I have been involved with and teaching at the NAMS Event in Atlanta twice a year since the very first event in early 2009.
This past February I chose not to speak, and at the most recent event earlier this month I chose not to attend at all.
NAMS stands for "Niche Affiliate Marketing Systems" and was originally a hands-on workshop for learning niche affiliate marketing. They are currently going through some major transitions, and have been slowly expanding to cover a number of Internet Marketing topics.
One of the things I've always enjoyed most about this event is the opportunity to work hands-on with people who need help getting started online. And of course hanging out with my peers and members, like Traci Knoppe in the photo above. The social aspect of this event alone is worth attendance!
For six straight events, I gave NAMS my all. I'm not what you would call a "speaker" but I really enjoyed teaching what I know and hosting workshops where I could actually help people implement what they learned on the spot.
I picked up sessions when other speakers couldn't make it, worked with people between sessions, and really invested myself wholeheartedly into the event. Including recommending and promoting it heavily from the very beginning.
For the record, I was not paid for teaching at this event. I never "pitched" either. And I paid for my own travel & meal expenses just like the attendees. That said, I was an affiliate - and I was the top affiliate on many occasions.
In the beginning only instructors/speakers were affiliates, which helped to cover the personal expenses and 3-5 days of solid working.
That is no longer the case as the affiliate program has been opened to the public, but most instructors invest their own time and money anyway because they enjoy helping people with their online business. Myself included.
I believe I can speak for most of the instructors that I know personally (those that don't pitch, at least), in saying that we would all earn much more money from our home office in the same amount of time... than we do working at NAMS. That's the case for me at least, and I have been the top affiliate for many of the NAMS events.
If it were only about money, I would have stepped down long ago.
As I said, the event is changing and evolving. There are simply some points that I am not overly happy with. While the feedback from attendees is overwhelmingly positive, as an instructor my personal experience took a turn in the other direction.
I am also making changes in my own business, and focusing heavily on some new goals. During the time that I was not at NAMS last weekend, I was busy organizing some big projects - and enjoyed that time investing in my own business very much.
While it's not like me to cancel at the last minute, and I do apologize for that - for those that attended and expected to see me there - this was a personal decision for personal reasons. And it was the best decision for me.
I may or may not choose to attend NAMS events in the future. I'll make that decision one event at a time, based on how it fits in with my personal objectives. But I will no longer be taking on a working role at the event.
I did genuinely miss getting to see and hang out with everyone, but I trust we'll have other opportunities. Let's make a point of it!