AWE. The place was packed and the music was a bit too loud for my taste. Good to chillout and trash talk with some affiliates but not good for deeper strategy talks.

Before that however, Go2Mobi organized a little get-together, which was really good. Aside from having to use the stairs for like 5 floors, it brought together fewer people but in a much more focused environment, where everyone could mix casual talks with affiliate marketing topics.

What people often do is use the event days to also party out of their mind, which they do really cheaply given all the free booze. Every evening from Sunday to Tuesday had sick parties in the evenings with open bars. I am not so much into those types of parties, especially when during the day it’s business mode.

Conclusion

The event itself was great. I don’t really know what the organizers can upgrade for the next conference. Perhaps just have it for more than 2 days.

Berlin, big disappointment.

The next Affiliate World Conference is happening on 5-6 December in Bangkok. I am definitely planning to attend and I’m looking forward to what the STM team can pull out of their hat this time.

I posted some pictures from the event on our Facebook page here. Make sure to check them out, and give our page a like to follow our updates.

You can also follow me on Snapchat: emanuel_cinca, for some tips every now and then 😉

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Emanuel Cinca, aka Manu

My story starts in Lipova, Romania, a town of about 10,000 inhabitants, where I was born in a working class family. Growing up in a family that had a shaky financial base and relied solely on month to month wages, and sometimes on short term loans from friends, I knew that I a) didn’t want to get a regular job EVER, and b) I want to have true financial independence.

Fast forward to my high school days, I got admitted into the number one high school of Arad county, “Moise Nicoara” National College. Don’t ask me why they call it a college, that’s just the translation from Romanian. I had a passion for technology and computers, so it seemed natural that I wanted to get into the so called informatics class.

The 4 years here taught me that:

1. Where you come from has little to no impact on your ability to learn, your skills and their value

2. Being number one high school is overrated

3. In the standard educational system, you are not allowed to excel at something, until you have proven to be above average at everything else.

4. Grades are an extremely flawed measurement of someone’s skills

5. I know myself better than anyone else, so I should make my decisions, not anyone else, and I should be OK with the consequences.

These learnings will be reflected in some of my posts here.

After high school, I quit University after 2 months in… TWICE! One time I quit Computers and Information Technology, and the second time I quit Business Administration.

During these years I also developed a passion for poker. I was a content producer at the world’s biggest online poker school for 2 years, and I wrote a book with a Maths professor from Nottingham and TT, who also blogs here. The book is called The Education of a Modern Poker Player.

I moved to Vienna in 2013, at TT’s initiative, and had several failed ventures together, all leading up to what is now Adefy.

I have a keen interest in psychology and in data, which makes performance marketing such a great industry for me. I blog about these topics, sometimes adding education, personal development, and management to the mix.

Interested in: Psychology. Marketing. Management. Investing. Startups. Entrepreneurship.

Hobbies: Reading. Fitness. Football. Travelling.

Connect with me:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emanuelcinca

Twitter: https://twitter.com/manu_adefy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emanuel.cinca.35

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