Well I didn’t win anything – which wasn’t a surprise since I wasn’t nominated but I still managed to get nervous for 2 award nominees I felt quite strongly about.
Happily Julie Wood romped home (judging by the cheers) as the Publisher’s Choice Of Account Manager and Kirsty McCubbin just missed out to Kieron for the Affiliate Marketing Blog of 2008. As I was waiting on the balcony alongside Kieron I reminded him I’d voted for Kirsty and he agreed she would be a worthy winner so I was delighted when he told me after collecting his trophy that he intended to give the sunshine.co.uk holiday vouchers to Kirsty and Duncan could so they could have a mini holiday after their wedding and before the A4U Expo.
Of the 14 other awards I correctly guessed 7 and was only left scratching my head over a few.
I expected sunshine.co.uk to pick up an award but Chris Clarkson picking up the Affiliate Manager of 2008 is a real achievement up against old hands like Zak and Graham.
Virgin Games winning the Gaming vertical award ahead of Jackpotjoy was odd. They’d been squeezed onto Kieron’s “affiliate only” table and disappeared downstairs just before the award was announced so I’m guessing they only attended at the last minute and knew in advance they’d won the award – which is better than not attending and filming a cheesy video – probably! I wasn’t even aware there was an independent Virgin Games affiliate program so I’m guessing they actively canvassed for votes which feels wrong to me but it’s within the rules and even actively encouraged but I still don’t like it. OTOH the Virgin Media guys sat either side of me and Deb at lunch and they were both really nice and we drank a glass or two of their celebratory Champagne so I’ve no cause for complaint – I bet Jackpotjoy Jasper and Claire will be canvassing for votes next year!
As An ‘umble Affiliate Plus 1 Missus Was A4U Worth Attending?
The comedian Michael McIntyre made my face ache with laughter which partially numbed the pain of spending around £600 all in including tickets, hotel, breakfast, trains and taxis to eat and see a few mates pick up awards. From a business perspective I wouldn’t get it past my expenses manager (happily I don’t have one) and the A4U expo is a much better opportunity for networking. OTOH as a glitzy event to take the missus along too and spend some company money it was just about worth it but I probably won’t attend next year unless it comes immediately before or after the A4U expo so I don’t have to make an extra journey and hotel booking.
It’s also always good to spend time in the company of Elaine and Dave, Kieron, Frostie and others. I also learnt Redcar is up north, oxygen can be flavoured and that I can drink a lot of Champagne, to date, I haven’t been able to afford to find my limit.
I didn’t give a toss about the involvement of the IAB at the awards – it’s been largely irrelevant to my affiliate life and similarly I don’t understand why people seemed pleased NMA wanted to be involved. As a magazine about new media they’d be stupid to ignore a sparkly event tailor made to fill column inches – maybe they were pleased NMA isn’t as stupid as they thought it was.
Once again Zak from Prezzybox and Graham and Dan from Buyagift pick up awards and it was really good to catch up with Julian from IWOOT and talk seafood again. It’s also always good to put names to faces of all the other merchants and affiliate managers I chat with by email, telephone and MSN on a daily basis and best of all it was great to celebrate Julie’s win at our own mini after-after show party with Nadeem, Martin and Carl from the A4U forum.
As usual there were loads of people I didn’t get around to chatting with but, thanks to Matt and the Existem gang, the A4U Expo is just a few months away so we can all catch up again there.