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Affiliate Summit West 2011 is in the history books (read through my session recaps). This was the first Summit in which I spoke (Datafeeds panel and Inside the Minds of Affiliates) and while I didn’t think it was a big deal, I was relieved when the second panel was finished.
SaturdayI flew into Vegas fairly early, and thankfully Treasure Island had my room ready. After settling in a bit, I met up with Deb & Vinny from Team Loxly for a meal (breakfast for some of us, lunch for myself) and to talk about Merchant ABCs. Mike Buechele, my roommate once again, joined us and then we settled in while others arrived for the show.
After early registration (which, if you go to Affiliate Summit, you MUST do early registration to save yourself some headaches) I went up to Jason Rubacky‘s room and met some affiliates that I’ve only talked to online, then made dinner plans. Long story short, I ended up getting pizza with Kim Rowly and Greg Hoffman. We then headed over to the Buy.at Mixology party, where I met my
newcomer Shaina and other long-time industry friends.
SundaySunday morning started with breakfast at Society Cafe (thanks, CAMA!) then mass at the Guardian Angel Cathedral. It was nice being close enough to walk to Mass. The mural inside looked like something out of a comic book, but the service was nice.
Upon returning to Affiliate Summit, I attended the Mastermind session briefly, then dropped in on Affiliate Improv! After the snack break, I hit up James Martell’s Making Money With Affiliate Programs for Beginners, then immediately afterward, Local Lead Generation. After attending all these sessions, I was on a panel with Scott Jangro and Joe Sousa, Using Datafeeds to Monetize Sites. Datafeeds is something I can talk about for hours, but the conversation really depends on the level of the audience. Having to cover everything from the basics to the advanced was a challenge. A few times I thought we were losing the audience, so I dropped some tips that even helped the panelists. I hope that earned me some positive reviews in the feedback 🙂
The Newcomer Meet-up was on the agenda next, but since I had already met my newcomer, we skipped that and I went to Ian Fernando‘s dinner, sponsored by Executive Fortunes. I had the chance to sit next to Ad Hustler, and we talked about everything from the snow in NY, to cruises, to affiliate marketing. I was also able to get answers to all the questions I had after his Local Lead Gen session.From Switch we walked to the ShareASale party at Tryst. It was their 10th anniversary, and had the party to match! The timezone change was finally hitting me, and I was losing my voice (and had to speak again the next day) so I called it a night.
Monday morning I was up about 4:30 or so, and found Jason was also awake, so I grabbed some coffee and had a little brainstorming session with him. We mostly talked about the Church of SEO, then went to breakfast with Amanda Orson.
After breakfast, my second panel was in session, Inside the Minds of Affiliates. For Kim, Tricia and myself, it felt like a therapy session, letting merchants in the room know what we like, and what drives us nuts! Hopefully the merchants got something out of it – I had a few come up to me at lunch & compliment me on the session.
Monday afternoon was the SEO Site Review, then a network launch with a Q&A with Wil Reynolds. I felt sorry for the network, as there was only 5 or 6 of us there, but it was a great chance to talk to Wil. As Tricia Meyer and I were leaving to meet up with some others for dinner, we thought to ask Wil if he wanted to join us; once he said yes, we blew off the others! We got to really pick Wil’s brain, and Wil was able to get some affiliate advise for one of his sites.
After dinner, we went to Trivia and the team I was on ended up winning (with no thanks to me)!
Once again, I was up before the sun on Tuesday, grabbed some coffee, and headed up to Jason’s room. I’ve decided I’m going to hold
East Coast Brainstorming Sessions at ASW next year, for all of us from the East Coast who haven’t adjusted to the time change.
After coffee & breakfast, I headed over to the Pinnacle Awards and Keynote. I was up for Best Blogger, and somehow ended up winning! I guess people really do read what I write 🙂 Too bad John Chow’s audience can’t read past the headline, and were congratulating him on winning.
I enjoyed Tuesday’s keynote better than Monday’s, and the speaker, Brian Solis, worked and read the audience well. Afterward I went to Improving the Affiliate / Affiliate Manager Relationship with Logan, Joe, Jason, Jamie Birch and moderated by Todd Farmer.
By this time, I was done! The conference tired me out, so I spent some time in the Blogger’s Lounge where I was interviewed by Charles Bohannan of Wordful. I ended up in Jason’s room, again, and did a little whiteboarding with Daniel Feinberg.After the show, I went to dinner at Botero with the #GetSome crew, then Chrome Gypsy Tattoo for my first tattoo. I went in with one thing in mind, but they explained to me why that wouldn’t work and came up with an alternate idea. It turned out great, and my wife loves it (which is the important thing!).
Once you go to an Affiliate Summit, you’ll never want to miss one. Whether you’re going for the sessions, or meeting new people, or strengthening existing bonds, it’s the one affiliate-industry conference you can’t miss. Some people say they can’t afford to go to Affiliate Summit. However, they way I look at it, you can’t afford to not go. The networking and information learned in these 3-4 days would take months otherwise.
Thanks to Shawn & Missy for another great Summit! It’s always a great show to attend, and I can’t recommend it enough to those in the industry.