In the 2011 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report, where over fourteen-hundred affiliates were surveyed, we asked, “How do you most often find out about an affiliate program and then join?”, and 6% responded with “Conferences.”
Affiliate marketing conferences are a good place to discover new affiliate programs, as well as reinforcing your existing affiliate relationships.
The key difference at affiliate marketing conferences over the many other places where you can find new affiliate programs is that you get face time with the affiliate managers.
I've found it's a whole lot more effective to make my case for increased commission when joining a new affiliate program in person over email, phone, IM, etc.
The conference networking takes your relationship with a brand, advertiser, affiliate manager, etc. to a higher level.