Affiliate World Asia 2019 (4-5 December 2019) is finally over and I hope everyone has recovered! It was my first time attending Affiliate World Asia ( My visa was late in 2018), So I think it’s time to share my experience with my readers and also congratulate Affiliate World Conferences for hosting an amazing event.
What is Awa
Affiliate World has adapted into the biggest affiliate conference. It all started as local meetups in London 5 years ago and reached from 300 attendees to 3600 attendees this year, You can read more about how it started on my friend Ian Fernando’s blog.
As I mentioned above Affiliate World Asia Bangkok 2019 was the biggest Affiliate Conferences yet, where e-commerce and performance marketing influencers and experts from all over the world came together.
My preparations started with applying for Thailand Visa ( I have Pakistani Passport so I Need Visa pretty much everywhere except a few countries). The visa Process for Thailand is simple and easy, Here are the requirements for the visa:
- A valid passport.
- A confirmed travel itinerary
- Proof of funds and accommodation.
I had to start my application and apply for an appointment on the Thailand Visa Website: https://thaievisa.go.th/ and after that, I visited The Royal Thai Embassy in London to submit my visa application in person. On the 2nd day, my visa was ready for pickup.
I also applied for Thailand Visa to attend AWA 2018, But as I applied from Pakistan ( * This was a mistake I Should have applied from Dubai) and my bank statements were from the UAE, It took them over a month to approve my visa (After AWA2018). So I missed the event last year. If you are applying form Pakistan with Pakistani bank statements you can get your visa within 7 days.
So let’s get to it…
I started off my journey from London Heathrow airport with China Southern Airlines for the first leg of the 12 Hour journey to Guangzhou, from there I took a 3-hour flight to Bangkok, landing on the 2nd of December.
On the 3rd of December, I had a couple of things in my schedule including; Badge collection from the conference venue, my own meetup and lastly the Grand Society Event.
I started my day off with a local Thai street breakfast. It was amazing but a little spicy for me. After that, I headed back to my Airbnb, realizing there is no working Iron at the place and I also forgot to pack socks. Therefore, my next hour was spent visiting laundry shops and finally realizing no laundry shop will be able to do things this quick for me so I set out for mission #socks-Iron.
Once I overcame these minor hiccups, It was time to check out the conference venue and collect my badge, as its always a good idea to collect your badge one day before ( Day 1 is always busy and you have to stand in long queues ) …
After I collected my badge from the collection centre I met amazing affiliates from Pakistan and set out for Yana Restaurant at MBK center. I had invited a few friends and affiliates from my Facebook Affiliate Marketing Champs Group. I also invited my friend Mauro Romano who is the co-founder of Arabclicks and has been previously heading Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange. I only reserved an area for 20 people but over 50 people turned up, which was amazing and it turned out to be a mini speed dating event. I would like to thank each and everyone who came to see me there as it meant a lot to me, I will definitely plan something bigger at AWE2020 and hopefully, we will market it properly this time…
After the meetup, I headed out for the grand Society event by STM. Grand Society is a gathering where the STM team, Speakers and big industry sharks gather. It is one of the best invite-only meetups where you meet the real movers and shakers of the industry. It was my first time meeting Steven Black, who was speaking on the breakout stage about ‘’Growing a brand army with an 80% customer retention rate’’ the next day. It was very powerful stuff and I loved to pick his brain on how I can increase my retention rate within my mailing lists.
I also met, for the first time Amy Cheung a Stack That Money (STM) moderator ( vortex), an awesome lady behind the success of many STMers, She has helped many affiliates make their first $1. If you haven’t joined yet, signup to STM and drink up her detailed guides she has created for beginner level affiliates… you won’t need any course or anything after you’ve gone through her guides.
I also met Matej Matuloo, (matuloo) another great mod for STM.
My day 1 schedule was super tight, I had all my meetings pre-scheduled ( Pro Tip before attending events make a list of people/companies you want to see and schedule time with them ).
I reached the venue an hour before opening time, so while waiting for the venue to open I met some old friends who I have been connected with on Facebook for years. One of those people was Naveen K, who I knew from my warrior forum days. We started affiliate marketing together but later on, he went off the grid. If an affiliate disappears, there are only two logical reasons; number 1 is they can’t make it work or number 2 is they are working on some big things which they need to keep 100% focus on. Luckily for Naveen the, it was the latter. I was pleasantly surprised at his excellent results. However, beyond that, I was happy I got my long lost friend back.
Once the conference opened, I toured around the conference hall just to get used to it and be aware of what or who was where. After that, I started off my day by interviewing Mark from Leadbit ( Stay Tuned for the Interview Video). Then the tables flipped, I was interviewed by Denis from Affiliate Valley. Denis and his team are pretty big in the Russian market and are now are starting with the English market. You can check out their recently launched YouTube channel for more info.
After my interview, I had some usual business meetings. I also met with Itay Paz who is the founder of DMIEXPO and an affiliate himself. We discussed the future of the industry and where our industry is heading. I also met with Renz Gonzales, along with a few friends at their PropellerAds booth, and learned about their advertising formats.
At night I attended Affiliate Wicked Wonderland party hosted by PropellerAds and Adcombo. It was a great party and gave us a great opportunity to relax and network. I caught up with a couple of affiliates from Pakistan and the UAE; Shariq Suleman, Muneeb and his business partner Syed Faris Hussain ( These guys are doing pretty great stuff with real estate and ecom). We discussed the Middle East’s & Pakistan’s Affiliate Scene and how it can be improved. We eventually grabbed dinner together and the discussions went on into the night, it was an overall success. A chance to chill but also put our unique business hats and mingle with like-minded people. Who doesn’t love a good party? Thanks, ProperAds and AdCombo!
I kept the second days schedule a little relaxed so I could recover and give my throat a bit of a rest. I scheduled a few business meetings but mostly caught up with some friends, as it was a rare chance in the year we were all together.
Day 2 Party
On Day 2, I attended the Ad Buyers Meetup at levels club, Bangkok. This was hosted by Adleaks and DFO. The whole venue was packed, which made it a little uncomfortable for me, as I am often claustrophobic and my hearing is not good at the best of times. Whilst it was a great event, I needed some air and space. So, my friends suggested another meetup; Media Buyers Meetup: Bangkok 2019, hosted by Converting Team. I already had the ticket but it was a network I had never heard about before, so I was a little hesitant but decided to check it out anyway.
To be honest, my expectations were not that high whilst we booked a taxi to reach the venue, but as we reached the meetup location; The Speakeasy Rooftop Bar at The Muse Hotel, things soon changed. The atmosphere was a lot more comfortable for me. The Hosts were visiting each and every table to make sure everyone was comfortable and were taken care of, which was a really nice gesture. The fact that they were taking care of each and every attendee on a personal level was something you hardly see at our industry events. I personally admired the fact that there was no separation for VIPs etc. and normal attendees (According to converting team everyone was VIP). It was overall fulfilling the true purpose of marketing meetups and events; which is marketers of all levels can mix with each other and share ideas without any classification of experience or level. I also met some super awesome guys there. Including a quiet but lethal team of marketing ninjas from China who were doing things at a level which would put your average bragging guru to shame. I also met the amazing Vaibhav Mehta, I really enjoyed talking to Vaibhav and learning about his approach and business ethics.
After the meetup Converting team took us to MIXX Discotheque, again everything was arranged by them and they even made sure we were transported safely and in style.
If you do any kind of crypto stuff I would highly recommend you to join Converting team and can guarantee you that they will take care of you in any way possible!
For Future Events
#AWA2019 was officially over but I still wanted to catch up with a few people before taking my flight back home. So I headed over to Centara Hotel where I attended a few meetings with the people I wanted to meet and discuss business with, it was one of the best days I ever had. I also met with Amy Cheung once again and asked her for advice. I really appreciate her taking the time for me, as being introverted, it is always hard to ask for favours or even talk to people I haven’t spoken before. But I am happy I reached out to her and it was one of the best meetings of my whole trip. We really discussed many ideas and strategies, in terms of both our paths and where want the industry to go in the coming years. We both had the same level of energy and it was a wonderful way to end my trip!
In the evening my friend Naveen K visited me at my Airbnb, and again and we spent a few hours discussing his work and some issues I was facing and how to overcome them. It was a super fruitful experience and I am glad we met again as we discussed our future joint ventures as well.
Overall it was an amazing event, everything was arranged perfectly and I would like to thank the Affiliate Conferences Team and Congratulate them for such an awesome event. For me it was not just a business conference, it was something very personal. We left politics and our countries feuds behind us; we were a bunch of Indians and Pakistanis making business deals and connecting and Arab affiliates were talking to Israeli Affiliates.
My Pakistani Passport says on its cover this passport is not valid for travel to Israel, but Affiliate World Conferences has truly brought people together beyond the borders and Accomplished what governments have failed to. There are many events and conferences but what makes Affiliate World Asia so special is its location, everyone can join in without much visa or affordability issues. For example; affiliates from countries like Yemen, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Somalia, etc. are eager to learn but there are always visa issues and even affordability issues, which discourage them from attending the conferences. A huge thanks to AWC from affiliates from countries like these, and from affiliates all over the world for uniting us under one roof.
Where I AM Going Next