Wow… it’s been a crazy couple of days, but I’m back home and slowly getting back to work. The past few days I’ve been in New York City, attending Affiliate Summit East.
I flew in Saturday afternoon, which wasn’t all that bad. An hour long flight, followed by 2 hours of walking through JFK, taking the AirTran to the E train, onto the Hilton to checkin. I got to my room just long enough to unpack my clothes, get changed, pre-register (BRILLIANT! Took 2 minutes this time, versus 45 minutes in Vegas!) and head to the Hotel Empire for the Buy.at party. Thanks to Kim Salvino for quickly responding to my tweet, when I was looking for an invite. They announced some really cool features, exclusive to their network, and I look forward to trying them out. After buy.at, we hung out at the hotel bar long enough to decide no BLT in the world is worth $17, and retired fairly early. Besides, we had to be up early Sunday for the CAMA Gospel Brunch!
So Sunday morning we (and by “we”, I mean Mike Buechele, my roommate, and I) take the train to the Cotton Club in Harlem for the CAMA Gospel Brunch. This is the third Gospel Brunch I’ve been to, and I think this one had the best entertainment, but the food was pretty bland. I have some video of the entertainment, but it doesn’t do justice. The CAMA brunch is a great way to get started on Sunday, and even if you’re not Christian, you’re invited to come. I promise you won’t be scarified.
After the brunch, I (with my Gold pass) attended the Get Noticed Fast, Advertising Tax, and Offline Affiliate Marketing sessions. Since I could only attend sessions on Sunday, and don’t really get much from the Meet Market (too crowded – if I see someone I want to talk to, I just hand them my card & tell them to call me later), I stayed in the same room and just chatted with people in-between sessions.
Sunday night I was fortunate enough to have won a ticket to the Market Leverage Yacht party. They did their best, but the limo company really screwed up. After waiting around for an hour and a half, then being taken to the wrong pier, then getting on the boat and waiting another half hour for the chef, we were on our way. I need my readers to do me a favor, and if I ever mention “dinner” and “boat” in the same sentence again, remind me how I felt on this venture. While I wasn’t hanging overboard, I was a little woozy. The Ginger Ale helped a lot. However, since we got a late start, I missed the Share A Sale party (AGAIN! 3rd year in a row now!) and just went back to my room.
Monday morning I headed out into the big city to find a Tim Horton’s with no luck. I headed back to the Hilton for the keynote, then hit the Exhibit Hall. This is much more manageable than the meet market. I had lunch with a merchant I work with, and got a lot of useful information from him. This is the power of coming to Affiliate Summit. You don’t get this information over the phone or email.
My dinner plans changed last-minute, and I went to Victor’s Cafe as a guest of Andy Rodriguez Consulting. The food there was amazing, and I had a good time chatting with Jennifer, Stephanie and Emilio (they helped me identify the food, too – didn’t matter, though – I eat it all).
After dinner, I headed back to the Hilton for karaoke. As you would expect, most people were pretty bad, but Lance (and I apologize, but I have no idea what company he’s with or what his last name is) was amazing, singing Louis Prima’s Just A Gigolo.
Tuesday morning I was up bright & early to run with Peter Shankman, the keynote speaker that day. I thought it’d just be the two of us (after all, who else wants to run at 5:30 in the morning?!) but there were 5 of us total. On my way down from the room, I passed @andrewlpayne and @cashtactics on their way up to their rooms – I invited them to join us, but they politely declined. Anyway, the run through Central Park was nice. Afterwards I did a little work, but since my roommate got in an hour before I woke up, I left the room so he could sleep and found a Tim Horton’s! I was so happy 😀
After Peter Shankman’s keynote, I was kinda tired of the conference activity, so I took a walk to FAO Schwartz and bought the kids some toys (Morgan LOVES her (Not So) Scary Monster), dropped in Tiffany’s but didn’t want to buy the wrong thing, then started packing up. Tuesday night Jason Rubacky from Share A Sale invited me to the Yankees game, where we watched an amazing game between the Yankess & Blue Jays. While I really didn’t care who won, I’m glad the Yankees did, because that made 99.98% of the people around me happy, which helps.
After hanging out at the hotel bar for about an hour, I went back up to my room to clean & pack up to head home the next day. I took Mike to Tim Horton’s (I felt like a missionary… I showed him the good word, then sent him off into the world to spread the news!) then made my way to JFK for a horrible flight home. But when my family picked me up from the airport, I turned off my phone for a few hours & had a nice dinner w/ them.
While this post is long, I left out the details of meeting many great people… too many to name. I need to be on my game next time and blog daily. I took some photos, but not many.
Now I have a LOT of work to get done in the next 5 months, including some rebranding (inspired by the Get Noticed Fast panel). It was great seeing everyone again, and I’ll see you all in January!