Read Time: Approx. 5 Minutes 10 Seconds 
Author: Lewis Stretton 

What is Affiliate Huddle? 

On the 18th of April we travelled all the way down to Brighton for this year's Affiliate Huddle that took place the following day. This year's event was bigger and better than ever, taking place in the Brighton Dome. With around 1,000 attendees this year, it was a busy event full of knowledge and networking. 
Affiliate Huddle is a one-day event dedicated to Affiliate Marketing. It allows meetings with agencies, advertisers, and publishers who you can pre-book or meet on the day for a good chat with a coffee (or beer) in your hand. The event also has many panels with guest speakers discussing trending topics in Affiliate Marketing today. The perfect event for networking and meeting your peers, but also gaining experience as you are learning from experts in the industry. 

Why did we attend? 

We attended this year, to learn and understand any new opportunities for our partners, plus it is always nice to put a face to the publishers we speak to on a weekly basis via email. It also enabled us to update everyone on any exciting news within the business. As Lewis joined our team last year, this was his first event which felt the perfect time for him to network and meet many faces in the affiliate marketing industry. The main reason we attended this year was to speak to as many new and existing publishers as possible, so we can discuss how we can improve performance for our partners and grow our partnerships. 

Who had we spoke to? 

We spoke to many publishers and brands, some familiar faces and some new! We discussed new available tools and how we could work together for our partners. Over the course of the day, we had 14 pre booked meetings and 8 panel talks to attend. It was good to catch up with Chris and Alex to discuss what was in the pipelines for Bravo Voucher. and GoCertify are also businesses we know well who have recently partnered together! Hearst UK were helpful, discussing how to get our brands visible and gain additional coverage. Some of the unfamiliar faces we met were Sam from Tyviso and Peter from Gener8. We thought their propositions were interesting and we look forward to working with them in the near future. It is always an enjoyable day connecting with all verticals, sharing experiences and thoughts. 

What had we learnt from the day? 

Affiliate Huddle is not all about networking, they have many panels to attend throughout the day. These panels were full of experts in Affiliate Marketing for you to improve your knowledge and the audience were able to ask the panel questions, which the experts happily answered at the end of each session. 
One of the sessions Lewis attended was ‘Clipping away with voucher and cash back sites.’ This session was about Coupon and Cash Back sites who receive a less than ideal reputation for not driving revenue. They discussed how advertisers should be aware of the changes these partner types have made over the years and shared the value of these partnerships. Jake Hodgekiss at TopCashback explained to the audience about the innovations TopCashback have to offer. He quoted “TopCashback will be a one stop shop full of brands.” He also spoke about the opportunity that TopCashback give for SME by offering them placements with smaller fees, to give them a platform instead of being consumed by massive advertisers. 
Another session Lewis attended was ‘Is affiliate losing its performance-based niche?’ This was a discussion on how the affiliate world is currently working. They shared their thoughts on what is working well, what might need to change and where affiliate marketing could go. 
The panel discussed: 
Rewarding on ‘last click’ and how it is not the fairest option. 
Publishers believe that CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) % needs to be split between everyone within the customer journey, to ensure they all get rewarded fairly. 
Publishers and advertisers should work closely, to ensure a good relationship is built, which in turn will be beneficial for the brand. It helps with negotiations and discussions regarding performance. 
A question asked by the audience was ‘Does SME struggle with starting an Affiliate Program due to the fact of tenancies and how the price of tenancies is rising?’ Scarlett McAnsh (publisher growth manager of CJ) quoted “We have seen many SME’s do extremely well before. There are many offers within CJ and other advertisers that offer just a CPA placement to help the SME.” The UNIDAYS Strategic Account Director of Fashion stated that ‘within the industry the CPA being offered is too low, with many brands offering 1%. The average CPA should be 7% or 8% for the publisher to benefit from working with the brand.’ 
The last panel of the day was the leader's panel. This was about anything to do with the digital marketing world. One of the main topics in discussion was about AI. A panel member stated that “AI is interesting because of how quickly things are changing with it. So many new innovations. AI will soon be able to do the things in your work you do not like, for example for me, forecasting. You can get AI to forecast then you finish the rest of it once AI has done most of the work. AI will be there for you to delegate the work you do not want to do to save time.” The panel agreed that AI and ChatGPT will not be as mainstream in Affiliate Marketing compared to other sides of Digital Marketing like SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Paid Search. The panel agreed that “some sort of AI will be in every workplace by next year.” 
Another Main topic was 2023 in particular ‘The biggest challenge in 2023.’ 
One speaker stated that the biggest challenge in 2023 is cost of living. He commented, “In a company we need to speak the customers language meaning we need to support them whether this means offers or reasonable prices on items.” 
Another speaker said “The biggest challenges in 2023 is the pricing message. Affiliate marketing is seen as a marketing channel that deals on a commission basis. We need to tell people we are a market that work with other publishers to improve and grow a business.” 
The final audience question was ‘What Positive impact for the next year are you looking forward to?’: 
The panel were excited about brand partnerships and influencer marketing trending and looking forward to seeing what they bring to affiliate marketing. 
One speaker mentioned how he was excited to see more brands move into the affiliate marketing space and seeing the positive it brings to the industry 
The final positive impact for 2023 could be the increase in publishers. One speaker said, “We are seeing many new tech publishers come on to the scene with totally new ideas, giving new and existing brands new opportunities to expand their business.” 
We would like to thank everyone who took the time to speak to us on the day. If anybody wished to speak to us but were unable to find time, please feel free to get in touch
Also, a massive thank you to all the organisers, sponsors and everyone who made Affiliate Huddle 2023 the successful day it was. We cannot wait to see you at the next event. 
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