Affiliate Summit can be overwhelming to first time attendees. Everything that makes Affiliate Summit informative, fun, and unique can also make it a lot to absorb. So, I’ve put together a guide to help first timers prepare for the adventure ahead. I’ll be kicking off the conference on the morning of Sunday, August 18, 2013 with an orientation for first timers, but if you’re not able to make it there, please read on. PLAN Review the agenda and make a schedule. You don’t have to stick with it, but having plans in place will make all the difference. And as you work out your schedule, you can figure out which times you have available to schedule meetings, attend sessions, visit booths, and attend social events. With so many things taking place at the same time, it never hurts to have a Plan B or C. Check out the map. This is very important. The Pennsylvania Convention Center is a large venue. Read through the online version of issue 23 of FeedFront magazine. Not only does it have the agenda and speaker bios, but also a map for the conference. If you have an Android phone or iPhone, install the Affiliate Summit app for most current agenda, speaker bios, map, Twitter feed, blog updates, and more. Stay aware of things by subscribing to our email newsletters, listening to our podcasts, and following us on social networking spots like Facebook and Twitter. TRAVEL Be sure you know the name of your hotel. There are many, many hotels in Philadelphia – often multiple hotels for the same chain. Just plug the information into the calendar on your phone, so you can tell the cab driver when you land. If you’re staying at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, the address is 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 and the main phone is 1-215-625-2900. ON THE GROUND Pack for a variety of occasions. Affiliate Summit is more than just a conference. You’ll be attending sessions, meeting potential clients, networking in the hotel and all around Philadelphia. Dress during the day is business casual (some people wear shorts and a t-shirt, while others wear suits – wear what you please). Pace yourself. You might have the urge to try to cram as much into your first day as possible. Don’t do it! You will just be overwhelmed and disappointed with yourself that you don’t have the energy to go some great evening event you planned to attend. Slow and steady if you hope to start early and go late. When you check-in, we’ll be providing you with a print copy of FeedFront magazine, as well as an exhibitor guide with details of each exhibitor, and an agenda at a glance to stick in your pocket. Anyhow, read those materials. Pay particular attention to the agenda at a glance. This will be your lifeline. It will have a list of all the programming times and locations. After you check in, take a tour of the conference areas. Remember that map I mentioned? It’s in the print version of FeedFront for you. So get familiar with the layout. Take your map and walk all the levels. Oh, and stay off your computer. Well, if you have business on there, do it by all means. But don’t mess around checking sports scores or seeing what your friends back home are having for dinner. Don’t just be at Affiliate Summit – experience it! Did I miss something? Email us about what should be added. COME TO MY SESSION I will be giving a version of this presentation in person at 10 am on Sunday, August 18, 2013 to start Affiliate Summit East 2013. The session is open to all attendees and will take place in Room 121ABC (Level 100) at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. You can pick up your conference registration materials between 4 pm and 8 pm the night before or starting at 8 am on Sunday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Visit the Affiliate Summit site for more details on the conference.