If Carlsberg ran conferences they would probably be something like a4uexpo! That was one of the comments I’ve read today about the a4uexpo affiliate marketing conference held last week at ExCeL London. It was a fantastic event although probably the most exhausting couple of days of my life!

Here’s a run-down of my 3 day a4uexpo experience.

Wednesday – Arrive in London after a slightly hair-raising minibus trip down from Bristol with the rest of the a4uexpo team. We’re given ‘party’ bags complete with mints, twirly whirlys and pro-plus! (thanks Claire T) to see us through the next couple of days. I’m not sure who taught the driver to drive, but I made sure I had my seatbelt on all the way! He was a bit of a nutter! We grabbed some dinner, and checked into the hotel.

Thursday 5am – Get up and head over to ExCeL to start our marathon day. I start by putting on my lovely branded a4uexpo t-shirt (The shirt I ordered was giant sized!)

Thursday 8.30am – People start to arrive, things are remarkably organised! Exhibitors are still setting up, but registration opens and away we go. Meanwhile I’m frantically trying to work out how the audio visual equipment works in the conference room I’m in charge of running! I hadn’t expected to be faced with a 20 channel mixing desk and loads of audio equipment I don’t even know the name of. Whatever happened to pressing play/stop… This could be a challenge!

Thursday 11am – Thankfully Ryan and I manage to figure out what all the buttons do and the talks begin. Starting with a really interesting talk about Social Networking and it’s importance and relevance in todays Internet marketing world. Food for thought indeed. There seems to be demand from all quarters at the moment for Facebook application development, it will be interesting to see if it lasts.

Thursday 6pm – The last session is over, and it’s been non-stop all day! Now the fun begins, in the shape of the a4uawards and evening event!

Friday 2am – The awards are over, the David Brent lookalike did his trademark dance and everyone is suitably wasted after cashing in all their free drink tokens. We now head over to the hotel bar for some more drunken ‘networking’ 🙂 I’ve been involved with these affiliate events for a few years now, and free bars seem to be the one common theme.

Friday 3am – Get to bed at last!

Friday 7am – Wake up and ready to start the final day of the expo, sessions start at 11

Friday 6pm – I’ve never felt so exhausted in my life, but it’s been a great couple of days. All that stands between me and going to bed now is the London rushhour! The last thing you’d want to face when you’re finding it hard to stand up straight without passing out, but with minimal delays and a seat all the way, we manage to get back to Bristol by 9pm.

Only 363 days until the next one!