June 10th, another big event in the Affiliate Marketing industry, World Affiliate Show 2021, will be held in Moscow. Shortly before that, we talked to Petr Martynov from Quick Shock Agency, the team behind the expo.
Q: Hi Petr! Thank you for having a chat with us. Let's dive into the deep end right away. Tell us, what is World Affiliate Show 2021?
Petr: World Affiliate Show is a unique event in the CPA and affiliate marketing industry. It’s not just a simple conference but a full-fledged forum. At the same time with the exhibition that already has over 70 booths, there will be round table sections with invited speakers. It’s not going to be just boring reports and presentations. Invited speakers are going to discuss things that matter together and share their experiences. Real discussions can take place in a more interactive way touching on important and pressing topics from the affiliate industry.
We will also have workshops from leading CPA programs and large companies as well as the thought-out entertainment part. We chose to do it this way because we have experience organizing events in SMM, advertising, and affiliate marketing. We know that the affiliate crowd likes to network in a more informal way.
This is also the reason why we chose Loft Hall as a space for our event. It consists of several buildings and open-air zones. This unique construction was restored from an old mansion and has a unique interior that is fitting for our format. We choose it because we have first-hand involvement in affiliate marketing and familiarity with the type of people who attend our events. They will enjoy their time more in this type of venue than if it was a typical expo space with boring conference rooms.
So we are creating a fresh informal networking format but, at the same time, a strong informational part with the speakers and workshops that bring a lot of value to the event.
Q: How many people are expected to attend the event including speakers, sponsors, and participants?
Petr: Initially we were considering having a total of 2,000 people at the event due to COVID restrictions. It wasn’t clear yet how people are reacting to real-life events and how ready they are to attend something on a large scale like WAS.
Then we saw that there is a huge demand from everyone involved including guests, speakers, and companies. So we expanded our physical space by renting out additional rooms and zones at the venue. We also rented GLAVClub for the Afterparty, which is by the way kindly sponsored by our partners, the Alpha Affiliates. Speaking of its capacity, GLAVClub is one of the largest clubs in Moscow. Now we are confidently looking at around 3,000 people participating in the event.
Q: You mentioned COVID. Tell us how the pandemic affected your team? What happened when it began in 2020? Have you tried organizing events or other projects online?
Petr: Events are not our main business at the moment, the last large event we organized was in 2018. Since then our team helped to organize the Blockchain Life forum helping Sergey Khitrov who is also Alexey Khitrov’s twin brother.
So since we weren’t actively making offline events, we were working with our internal clients and projects. Our team is partly remote with the central office in Saint-Petersburg, some team members living and working from abroad, and some in other Russian cities. We are used to working remotely so the pandemic didn’t affect us all that much.
Q: You mentioned Sergey Khitrov and Alexey Khitrov, will they both be at WAS?
Petr: Yes, Alexey will present as an organizer and as a speaker. Sergey will also come as an invited speaker and share some insights from his experience though he hasn’t been active in the affiliate marketing industry for a couple of years.
Q: Sounds awesome! Okay, your team sounds like a group of professionals. Who are the heavy lifters in your team?
Petr: The CEO of our agency and the main organizer of the event is Alexey Khitrov. I am responsible for sponsors and partners as well as organizational aspects of participating companies from Saint-Petersburg. Viktoria Naumova is responsible for participants and other event details which is an important role since we want our event to have things that haven’t been previously present at this sort of gatherings. We all want to not only get people together but also provide a high-quality experience and create lasting pleasant memories for our guests.
Q: Besides the new format of round table discussions, what other new things are you trying to implement at WAS?
Petr: We will have a large open-air terrace and hookah zones that are going to be organized with the help of our partner Blackburn. They are the largest tobacco company in Russia who have made collaborations with Timati, Morgenshtern, Guf, and other famous Russian media personalities. During the day of the event and at the afterparty, they will make complimentary hookahs for the guests. This is a popular pastime for the affiliates so we wanted to take care of that.
Another thing that we are doing, which never happened at affiliate marketing conferences before, is giving our sponsors and partners dedicated lounge zones. Pin-Up Partners, Alfaleads, ZaleyCash, and other partners will get their own rooms where they can do whatever. They can invite their own representatives to speak, organize some kind of interactive programs, create a bar, and, of course, network with other participants. We trust them to create something unique and special.
This is something we learned from large music festivals where they would have different stands and zones from different brands. So we wanted to give our partners the space to create something for audiences with different interests. I assure you they are preparing something major and totally awesome.
Q: Since we are comparing WAS to music festivals, who are the headliners at your event?
Petr: We definitely have some rock stars who have large audiences. One of them is Alexander Slobozhenko because his team, Traffic Devils, is currently showing impressive results.
There will also be the legends of affiliate marketing present. Alexander Riddick is a well-known name and he is respected by both the old and the new school.
Representatives of large brands such as PMaffilaites and the Marketing Director of BetBoom are our exclusive guests since they never participated in such events before. We will have people from other large companies such as Qiwi, Tinkoff, and Mail.ru Group so it’s not only affiliate marketing giants but also other reputable brands in attendance. This will offer a whole different perspective on the industry. Even those who aren’t speakers or sponsors will attend as guests because they are also interested in CPA and affiliate marketing for their niches. It’s serious business.
Q: Thank you for your responses so far, we have talked about the main reasons why WAS stands out. Now just a couple of questions left.
It seems that you weren’t expecting a lot of foreigners to attend your event with the event website and other materials only available in Russian. Now we can see demand from colleagues from other countries. How many people from abroad are attending and what are their main interests? What are you offering to those who don’t speak Russian?
Petr: Yes, I think there are a lot of these people that purchase the online streaming of the event. For now, the stream will only be in Russian but we are looking into options to have it in English as well. The online package will give access to chats and networking as well as the presentations with some of them are already in English.
Even with COVID restrictions still in place in some places, we expect people to come from countries such as Spain, Germany, and other European countries. A lot of people among participants of WAS already work with English-speaking GEOs and will be ready to network and discuss topics in English. Participating companies are international brands that will be happy to communicate in both Russian and English.
Of course, we are always happy to show our foreign guests the high level of Russian hospitality, networking, and partying which can be then talked about back home.
Q: Do you help people coming into Russia now during COVID restrictions? Are there invitations or visas offered?
Petr: Yes, we do offer certain assistance. We already have a way of dealing with Ukrainian restrictions, but for others, it will depend on which country they come from. We also suggest a legal way to enter Russia which is buying a ticket to one of the Euro-2020 games. It gives you the right to enter our country at any point between May and July.
This ticket only costs around $150 and it will pay for itself. We will have at least 7 pre-parties on the 9th of June, on the 10th the main forum and afterparty will take place, and on the 11th, as fas as I know, more things are happening. So people coming from far away places will get their worth by choosing this way to come to Russia.
Q: Sound like a whole lot of fun. Thank you for your time, Petr, it was great talking to you today! I will see you at the event!
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