10 TIPS FOR A SMOOTH AFFILIATE WORLD ASIA EXPERIENCE
Conferences can get pretty chaotic, so we’ve put together some tips to make sure you’re really prepared for Affiliate World Asia. After all, it’s just two days, so you’ll need to hit the ground running!
1: Pack your bag.
Going to a conference can be sort of like backpacking: you need to bring a lot of gear. So to start with, make sure you’re prepared with comfy shoes, chapstick, business cards, a water bottle, passport (FYI, Thailand requires that you have more than six months left before your passport’s expiration date to visit,) a power plug adaptor and a charger (or, for bonus points, a charger plus a power strip. You’ll make some friends.)
2: Figure out your airport plan.
Did you know that Bangkok is the 12th most congested city in the world? While you might be happy with hopping into the closest cab at the airport in other cities, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by taking the train into town instead. The Bangkok Airport Rail Link is your best bet; it will take you from the airport to downtown in about 30 minutes, for under 1.36 USD. The Centara Grand Convention Center is about a 15 minute walk from the Ratchaprarop stop, and if your hotel is elsewhere downtown, you may find that the Airport Rail is convenient to that as well.
If you would prefer to travel by car and are staying in the Centara Grand, they do offer a car service that will pick you up from the airport. Rides cost 45 USD each way (or 75 USD if you would like to ride in style in a Mercedes,) and you can choose the service while reserving your room.
3: Download the conference app.
The Affiliate World Asia app is your go-to for conference info, particularly a map and a schedule of events. This will be handy for figuring out your game plan ahead of time.
4: Have a map handy.
Yeah, the app has a map, but we all know how buggy or slow-to-open apps can get, so download a copy of the map to your phone, or even (gasp!) print a paper copy. Bonus points if you set the map to your phone background so that you can check it at a glance.
Keep the official address of the Centara Grand on hand too. It will make it easier to communicate with cab or TukTuk drivers if you choose to travel that way. Beware of scammers though!
5: Make a communication plan for your team.
If you don’t have an international plan, you can’t count on being able to text anybody who’s coming with you, so make a plan for how to get ahold of each other. Whatsapp? Email? HipChat? Skype? Doesn’t matter tool you use, just make sure it’s consistent, otherwise you’ll find yourself sending an email to your colleague while they’re trying to catch you on Slack and you’re both late for the keynote.
6: Find one tourist activity.
It can be tough finding the time to enjoy your surroundings when you’re in a new place for a conference, so the key here is preparation. You’ll be right downtown, and there are a ton of things to see, eat, and do in Bangkok. Look at a map of attractions and see what’s within walking distance of the convention center (there’s a lot) so it’s easy to take a quick tourism detour.
7: Know who you want to talk to, and talk to them early.
Conference attrition is a well-known phenomenon. Lots of attendees trickle out a few hours early on the last day, so don’t let that get in the way of networking with the people you want to see. The AW Asia app lets you set up appointments with other attendees, and time is short, so do your research and schedule time to talk on day one in advance.
While you’re planning out your day, make sure to RSVP to all of the sponsored events you want to go to. Most have a capacity limit, so you want to make sure you’re on the guest list.
8: Visit us!
9: Get lunch before the rush.
Alls fair in love and the lunch rush. Getting lunch cannot be an afterthought at conferences; trying to grab something close to the convention center any time after 12:15 without getting trapped by lines and crowds can be a lesson in futility. Fetch lunch earlier than you need to, and don’t fall into the “I’ll just wander around and see what looks good” trap by finding a place ahead of time.
Here’s a recommendation from our team member Annabelle, who visited Affiliate World Asia last year:
“The Centara Grand attaches to a huge mega-mall called Central World, with a lot of great restaurants in it. My personal favorite? A Michelin Star (I kid you not) dumpling joint where you can eat for under $10.”
10: Review what you’ve learned.
Don’t let those notes you took during the talk languish in a notebook in the bottom of your bag or scrawled on the back of a pamphlet. Take a look back over them and figure out what you actually want to implement, and what the first steps are to making it happen.