Prep for CJU23 with this Essential Guide

Jul 28, 2023
Written by Jodi Ford

We’re counting down the days until our clients join us again in sunny Santa Barbara for CJU23! Whether you’re new to CJU, still considering attending, or need a refresher, this handy guide will break down all of the essential CJU23 details and provide helpful tips to prepare.


What is CJU?

CJU is our annual client conference that brings together approximately 800 clients and 250 CJ staff for a multi-day event filled with networking, compelling content, learning opportunities, and more.

Hosted in the beautiful beachside town of Santa Barbara, California—where CJ first started—CJU is widely regarded as the top event in the affiliate industry. Our clients and teams love the opportunity to network with new and existing partners, learn best practices, and develop forward-thinking strategies for Q4 and beyond. For all of us at CJ, CJU gives us the chance to deepen relationships with our clients through fruitful meetings and fun experiences.

This year, our event theme is Courage to Create. Tap into the magic of connection, collaboration, and energy that comes from 1,000+ marketers coming together to create new partnerships, innovative ideas, and fresh possibilities.


CJU23 Event Details & Resources

CJU is an action-packed event—here’s a quick breakdown of all of the event details you may be wondering about:

Where and when is CJU23? CJU23 will be held September 11 – 14, 2023 at the Hilton Beachfront Resort, in Santa Barbara, California.

Where should I stay for CJU23? Most clients prefer to stay at the host hotel, but rooms sell out fast! However, you can add yourself to the Hilton waitlist and check out our curated list of recommended hotels.

What type of events should I expect at CJU23? We like to think that CJU has the perfect balance of work and play. There’s plenty of time set aside for structured meetings, but also tons of fun networking events that allow you to meet and mingle with attendees of all backgrounds. If you’re looking to get inspired or expand your affiliate toolkit, we have tons of educational mainstage sessions and small-group trainings in the Discovery Lab. Check out the CJU23 agenda to see the full list of everything that CJU23 has in store!

If you’re unable to attend CJU23, most mainstage sessions will be recorded and available to stream after the event.

Is there a CJU23 event app? What do CJU23 attendees use to navigate the event? Once you’ve successfully registered for CJU23, you’ll get an invite to join CJ Universe (available via desktop and mobile app). CJ Universe is a one-stop shop to plan and keep track of your schedule, connect with attendees, access the interactive venue map, stay up to date on sessions and events, get restaurant recommendations and shuttle info, and more!

What’s CJU like? The energy of CJU can be hard to convey in words alone! If this is your first time attending CJU, or if it has been a minute since you attended CJU in person, the best way to get a feel for the CJU vibes is to watch video footage from an actual event!



How to Prepare for Meetings at CJU

Once your registration is complete, it’s time to prepare your schedule for networking, sessions, and partner meetings. There are so many ways to fill your day, so here are a few best practices to consider:

Meeting Type and Length Recommendations

Not all meetings require the same things! CJU meetings usually fall into one of these categories:

The Meet and Greet: A short meeting to say hi 🤗, put faces to names, or catch up with an existing partner. Since these meetings are more informal, they can be held in communal spaces that don’t require a space reservation like the Hilton lobby, patio, hotel bar, or even during breakfast or lunch. Just make sure to be extra specific about time and place or provide a distinguishing feature so your partner can find you easily! (Hotel lobby, in front of the fig plant, red shirt).

The Strategic Deep Dive: A longer meeting to discuss goals, KPIs, business challenges, media negotiation, new opportunities, or products. Since there can be a lot to cover in these meetings, we recommend booking no less than 30 minutes. Reserve a table in the Zone in the CJ Universe or meet at a partner’s Dedicated Meeting Space.


Making the Most of a 30-Minute Meeting

Stressed about time? Don’t be! Here’s a suggested agenda to make your 30-minute meeting efficient and effective at CJU:

Introductions (5 minutes) - Introduce yourself and your role, provide a company overview, or catch up with existing partners.

Come prepared with goals to discuss (15 minutes) – Have a new partnership discussion, talk about ways to optimize an existing partnership, or chat through Q4 planning details.

Outline next steps (5 minutes) – Use the last portion of the meeting to wrap things up and outline the next steps such as providing outstanding information or setting up a call.

Head to your next meeting or session (5 minutes) – Make sure to give everyone a little bit of time to pack up and get to their next destination on time!


What to Bring to a CJU Partner Meeting

Once you’ve booked meetings with partners, it’s important to prepare notes to make your conversations as effective and impactful as possible. Consider including the following:

For Potential Partners:

  • Partnership status (no relationship, pending offer/application)
  • Business overview
  • Requirements to partner
  • Competitive landscape analysis
  • Upcoming opportunities

For Existing Partners:

  • Partnership status (active)
  • Recent performance and current program term
  • Q4 planning
  • Planning for the upcoming year
  • Optimization challenges/wins/top growth categories
  • Upcoming expansion/tech updates/business changes
  • Media kit updates/timing and recommended placements to test (if applicable)


What to Pack for CJU

We can’t wait to see you, so grab your suitcase and get ready to network, learn, and make memories with the best of the best in the performance marketing industry!

What’s the weather like at CJU? How should I dress? September in Santa Barbara is typically sunny with an average of 75 degrees during the daytime and 65 degrees at night. Business casual dress during the day, dress-to-impress for the Wednesday night events (Cocktail Hour & ½, Awards Dinner, and Afterparty), and a sweater or light jacket for the evenings and hotel meeting rooms.

Here are a few things we suggest packing for CJU:

  • Laptop or tablet and charger
  • Notebook and pens
  • Business cards
  • One sheets or printouts for meetings (business overview, media kit, performance results, etc.)
  • Mints or gum
  • Hand sanitizer (stations will be available throughout the venue, but it’s always handy to have your own!)
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Sandals or flip-flops for the Beach Party
  • Excitement, energy, big ideas, and a smile 😉
  • Don’t forget to set your OOO message on your email!

Still have questions? Check out the CJU FAQ!

If this is your first CJU, make sure to add the session “How to Navigate Your First CJU” to your agenda!


CJU23 is just around the corner, and we hope these tips are helpful as you prep for the event. Safe travels!


Topics: Events,
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