This was by far the biggest Affiliate Summit yet. There were mostly new faces there, I didn’t make it in the exhibit hall but I was told it was overrun by CPA Networks, the Networking events were amazing but what I enjoyed most was the people.
This Summit, instead of killing myself over meetings, being everywhere all the time, I decided to focus on talking to people and not worrying about when my next weekend was. I have to say, I got more out of this Summit than any other one because I got a lot of people interested in my programs that have established sites and niched sites, as well as motivated some newbies to join my new programs.
I got to talk to new Merchants, do live adware demos with others and more importantly I finally got to sit down and talk with people I have known for years, but never really actually got to talk to on a one on one basis for an extended time. This really made the difference for me in my Affiliate Summit experience.
Anyways, lets start with the parties and events and I’ll ramble all of the rest of my stuff in between.
The first event I went to was on Saturday night. It was the ABestWeb.com senior members invite only party. Not only was it great to see a ton of great Marketers that I love seeing and talking to, but the members I absolutely do not like because of differences of opinions in business and ethics never actually showed up. The entire room was filled with friends and even some people most of us had never met before.
The food was great and the drinks were almost a good as the Networking and towards the end of the event, Andy Rodriguez and Michael Coley announced the door prizes and I couldn’t be happier when Judi Moore (One of my very favorite people in the industry and one of the smartest) one one of my Client’s (Executive Gift Shoppe on SAS and Bridaluxe) prizes, a zebra print rhinestone women’s business card holder and Jake won another one. Then we raffeled off two more of the fun prizes and everyone headed out to the Carolyn Tang Bachelorette Party at Mc. Faddens in the Rio.
This party was awesome. Everyone danced, did shots, played beer pong and more importantly had a great Bachelorette Party for one of the best people in this industry Carolyn Tang. Something else that was fun was that a couple people from another one of my Client’s which is also now launched, live and exclusive to Share a Sale, Thane.com and Thane.ca. Unfortunately the night came to an end when we all went over to the Palms Hotel and Casino for the Buy.at Party.
The Palms used to be a great hotel, but unfortunately the security there was absolutely horrible. Not only would they not tell us where the line was to get up to the club, but we were all compd, VIPd, guest listed and were told by Management to skip the line and when we went up to check in and go to the clubs, they pretty much told us to get lost, would not check our IDs, business cards, etc… to see we were on the list so we all missed the Buy.at party. This is 100% not a reflection on Buy.at, this is a reflection on the Palms and their lack of grace, quality and that they have gone down hill 100%. I highly encourage everyone to avoid their hotel and clubs as there are much better ones in Vegas, with more reasonable prices and when I threw a small event last year, guess what they screwed a bunch of stuff up with it as well. Hotels can only last on image and trendiness for so long. Aria and others will take you over Palms because in reality, your hotel and casino are not all that and I will personally never go back unless I have to or there is a really special reason and occasion. You will always be last on my list, however, the grace and professionalism that Buy.at showed when they found out we got turned down (mainly Amy Ely, Kim and a couple others puts them way ahead of some of the other large Networks in my book) makes me want to shout to everyone to start promoting Ticketmaster on their Network. I met the reps from Ticketmaster and they are fantastic!
Anyways, since we couldn’t get into the Palms, we went back to the Rio and I had an amazing time with Rexanne, Judi, Danny and we also ran into the GTO Management Team and one of their wonderful Clients who put on Bowling for Boobies (a breast cancer fundraising event) and had a wonderful night out.
On Sunday, I was wiped out but showed up for my first meeting around 7am.
The day was great. I met with a bunch of Affiliates, caught up with some old friends and got my ticket at the Meet Market for the Share a Sale party. I also finally got access to the Blog Room since apparently I am now officially a blogger, thanks to all of you for reading this =0), and met some really great people for conversation like Heather, Murray, Jon Chow, Andrew Wee, Tricia Meyer and a bunch of others. I knew most of them before hand, but getting to finally talk and have fun was a whole new experience. Bloggers and the Blog World really is an amazing, bunch, but don’t ever cross them because if you mess with the bloggers like the VooDoo Lounge did, you mess with some seriously negative PR that is a B*tch to try and reverse. The one thing missing from the Blog Room was Rae Hoffman from http://www.sugarrae.com since she produced probably the only blog I go to when I have extra time to read something. Be careful though, she definitely speaks her mind and doesn’t always keep things PC.
