I just came back from my first ever Traffic and Conversion Summit in San Diego!
[Video Coming Soon]
I recorded a short video with a few snippets from my trip so you can get a bit of an idea of what the conference looked like from my perspective.
This is something I'm looking to do more of in the future so if you enjoy it do let me know in the comments below and I'll be sure to film more content at future events.
About The Conference
Name: Traffic and Conversion Summit – 2016
Location: San Diego, CA – Grand Hyatt
Dates: February 9, 10 and 11
Host: Digital Marketer
Attendance: 3,000-4,000 (estimated)
Price: Super Earlybird: $497, Earlybird: $697, Super Marketer: $997, At The Door: $1997 (Option $497 VIP Upgrade)
What Is Traffic And Conversion Summit Like?
Where do I begin…
Before I get into the details, I purchased my ticket at the $697 USD price point (I just missed the $497 USD super early bird price because I wasn't sure if I could attend, which I'll make sure to take advantage of next year).
I also decided I would purchase the $497 VIP Upgrade which included a few perks too which I'll mention further down.
The Crowd & Networking
Unlike most events I'd attended in the past, where the crowd was at a beginner level and unaware of many basic marketing strategies and tools, Traffic and Conversion Summit was right on point. The people which attend the event are of a much higher calibre than any other types of events I've attended.
One of the keys was attending the various parties and networking events which surround the event. Seeing as this was my very first event, I obviously didn't know many of the hosts of these parties so I made it a priority going into the event to network with as many marketers as possible.
It turned out to be a great strategy to not only make friends, but I happened to be invited to at least 1-2 parties/events after each day for the duration of the summit. And to be honest, if you're going to events and conferences like these to network, you MUST attend these types of events. The crowds are far more hand picked and selective which means a high quality of people to network with.
The event's crowd itself, however, didn't disappoint.
One of the biggest things for me was to catch up with a ton of people who I've worked with or connected with online but never met in real life. This started from the first night where I attended the internet marketing party (a must go) and continued throughout the sessions and parties during the event. So if you live on the other side of the world, take the trip (in my case 25 hours) to T&C and make the effort to foster real relationships with people, it will have an incredible ROI.
The Speakers & Topics
This year's speakers included the co-founders of Digital Marketer and Native Commerce Ryan Deiss, Perry Belcher and (not so) evil genius Roland Fraiser alongside other members of their team such as Molly Pittman and Richard Lindner.
The main keynote was by Gary Vaynerchuck (who completely crushed the stage as always) on the first evening, then the second day with Verne Harnish (who was on a whole different level). Daymond John also made an appearance briefly promoting his new book too.
All in all a great line up with a good balance of speakers.
The topics they covered were also quite diverse, the main topics were:
- Branding Vs. Marketing
- Agency Marketing
- Scaling Your Company / Building Teams
- Paid Traffic / SEO / Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Case Studies
I don't think they could've had a better mix of topics for their event.
The Event's Organisation
Everything from registration to cleanliness to being directed where to go was spot on.
There were plenty of staff walking around the event to make sure people knew where they were going and catered to them if they needed help.
The VIP Experience
As mentioned earlier, I purchased the VIP upgrade to the event for $497 USD more.
What were some of the perks?
- Super Quick VIP Registration Table
I liked this touch, thought it added a great experience right at the beginning of the event. Even came with a free drink 🙂
- VIP Dinner Reception
Unfortunately, this was one event I wasn't able to make it to given a clash with another event I was attending.
- VIP Entrance & Seating
I really enjoyed being able to sit at the front of the event and have a table too. Every morning for the event the VIP tables would include some sort of little gift (free books for example) and plenty of water. Having a table to lean on to take notes also helps. Another benefit was getting into the rooms earlier ahead of everyone else to secure a seat (in the breakout rooms).
- The VIP Lounge
This was also a really nice touch so if you were thirsty or hungry you could swing past the lounge. Found some great people to talk to and network with here and also enjoy the refreshments throughout the day.
What Could Be Improved For Next Year?
To be honest, there's really not that much.
There were some similar topics which clashed on the calendar which I would've liked to have had more room between.
There was a bit of a bombardment of emails ahead of the event asking if I wanted to “become certified live at the event” which was a little annoying.
Speaking sessions were starting way too early (8 a.m.). Event organisers need to realize that marketers go out and party…a lot. So it might be a good idea to move them to 10a.m. to give people some time to recover from the previous night and start more alert.
A little more Q&A would've been awesome (during and outside of the sessions with speakers). It would've been a nice touch to ask questions to speakers who just did a session the hour afterwards at a specific booth and record it/take some photos with them.
Lastly, it was too short 😛 When you attend a good event, you don't want it to end. However having said that, I think I and and a few others were pretty beat by the end of it.
Would I Attend Again?
Hell f*cking yes!
This was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my marketing career between the people you meet and the content you consume can't get much better.
Even though the flight was a bit of a hike (24 hours door to door), it's nothing compared to the opportunity cost of missing out on the event.
Below are some photos from the event I took throughout my travel and during the event. It includes some photos with friends and other marketers in the industry I met at Traffic and Conversion Summit 2016.
The only think I regret is not taking more photos and videos of the event (a mistake I won't be making next year).
I highly recommend Traffic and Conversion Summit and will be attending next year 100%.
Flight from Melbourne to LAX.
Arriving in San Diego Airport
Picked up my Uber at the ride sharing station at the airport.
Sneaking into Traffic and Conversion Summit before the event kicked off 😛
In the breakout room for Roland Fraiser's Session (The presentation was excellent)
Recorded a podcast with Caleb at the event in the awesome BuzzSprout booth that was setup.
Cheeky selfie with Co-Founder of ClickFunnels Dylan Jones hanging out in the ClickFunnels booth.
These awesome guys invited me to their Super Bowl party the day I arrived (I didn't even know them!). (Left) Zach P Johnson, (Left Middle) Ricky Baldasso from Australia, (Right Middle) Me, (Right) Caleb Hodges.
Caught up with Perry Belcher to ask a few questions and grab a photo
Also caught up with the other Digital Marketer Partner and mastermind Roland Fraser
Fan Girled Hard with Mr. Hustle himself Gary Vaynerchuck
Also fan girled with Daymond John from Shark Tank
Ryan Deiss delivering his presentation at the event
Also thought I'd grab a photo alongside the VIP sign just in case people didn't know I was a VIP
Hanging out with my friend and super affiliate Charles Ngo
The closing presentation which wrapped up Traffic and Conversions Summit for 2016