CantBarsed Blog – A4U Awards 2008 Excel London

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.

A4U Congratulations

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.

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8 Replies to “CantBarsed Blog – A4U Awards 2008 Excel London”

  1. Thanks Joe, it’s nice someone got nervous on my behalf. I was asleep in Australia and didn’t find out the results for many, many hours after I got up in the morning.

    Congrats to Kieron, and as you can imagine we are totally thrilled that he’s been so startlingly generous!

  2. Good write-up Joe. I hope you’ll write in this blog more often as I always enjoy reading your thoughts.

    I particularly enjoyed meeting you and unwinding after a long evening. I don’t think I’ve met your wife before, so that was a pleasure too.

    There’s some pics of you in the A4U Awards video on my blog.

    Further to our discussion, if I can help in any way with your cashback site, don’t hesitate to ask.

    I look forward to seeing you and the missus at the A4U Expo, if not sooner.

    Nadeem

  3. Joe

    It was good to meet you and your wife on Thu Night / Friday Morning. It was nice meeting some fellow Essex Guys and Gals.

    A good review of the awards and I agree with all that you wrote, even the bit about champagne drinking!!

    I agree with Nadeem you should post more, as your posts are always very honest and insightful

  4. Hero:
    Sorry I dashed off leaving you with Deb – I’d asked Julie to point out Mirji Meissner from TD so I could meet her and discuss my recent outburst on the a4u forum and just as I found you Julie found her right as the after show party was winding down – we’ll catch up the Expo properly.

    Nadeem:
    It was good to have a longer chat with you than we normally manage, I checked out your blog and listened to your radio interview. You came across really well – not to sure about the freeinuk shout instead of mine though 😉
    Deb won’t attend the Expo proper but she may well take advantage of the hotel and head off to the city.

    Kirsty:
    Sheer weight of web traffic means it will be hard for anyone to take the blog award away from Kieron and as I’m sure we both agree he’s also a worthy winner. I look forward to catching up with you and Duncan and all your exciting news at the Expo.

    Purple:
    It was great to meet you too, it’s always good to meet a4u members, especially since we’ve inadvertently managed to avoid each other at previous events.
    Thanks for your comment about the blog. I contributed hundreds of pages of content to Atari Computing magazine during its lifetime – and edited it. I think I’m still suffering creative burntout. It’s also only fun if I can add something other than “me too” posts – something I’m guilty of on the a4u forum because other posters often get in first and say almost exactly what I wanted to say.

  5. Thanks Mally, I’ll definitely be at the A4U Expo again this year – it really is a an unmissable event for all affiliates.
    I may attend a few other affiliate events – I keep getting invited to merchant/network events but, as Nadeeem mentioned in his blog, these are really free consultancy so they’re really not a good use of my time – although it’s nice to be invited and I have attended a few.

  6. “not to sure about the freeinuk shout instead of mine though”

    Joe, I had planned to mention your voucher codes site. You may have noticed in the interview that I stutter a couple of times before saying “you can do a search for voucher codes in any search engine”… I hesitated because I forgot your URL 🙁

    I will get a plug in for you next time!

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