Affiliate Summit East is finally over and we are all getting our voices back, playing catch up and trying to remember what had happened during the last 4 or 5 days. At first I felt a little out of place with the large amount of people at the show, but after I settled in and started seeing faces that I recognized I remembered why I love Affiliate Summit.
Although a large portion of the show was CPA Networks and I walked in fairly aggravated about the adware companies who were allowed to have booths there, what I discovered was that there was a secondary group of newbies who wanted nothing to do with the adware theft in the industry and wanted to do things legit. I also ran into many established Webmasters who wanted to learn how to become Affiliates and they even started to pick up on the adware companies at Affiliate Summit and realized that theft was not for them. I honestly started to think that legit and clean Affiliate Marketing was going to die with some of the older generation of Affiliates moving out of the space, but to see a group of the new Affiliates coming in with the same clean and intelligent Marketing methods, it really recharged me. So with that said and with me being back to reality, here is my Affiliate Summit review.
On Saturday night I got to Summit and instantly ran into some people at the Hilton Lobby. We had a couple of drinks and then everyone went to change into their black and white clothing for the Buy.at party. (This is where I felt a little odd with the new faces, but then again it wasn’t just conference people staying at the Hilton). When everyone started to regroup I met with Kim Salvino from the Buy.at team and even though she was in heels she walked with myself, Andrew and Dale from Things from another world (On Share a Sale), Jeanine and Brad Crooks and a group of others to the ABestWeb.com (ABW) party.
When we got to the ABW party we had a great time. Michael Coley and iNet had put on a great networking and meetup event with gorgeous filet steaks on crostadas, bbq shrimp and sausage skewers, sliders and a great selection of cocktails and wines. It was a wonderful event that everyone enjoyed and I’m happy that I was able to attend. However, all great things have to end at some point and even though I was sad about leaving the ABW party at Affiliate Summit East, we had to move onto the Black and White Buy.at party sponsored by Ghirardelli Chocolates.
The Buy.at party was great this time around because not only did everyone get it, when you did get in you were handed a delicious chocolate martini and there was a lady holding a tray of a ton of different types of chocolates. The party started going and there were pool tables and great people everywhere. I had a few drinks, caught up with a few friends and then a couple of people who worked for a Client of mine showed up to show me that they got engaged. The night continued to go better and better and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. The next day was the Meet Market and check in.
The Meet Market is probably one of the most productive events of the show. People crowd into it and make their way through while they are still charged up and fresh. This is where you can get most of your business done in a short and effective time frame. I do need to recommend you bring tea, throat lozenges and hand sanitizer if you have a meet market table as there is a very good chance you will lose your voice. The meet market was great this year with the exception of the guy that brought two very unprofessional and rude girls in bikinis. It was ridiculous when they blocked the entire hallway to take pictures and made rude comments to people if they tried to walk through or behind them to see the Merchants and Vendors who were paying to be there because they didn’t want a picture. To be honest, they should have been put in their booth that their Client paid for and stayed there so people could get through hallways and not have to be insulted while they walked through the show to actually get some business done. After the Meet Market was over it was time to catch up with a bunch of friends and also get ready for the Share a Sale Under the Stars Party.
The Share a Sale under the stars party was hosted at the Empire Hotel again this year and was perfect. Share a Sale provided top shelf liquor, great snack foods and fun music. There were people from everywhere and all types of Marketing and it was an overall good time. The rain couldn’t even stop the fun of the Share a Sale under the stars party and people went out on the balconies in the rain and continued to smile, have fun and party and network. After the Share a Sale party was over it was time for the sessions and the show to begin.
Even though this Summit was much larger than others, it turned out to be one of the best for talking to new Affiliates, established webmasters and there were lots of Merchants looking for help with their programs and their websites. I was planning on recruiting new Affiliates the entire time and not focusing on Business Development but I ended up meeting a great group of sites that needed help with everything from Adware Removal to SEO and even Blogging. Speaking of blogging I did run into a very influential and knowledgeable person at the Buy.at party.
He was listening to me, Melanie Seery from Affiliate Advocacy and Patrick from ABW talk when he came up with an amazing idea. He told me that I should start a blog. Not only would I be great at it but it is something I could probably turn into a business. It doesn’t have to be about business or anything in particular but it would be best if I would focus on a topic and keep going from there. Well I was amazed at this idea and if I hadn’t already been doing it for years and years then I would have thanked him and bought him a free drink from the bar. It turned out he ended up being a really great person and we exchanged cards. He also turned out to have a great sense of humor about my sarcasm and I showed him a couple of my blogs. We’ll definitely be keeping in touch.
A lot of the sessions were good and there were ones I wanted to go to like Rae Hoffman’s site review clinic or Jim Kukral’s Keynote, but unfortunately I ended up having to go to meetings instead. My session went alright and I think the people who attended benefited. There was a line up after I finished so I am assuming they liked it.
Affiliate Summit was an excellent networking event and I think it ended up being a great event since there were newbie Affiliates, established ones and although numerous adware thieves and adware companies were allowed to exhibit at the show, if you could sort out the bad you probably got a lot of good and productive things done at the show. Affiliate Summit East was great and I am definitely looking forward to Affiliate Summit West 2011 in Las Vegas. Thank you Shawn and Missy, my new favorite Karaoke Buddy Angel from Custom Tailored Marketing, Andy Rodriguez from ARC, Kristen Kinsey from Mad Hatter Consulting, Mike Nunez for my new slippers, Lisa Riolo from Impact Radius, Pat Grady from RhinoFish, Robert Glazer and Pauline from Acceleration Partners and everyone else who made Affiliate Summit East one of the best shows.