That evening I went to dinner with some good friends and more importantly, went to the Share a Sale birthday party with those same friends and got to hang out with a ton more.
Share a Sale went above and beyond again this year and they are still in my opinion the very best Affiliate Network on earth. They are ethical, they are business minded and the best part, personable. The other thing I noticed at this Summit and really enjoyed was the comradery between Share a Sale and Buy.at. Both Networks did not pull the crap some of the other Networks do and let each others employees come to their events. Heck, SAS even let some of the crapo CPA networks in which speaks wonders, but then again, when you run a Network like SAS, you don’t have to worry since there really is no competition.
Anyways, after the SAS party, we all went to Bowling for Boobies hosted by GTO Management which was an excellent event that raised a ton of money for a great cause, breast cancer.
The next day felt like a nightmare. At least I thought it would. Surprisingly enough, I woke up feeling energetic and refreshed which is rare after you haven’t been to bed for two nights.
This day was the best. I met with a new Client the day before and on Monday they began the decision process and are now moving forward with a program launch scheduled for February 1st and exclusive on SAS as always. I went to my favorite buffet the Wynn Buffet, had a second dinner with one of my very favorite people in the world Melanie Seery from Affiliate Advocacy (The Affiliate Marketing Industry Association) and then went to Twitter Tweetup Trivia hosted by the famous and fabulous Lisa Picarelli.
I didn’t think there was a way to beat out a Share a Sale party at a Conference or event, and although this wasn’t flashy or over the top, It was just as wonderful, but in a different way. It started with me and Melanie, then we ran into Beth, Lisa and Cory. Then a few more people came. Then Beachy showed up with even more people and soon enough, the event was filled up with the real old skool and long time Affilates, Managers and OPMs and not the CPA Networks, the drunks and some of the obnoxious Media Companies.
We all split into 4 teams and although our team almost won a ton of times, Missy and Shawn really battled it out for a free pass and since neither of their teams won, Missy gave everyone who played and stayed until the end a free Gold Pass to Affiliate Summit East 2010 in NYC. Thanks Missy and Shawn, this is awesome!
Anyways, even though this event was seriously fun, the thing I enjoyed most was getting to talk to some people I have known for years, but never really sat down with and learned about them. The main person was Michael Coley who is now the admin for ABestWeb.com and a top Coupon Affiliate.
I have known Michael for maybe 3 or 4 years in person, but never really actually got to talk to him and have a real conversation. Not only is he way to smart for his own and our own good, but he is an amazing person too. I have also met his wife and the two of them are incredible! Anyways, getting to talk to people like Michael Coley and meeting new people like Garret, catching up with old friends in an atmosphere where we could talk easily and hear each other made this one of the top events of Affiliate Summit West 2010.
After the Twitter Trivia Tweetup we all went to another event hosted by GTO Management, except this time it was the MakeBeer.net party back at Mc.Faddens. Although I am not normally a beer drinker (I actually asked if it came in Vodka, mostly a joke), MakeBeer.net is an awesome program again on Share a Sale and managed by a great company. The highlight of this party though wasn’t watching people use their heads on the punching machine, but getting to spend time with another person I have known but never really spoken to Trisha Lyn.
Anyways, the parties were amazing, I signed a new Client with a program launching on Feb. 1st and I got to catch up with a ton of people. I met new Affiliates who are going to push my programs, showed some of my current friends and Affiliate I have and currently work with my new offers so not only did I think it was a successful trip, but my Clients will also agree.
If you couldn’t make it to Affiliate Summit West 2010, you missed out, however there is always the East Show in NYC this Summer. Just click the banner to the right of this post and buy your ticket today so you don’t miss out on Affiliate Summit East NYC 2010.