Every year Share-a-Sale hosts ThinkTank, an event that brings merchants and affiliate marketers together. ThinkTank 2012 is in Austin, TX, following up the first ever sold-out Affiliate Summit Central Conference.

Last night, Eric Souza won a free trip to Hawaii, during the OPM's and appetizers session. We had to collect stamps at the tables in the room and to get our chance at winning the trip and I thought I had a great shot as this was the first time that I participated in a task like this. Oh well, congrats to Eric and his wife who will be having a great time.

Today, we pounded out sessions on testing our content and then visited the new functions in the Share-a-Sale control panel. Every year, Share-a-Sale introduces tools to make affiliate marketing easier for both publishers and advertisers and this year didn't disappoint.

After the sessions we had a wonderful barbecue on the lawn while we conversed with colleagues and worked on new relationships. A short time later it's off to hit the water with skiing, tubing, riding wave runners or simply relaxing inside the yacht. We all are having a great time.

Tonight, we're setĀ for a feast and then off to the Affiliate Summit sponsored dance with a live band. These people know how to put on an event, making sure everyone has a great time.

Tomorrow, we'll be doing one-on-one meetings, I neglected to add that we did the same today. The meetings are great for building relationships for both affiliate marketers and program managers. This proves how important face-to-face relationships are even in the online marketing world.

We'll close the sessions tomorrow when we have a meeting with Share-a-Sale founder and CEO, Brian Littleton. He spends an incredible amount of time listening to the people that he works with in the industry and is likely the most solid and consistent icons in the Affiliate Marketing world.

Let's face it, many competing companies are failing but Share-a-Sale is clearly on solid ground and it's not wonder why. If you are around the team for even just a little while, you know you're dealing with a professional, solid organization.

Hat's off to them and thanks for a superb event.