What does it take to interest completely strangers and make them listen to your jokes? We asked 16 questions to someone who definitely knows how to vibe with affiliate marketers and how to establish contact with a “cold” audience.

Today, Ivan Zayets — a top host of the best affiliate parties, feels like a fish in water there. He has already hosted more than 700 events in 11 countries.

But how did it all start? Was it difficult to integrate into the affiliate community, what annoys about affiliate marketers, how to combine running a YouTube channel with hosting events, and what does a sand timer have to do with it? Find out in this fresh interview by Geek.

1. How did you get into the affiliate marketing niche? How are such parties different from regular ones?

This happened in 2017. It was my first time at the Affiliate Embassy space created by Anatoliy Winter, where people related to the niche gathered for poker, mafia, “What? Where? When?” and other parties. My colleague hosted many parties at that house. One evening, he couldn’t make it and asked me to substitute for him. I substituted))))))))))

I started appearing there more often, gradually integrating into the scene. The difference between affiliate parties and regular ones is that people are not bound by anything here. This was the hardest thing I had to overcome in myself for working here.

Weddings are about people united around the bride and groom. Corporate events are about common work. Here, winning people’s attention and respect is much harder and takes longer than in the typical event market.

2. Did you have to learn a lot about affiliate marketing to start hosting the first affiliate parties?

As in any other niche, there’s a part of the info you need to learn. I started by simply asking people what it is. They explained it to me like to a child. Then I took a free course that laid out what CPA, RevShare, CPL, Tier-1-2-3, etc., are, the niches, and traffic sources.

Actually, it’s an ongoing process, as even now I discover many new things.

3. Are there topics that are off-limits when hosting an affiliate party? What are they?

I always ask for a list of topics the client does not want to touch. Here, besides the universally taboo topics (war, death, LGBTQ+ etc.), there aren’t any.

Out of respect for the brand, I never mention competitors.

4. In one of the interviews, you said that at a meetup with a minimal budget, it’s better to spend more on food, drinks, and ambiance than to give the last money to a host. Why this choice? Isn’t the host the one who makes the whole atmosphere of the event?

The host does create the atmosphere, absolutely correct. So, when a client invites me, he’s confident that his guest will leave the event satisfied. But before spending money on any service/person, it’s worth asking yourself: “Why am I doing this event?” I look at the whole process from the guest’s perspective coming in. If a person is hungry or (GOD FORBID!!!) there are no hookahs — they won’t be relaxed and ready to communicate. In this hierarchy of needs — I’m a bit above food and alcohol. Basic needs first, then the next steps.

5. Do you remember your first affiliate party? What was it like, and were there any awkward moments that made you want to disappear?

Of course, I remember. It’s like the first time having sex.

The first party was “ITNP” in Kyiv. Then I didn’t understand the essence of this event, why these people were so merry, and how they managed to sleep only 2 hours per night for three days in a row))))))) Since then, the market has changed a lot.

I don’t recall any awkward moments. In the first parties, I observed more, learned, and watched.

6. You recently organized an affiliate Counter-Strike tournament. How did you come up with the idea? How did it go? Will there be a new tournament in CS2?

My friends and I have been playing CS every week for over a year. Once I blurted out that it would be cool to have a championship, just for fun. After that, I started to think and organize my thoughts. It was supposed to happen in June, but it became reality only in September. Everything went unrealistically well. I am a perfectionist in this aspect, but here the team worked just TOP! We already plan a new championship at the beginning of 2024, so I advise you to work on tactics and be ready.

7. We can’t help but mention your YouTube channel “Kyiv Passenger.” How did the idea of its creation come about? And is it difficult to combine event hosting and generating content for the channel?

Thank you, it’s very flattering. I was searching for a place where I could be useful, give a part of my creative thinking, and gain my audience. Eventually, it dawned on me: “If you want to do something — do it yourself.” That’s when the search for what’s close to me and what could “click” with the audience began. Now we have a team of 6 people. The assistant covers many tasks, which allows me to unload a bit and write a great interview for Geek 🙂

8. On your channel, you can see many media personalities not only from the affiliate sphere but also various bloggers and entrepreneurs. Who is responsible for selecting guests for the videos? Is it difficult to arrange with media personalities to record content?

Many decisions depend on me, as mostly all the invited guests are from my circle of acquaintances or the theory of “six degrees of separation.” My biggest fear was facing rejections when we plan filming, and the only responses are: “no,” “sorry, you’re too young,” “sorry, this is some kind of nonsense, we won’t go,” etc. I’ve become more resilient to rejections. It’s part of life. It’s better to offer and receive a “no” than to regret not inviting. From experience, an assistant can’t handle this task because the guest wants to communicate with the producer or the owner of the channel.

9. Affiliate party or a wedding?

I could start hesitating and saying that it’s different and fun in its own way. But I’ll choose the Affiliate Party*.

*When asked by a wedding portal — I’ll choose a wedding.

10. Are there things that really annoy you about affiliate marketers? What are they?

Many guys prematurely wear a crown. Three successful days — that’s it. He’s the Lord God and speaks as if I’m some sort of servant to him.

11. What are the strangest requests you’ve received from organizers of affiliate events?

Almost everything is under NDA. But once I was asked to turn over sand timers outside hotel rooms. And then you can guess the rest))))

12. What are the essential traits an event host, especially for affiliate events, must have to be successful?

My three main ones are:

  • Discipline
    I’m a fan of the belief that success comes not from talent but from working hard and giving your all.
  • Creativity
    The audience here is very demanding. Each time, you need to invent something new to be invited again.
  • Flexibility
    Sometimes everything goes off-plan from the first seconds. There can be so much planned, made, prepared, but in the moment, you need to start from scratch on improvisation.

13. Do you have any important rituals that help you cope with heavy workload or stress? What are they?

I rarely feel stress before going on stage now. Sometimes I miss that fear in my knees. I used to warm up my voice before starting, but now there’s so much work that it just doesn’t have time to cool down.

14. Is there any event you would never agree to host and why?

A client that conducts an aggressive policy against my country.

15. Do you test your jokes on your wife?

Yes)))))))) I think that will be the reason for our divorce.

16. Do you plan to change your field of activity in the future? If so, what would you like to do the most?

My field of activity will transform. Even now, we are closing creative tasks for a couple of clients under conferences, media. Just not publicizing it because we want to remain boutique rather than mass market. I hardly plan to ever get into traffic because it’s a very monotonous job for my character.

17. Finally, tell us, when did you first hear about Geek and what?

My colleague was compiling a list of media that write about affiliate marketing. I saw you there. I was happy about a quality Ukrainian product.

We hope you enjoyed this interview as much as we did. Ivan Zayets is a versatile, active, and creative host who, over years of cooperation with the affiliate sphere, has gained considerable experience and significantly expanded his circle of acquaintances.

His example proves that being a host means being responsible for the mood of the event. It’s important to understand affiliate marketing to easily establish contact with the audience and prepare successful jokes. Ivan manages this 100%.

We were delighted to learn a bit more about the behind-the-scenes of affiliate gatherings and to get to know a talented creator closer.

If you found it interesting, follow Ivan Zayets
Instagram – instagram.com/za1nka
YouTube – youtube.com/@kyivpasazhyrsky
Telegram channel – t.me/ne_arb

And don’t forget about us too.

Our Telegram community and our Instagram 👈

We especially ask you to pay attention to our new branch in Telegram, where you can find current collections to support our army and contribute to our victory.

With love for cool people, your Geek!

Categorized in: