Participate in the Affiliate Summit Newcomer Program – By Michelle Held

by Jenae Reid on January 4, 2018


Affiliate Summit offers a free Newcomer Program at every conference. The program matches volunteer conference veterans with first-time attendees who want to be connected with someone who can help them navigate a large conference.

Everything about the program is optional and casual, so the newcomers can choose what works best for them. I’m one of the veteran volunteers and a speaker. I’ve had newcomers who attended all the sessions with me, and others who didn’t need anything past the first day.

It’s an easy program to tailor to an individual’s needs. I send my newcomer an email introducing myself and then arrange a call so we can speak prior to Affiliate Summit. That way I can share some insights about the venue, lodging, travel, and of course an overview of the conference itself. It also gives my newcomer that chance to ask questions and express any concerns they may have.

At the conference, there is a brief get together, so the newcomers can meet each other.  There is another short social mixer where the vets and newbs all get together. Sometimes we go out for dinner or drinks.

Recently, at another marketing conference, I was moderating a session. About an hour before he was due to present, one of my speakers became very nervous about the room, his slides, the show, etc. He was not able to make the pre-show conference call I had set up, so this was the first time I talked to him one-on-one.

He gave an excellent presentation on video creation. Afterwards, he asked me if he was a good speaker, and wanted to know what I thought of his presentation. I realized he was not only a first-timer, but also very new to public speaking. How nerve wracking!

We sat for a while and talked about the show, some tips for socializing (he is a hardcore introvert, whereas I’m borderline), and what we do as introverts to make a conference which is something we introverts want to do into to something we can do well.

So Why Should You Consider the Program as a Vet or Newcomer?

For the vets, this is a chance to work on leadership skills and to give back. Have you ever been to an event and not spoken a word to anyone, but salespeople, because you did not know others there? Relatable. For newcomers, we can help make navigating a large venue a bit more fun.

During the mixer, I see that everyone socializes with everyone. How quickly you can go from knowing no one to knowing everyone in the room. The Newcomer Program is another opportunity to make mutually beneficial connections.

I’m writing this on a flight back from Detroit. I went to visit one of my former newcomers and talk to his students about online marketing, have dinner, and catch up as friends.


Michelle is an and author and digital marketing consultant who blogs on and

This article appeared in issue 41 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in January 2018.


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