You may have heard about NAMS (Niche Affiliate Marketing Systems), a conference to help folks make money online using Internet and affiliate marketing. Social media was certainly all a-buzz about NAMS 3, which was held in Atlanta the last weekend of January.
And I was one of the lucky people who got to attend this sold-out event. (A sold-out live event is a rarity in these economic times.) I explain my reasons for going to NAMS in a previous post.
My review of the event is below. I’ve even added some ideas to improve it for attendees. Let’s start with the really good stuff about NAMS.
- The hotel. Organizer David Perdew gets a great deal on the rooms for attendees. (I can’t remember the last time I paid less than $100 per night per room!) Plus there’s free wifi everywhere – which is still not true in most hotels I go to! The wait staff were very good, as well as the front desk folks.
- The beginner’s workshop. This workshop had a product that all the participants helped create. And what’s more they got to sell the product online, right at the event, and make money. That’s exciting stuff! There is no better way to learn than to actually do the work with tons of aides and experts right on hand to help. This was not only a great educational experience but real confidence booster for those just starting out.
- Off-the-record brainstorming. Folks in the advanced track room got to open up and be honest about their businesses without worrying about revealing too much that the world may hear later in a recording. That really helped the group bond! Plus, I was very proud to hear that one of my best practices in list building promotions that I shared struck a nerve with most of the advanced attendees. Be on the lookout for more list building promotions from these folks soon!
- It’s about the networking! Can I tell you how many amazing people I got to meet? I learned so much form my one-on-one time with so many people, it was worth the price of admission. I also learned almost everyone is willing to talk to you, but you need to be respectful of their time. I was approached a few times by people who interrupted conversations I was having with others.
- Instant course corrections! I was blown away by David’s unique method of taking feedback for the day and actually revising the schedule on the fly for the following day. I’ve been to more than 50 conferences and even put some on myself, and have never seen this done so effectively. So know that David really is on your side to make this work for you.
Knowing that the conference organizers act on constructive criticism to improve everyone’s experience, I do have a few negatives to report from my perspective.
- The hotel food. I know I listed some great things about the hotel, but the food at the hotel’s restaurant wasn’t that good, and even got many people sick. Twice I had to wait more than an hour for a meal–and that’s not good when you have meetings to get back to. To add insult to injury, instead of apologizing for the excessive delays, the restaurant managers were rude to the customers. When this problem is combined with a rule that you aren’t ‘allowed’ to bring in food from outside the hotel, it detracts from the overall experience.
- There’s a ‘hymnal’ on Sunday morning. Maybe I am overly sensitive about such things because my husband works at the UN to bring people of all beliefs together, but this made some feel uncomfortable. (There were people from several different countries and different faiths at this event.) Unfortunately, if you didn’t know there was going to be a religious singing event ahead of time, you were stuck there without escape. I suggest changing the selection to be more inclusive, or putting a list of songs on the schedule so people can make an informed choice about attending.
- If you don’t have a laptop, you’ll miss out. If you are in the beginner’s room, you’ll miss out on the product creation and selling if you don’t have access to a computer. Plus presentation slides and downloads from speakers, as well as the schedule, are only available online. (There was one printed schedule on the doors of the three classrooms, as well). It’s always going to be better with a laptop, but why make it harder than it needs to be for those without by not even passing out the schedule? Besides, I’m a paper person. I like having something to hold other than my laptop to refer to. Yes, I realize I could have printed the schedule at home, but I honestly thought it would be available at the event.
- There’s nothing as good as the beginners’ product creation for the other levels. I was mainly in the advanced room and also popped into the intermediate room twice. I found both not very advanced at all, although I did get great snippets from the presenters, (Nicole Dean was the highlight of the event for many advanced people, including me!) but nothing as amazing as creating a product! The main focus on the advanced room was outsourcing, a topic I think should go into the intermediate section as most folks in the room were already outsourcing pretty effectively. And my feelings were echoed by many people who felt the more advanced rooms weren’t what they had hoped for either.
There’s my honest take on NAMS. So if you think NAMS is right for you, mark you calendar for August 20-23. (And if you are truly committed to go now, I suggest buying your ticket at the reduced price while available!)