How long does it take to prepare an event or conference?
In fact, a lot – two, three, four months. We have a team that does everything itself. We don’t hire or very rarely hire event agencies to help us, and in general, everything is done by people who work at AffHub.
It takes three months, starting with agreeing on the concept and choosing a date. Then comes everything else – choosing a location, determining how it will be held, the theme, guests, speakers, if they are included (if it is a meetup and not just a conference). Coordination with speakers also takes time, as you need to write down a plan, agree on a speech or at least a topic and a speech plan.
It also takes a lot of time to agree on topics within the team. We gather and hold brainstorming sessions to identify the most relevant topics on the market that will be interesting to media buyers and everyone else.
And then we go through practical preparation – printing banners, coordinating everything with sponsors, making some stands, and other actions during the branding stage.
The next stage is promo, at which time all AffHub team members get involved.
Tell us about your first event, where was it and how did it go?
I joined Affhub only last year. I got to the event, and before that I was working on media projects and had very little experience with events.
Before the event, I saw the preparations – all the fuss and the kitchen. I thought it was going to be something serious, and then I came and saw people drinking. I was an outsider, not from arbitrage or affiliate marketing. I thought to myself, “Have you worked so hard here so that they can just drink?” Only later did I realise that this was my mistake, because people don’t just drink, they are primarily networking.
Why do you need media, an information portal, what is the main goal of the project? Have you thought about focusing only on conferences?
Speaking about the overall goal, there was only one – to form a community for affiliate marketing representatives, for all people who work on it in one way or another.
From the very beginning, AffHub was a great event made by a powerful team. Still, it is impossible to build a full-fledged community without media. That’s why the management had plans to expand the AffHub project itself and build a media project.
When the media project began to develop, we saw that many market participants came to us to post material, reviews, and vacancies. There is a great demand for this, people want to be known and consider AffHub, without exaggeration, as the number one media in Ukraine in this niche.
How many people will attend the conference this year?
First of all, we always gather the number of people we plan. This year we expect up to 1000 people.
In Lviv in April of this year, we were simply torn apart, there was a sold-out. In less than 2-3 weeks, the tickets were sold out. There was also a soldier event in August – a Hippie Dream Party in the Navy, and we were already preparing the next one.
What is the purpose of going to events?
By the way, I found several advertisers at the events. I met them randomly – you get to know a person, and it turns out that he represents some service. I won’t be specific, but when talking, they offer to do something in common and it ends up being super.
Meetings are better at events – you see the person, you may already have sympathy and trust for them. When someone writes in a Telegram, “Hi, can I stay, how much does this or that cost” – you have to ask the person where they are from, what they do and so on. It takes longer to get to know someone.
Tell me about the inadequates? How often do media buyers get drunk?
They get drunk all the time, but I wouldn’t say they are inadequate. They’re just people who’ve had a drink and maybe worked for three months without lifting their heads. We all know how hard it is to be a web and how much work it is in our field. And then a person gets to an event with unlimited alcohol, great company, and so on. Of course, there are people who get drunk, but it’s normal, no one condemns them.
Yes, there were situations when people spoil something, but it is not something critical, it does not affect anything. The team that prepares the event lays down such moments, risks. There are a lot of people, people are different, it’s impossible to control everything – someone fell asleep in the toilet, someone broke the door (and yes, it happened literally this year).
Media buyers asking for a conference pass, do they bug your team day and night?
Yes, it’s all out there! A few weeks after the announcement, towards the end, at one or two o’clock in the morning someone writes to you like “hey, help me get a ticket”. I tell you straight away – it’s not an option, if there are no tickets, there are no tickets, nobody will help you get them. They write to any member of the team.
What kind of content do you create on the site?
We have a lot of everything there that might be of interest to a representative of the industry – cases, articles, interviews. Plus we are trying to add more news.
In fact, the team that maintains the resource is small. It prepares news about online business, the business involved in arbitrage, Meta, Instagram, Facebook, some new services or features, so that people in general are aware of what is happening in the world. Not just some interviews or about events in Ukraine, but a little bit of broader news. I think that when our team grows, there will be more such news.
Of course, the most interesting for our audience are interviews and articles. We try to make the articles very topical. Usually we make a content plan for a month, but we can edit it during the month. If on 1 September we planned an article for 30 September, and then we realise that it is not relevant, we change it. Or we see a cooler topic and add it. We try to be flexible in terms of providing information to market participants so that they are aware of the most relevant information.
Of course, we have vacancies and employers, events – and not only ours, Ukrainian and international. When you work to build a community, you have no competitors.
How many people do you have doing media?
There are three people working on content, that’s very few. And that’s including the SEO content person who helps us promote the site. The other two people work on the content that goes out every day.
Plus we have YouTube, which is handled by Eugene, our YouTube producer. He brings in cameramen for events or other events, and there are also editors, scriptwriters.
Our PR girl Alina is involved in all projects, events and media, her competence is to make sure everything is OK. She is aware of everything that happens in all projects.
Why do people from the industry go into the media?
The industry is growing, there is a demand for it. I see a demand in the market for content, PR and manifestations in the outside world. It can be performances – a lot of people write to me and ask if they can speak at an event or a conference, do an interview and so on. Since this request is always there, the market feels it, and other people build their media, events. The industry is growing and getting richer.
A lot of people come from outside the industry to work in affiliate marketing. When I first came into this field, there were not many people from journalism, PR or other fields. I didn’t like it, it seemed to me that the sphere was closed to itself. Now this is changing – PR people, financiers, lawyers from other spheres are coming in.
Arbitrage in Ukraine is very young. The industry still has to go through many stages to gain a foothold and become something serious. One of our goals is to show that Ukrainian arbitrage is already a real business. This is back to the topic of the panel about system business in 2024, where Azir will be speaking. We will talk about the plans of the speakers, how they are going to expand, build, manage.
Why buy advertising from you, what makes you different in the market?
I never said that only we should buy advertising or only cooperate with us. There are other media and companies.
Maybe that’s a bit pathetic, but that’s my opinion based on what I see. It’s not just words, it’s seen in practice when people collaborate with Affhub. The PR effect pass is quite different.
Your tickets are not cheap. If there are newbies who want to get in, but they don’t have super profits – how do they do it?
There are raffles – if you follow social media, you can win something. We do raffles ourselves and with partners. You can get a ticket that way or make money on it.
I agree that $200 per ticket is a lot. But you have to take into account the economic model of the event itself. It must go well and take place at all, under such conditions it is very difficult to make a ticket cheaper. It doesn’t mean that the cost of the ticket is 20 dollars and we take 180 dollars for ourselves, it’s not like that. The ticket is expensive because the production cost of the event is not cheap either.
Now there are even more events. What do you think is the reason?
There are several reasons.
And it is for the sake of building community that companies, organisations and teams do events. This is social capital, and it is very important.