Non-Conference Things You Should Know About Affiliate Summit

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While Lindsey at ShareASale covered “10 To-Do’s Before Affiliate Summit West,” and Shawn Collins wrote the book on “How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Conference,” I wanted to cover some of the more non-conventional conference tips.



You’re about to enter a sealed chamber with dozens of others (the airplane), then combine back-to-back-to-back days of hand-shaking, public restrooms and a shortened sleep schedule. Your immune system is going to need all the help it can get to fight off the dreaded “Conference Crud.”

Personally, 1 Emergen-C each day starting a week before the conference, then every day during the conference and finally for a week afterwards is enough for me. But Shannon takes it a step further,

I start taking Emergen-C, Elderberry Syrup, and Oil of Oregano a week before the conference and then continue through, and for about a week after. It has helped me beat conference crud two times now.

Remember to bring one with you to breakfast while at Affiliate Summit. They’re not bad in cranberry juice.

At the Hotel

After you get to the hotel and put your bags in your room (or check them at the front desk, if your room isn’t ready) the first thing you want to do is text your room number to yourself and your roommate or other trusted friend. Depending on how much you trust this person, it may not hurt to let them hold a spare key to your room.

Then, head to Walgreens

Trip to Walgreens

Walk out of Paris, turn left, past Planet Hollywood (PH) there’s the Miracle Mile Shops – looks like there’s a Walgreens right after them, on the corner

There, you will pick up:

Yellow Gatorade

Yellow Gatorade

The combination of dry air and over-21 drinks means you’re going to be dehydrated. When you get back to your room late at night (or early in the morning) and there’s a jackhammer working on your head while the room is spinning, drink 1/2 of one of these. Drink the other 1/2 when you wake up 2 hours later, then drink the other full one the next morning. Finally, laugh at everyone else who’s walking into breakfast holding their head and whispering. You’re welcome.

Downy Wrinkle Reducer

I used to retire back to my room early Saturday night to iron all my clothes, but Kim Rowley tells me to use Downy Wrinkle Reducer instead (we’re grown-ups now – putting your clothes on hangers & taking them into the shower doesn’t cut it anymore). I’m buying mine when I get there, although you can pick it up ahead of time & pack it (I’m afraid of it bursting open, and soaking my clothes).


When I come home from a show, the first thing my kids ask is, “What’d you bring me?” You can handle souvenirs three ways:

  1. Don’t buy them. They’re junk anyway.
  2. Buy something that’ll keep them entertained via ahead of time, and have it delivered to your kids the first day of the show (or sooner). One year, I bought Mario Cart for the Wii with an extra controller and 3 steering wheels – that kept them entertained. Entertained kids = happy wife; happy wife = happy life.
  3. Buy them in Vegas. If you go this route, check out Walgreens. They have all sorts of souvenirs, and are much cheaper than the airport. Also, if your kid (like my daughter) collects post cards, bring a stamp with you. It’s near impossible to find one AT the airport.

Do Not Disturb

Now that you’re back to your hotel room, chilling your Gatorade (yellow) and spraying the wrinkles out of your clothes, slap the Do Not Disturb hanger on your door. Why? Because I’m cheap.

See, with the hanger on your door, housekeeping will skip your room, then you don’t have to tip them daily. Wait, you don’t tip them when they clean your room? I thought I was cheap. Tip the housekeeping staff (how much?).

Use Sunlight

This tip may not work too well in Vegas (where even at night, it’s light out) but most hotels have 2 sets of curtains on the windows – a thin one that lets light in (but doesn’t let people across the way see you walking around buck-naked)  and a heavy one that blocks all light. When you go to sleep at night, keep the heavy one open, but the thin one closed. This way, when the sun comes up in the morning, it unleashes some chemical reaction in your head and makes it easier to wake up.

Again, as an East-coaster heading to Vegas, I’m lucky if I wake up after 3am. Stupid timezones.

So those are some of my tips, which I’ve picked up after numerous trips to Affiliate Summit and other conferences. What have you found, to make your trip easier, safer, cheaper, and more enjoyable?

  • Greg Hoffman
    Posted January 2, 2014 2:18 pm 0Likes

    No one ever told me I was supposed to tip the cleaning lady. No, really. I’m serious.

    • Shawn Collins
      Posted January 2, 2014 3:01 pm 0Likes

      Nobody told me – I got the hint from the many hotels over the years where they left an envelope with the cleaning lady’s name.

  • Joe Sousa
    Posted January 2, 2014 2:24 pm 0Likes

    A couple things:

    1. If you are married and have a family plan a day off either before or after the conference to spend with them. My wife totally understands how important these conferences are and has even joined me at a couple but while I am out having fun with friends, going to bed when I want, waking up when I want, eating some great food, etc. she will be at home with our 2 year old alone for 4 days. I won’t be working the Wednesday after Summit so I can spend it with her and my boy.

    2. Plan on not sleeping much. That is just the reality of these conferences and the reality of Vegas. Dinners run late, parties run late, the 2 AM trip to In-n-Out can’t be avoided… you will be up late and even if you are conservative will probably be running on 5-6 hours of sleep per night for a few days. Get your 5 hour energy, your coffee, etc. all ready to go because you will need it.

  • Nick Loper
    Posted January 2, 2014 2:32 pm 0Likes

    Gatorade is tasty, but def. high in sugar. These days I just do water for rehydration, but the most important add-on item is vitamin b. Seriously it’s the best hangover prevention ever (aside from not drinking). You can find it in pill form, in multi-vitamins, or in powder drink supplements like zipfizz. Even 5 hr energy is packed with vitamin b, but probably not the best if you do want to get a few hours of sleep.

    • Eric Nagel
      Posted January 3, 2014 5:40 pm 0Likes

      I regularly drink too much water and need something with sodium in it, which is why I grab the Gatorade. Believe me – this isn’t an everyday thing, only to combat a migraine or dehydration caused by alcohol.

  • Elizabeth Barnett
    Posted January 2, 2014 3:21 pm 0Likes

    AWESOME TIPS. Thanks for sharing this. These are the kinds of posts that are really, really helpful. I was in my local Walgreens yesterday and almost bought some stuff and then thought – no I just make a list and go to the Walgreens that is probably around the corner from the conference. Now I know for sure!

    Also, I agree about the gatorade – now that it has HFCS I try to avoid it – although you’ll probably catch me drinking a few Cokes. So it’s really good to know about the Vitamin B. I do plan to buy some bottled water at Walgreens even if it’s going to be supplied elsewhere because I don’t want to take any chances of being without it.

    And add hand sanitizer to the list from all the hand shaking.

    See you soon!

  • Missy Ward
    Posted January 2, 2014 3:33 pm 0Likes

    I’m thankful to my parents (who I swear… are the cheapest people on earth) for teaching me at an early age (as all 5 of us were piled into one room) that you’re supposed to tip the cleaning lady each day. I’m certain that if not for this wise advice, I would have had them narcing on me that I’ve taken the hotel beer out of the mini-fridge overnight in order to keep my Diet Cokes cold 🙂

  • Shannon Weidemann
    Posted January 2, 2014 3:41 pm 0Likes

    Getting water, gatorade, pop/soda, etc is so much cheaper at Walgreens than getting it at the hotel. Definitely worth the trip. I know that last year’s hotel had a kuerig type coffee maker in the room, not sure if Paris does or not. Might be worth bringing a few k-cups along though if you drink coffee.

  • Brian
    Posted January 2, 2014 4:07 pm 0Likes

    Great advice about the Emergen-C, wish you had posted this one year ago! I was there last year and came down with the flu upon my return home.

  • James Thompson
    Posted January 3, 2014 3:34 pm 0Likes

    Why yellow Gatorade? …and why do you have a CAPTCHA as well as human verification box?

    • Eric Nagel
      Posted January 3, 2014 5:35 pm 0Likes

      I don’t know – yellow works for me, and I’m not changing it.

      CAPTCHA & the other because I forgot to turn one off, and never noticed because I’m always logged in – thanks! 😀

  • Stephanie Robbins
    Posted January 3, 2014 5:31 pm 0Likes

    Vegas hotels do not have any coffee makers in their rooms. They want you to make the trip through the casino to buy one. Bring your own or get the ones that look like tea bags (survival only no taste)

  • hotdogman
    Posted January 3, 2014 5:33 pm 0Likes

    I was always a water at night, Coca Cola in the morning hangover cure guy. Works every time. Carry a small bottle of Purell around the conference. Use it frequently.

  • Jim Kukral
    Posted January 8, 2014 10:34 pm 0Likes

    I just call the front desk when I get there and tell them I don’t want anyone in my room. It’s not because I’m cheap. I’ll still tip when I leave, but I just don’t want them in my room where I leave my computer and stuff. Besides, how much are they really going to clean in a few days?

    I also get big bottles of water for the room, usually from the casino gift shop, but yeah, if a Walgreens is close like it is to Paris I’ll do that. Someone told me Sprite is a great hangover cure. My buddy who goes out a lot says he takes two advil, chugs a five-hour energy, and drinks a beer quick, then lays back down for an hour and he said he’s fine. That’s kind of rough.

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