Aug.25

Business Cards that Get Noticed

If you’ve met me at Affiliate Summit in either Vegas or NY City this year, you’ve probably gotten one of my nice business cards. In Vegas I made custom playing cards by Bicycle and for ASE in NY, I made up credit cards (I was going to do metro cards, but they didn’t provide much space for creativity). The credit cards were printed by AllTimePrint.com, complete with rounded corners, embossed numbers, magnetic strip with encoded data, and a signature panel.

ASE09 Card - Front ASE09 Card - Back

I was rather bummed when I saw a credit card design in Shoemoney’s business card contest, especially since I had ordered mine before that post… and then the credit card design was chosen as the winner! Well I saw Jeremy at Affiliate Summit & gave him one of my cards, and asked for one of his. While he didn’t have any on him, he said they were simply printed on paper. I expected so much more from him!

I had some data encoded on the magnetic strip, and in the fine print on the back of the card, stated that if someone finds out what it is, they’ll win a prize (well, I said “maybe” because I don’t want to give away 100 prizes). So far, nobody’s stepped up to claim that prize. Apparently the cards do NOT work in credit card terminals, but I verified the cards do have data on them, as I bought a USB reader off eBay to test a few of them. However, you don’t need a card reader: there’s a hint on the back of the card. πŸ˜‰

ASW09 Card - FrontIf you’re going to make up fancy cards, only get about 100 of them, and keep some traditional cards on you for fish-bowl drops and to exchange with people you don’t need to impress.

I feel like I have to out-do myself for Vegas in January. I’m not going to copy Peter Shankman‘s poker chip idea (especially after the TSA gave him a hard time about bringing on so many poker chips in his carry-on baggage!). I could always go back to playing cards.

Conferences

Aug.13

Affiliate Summit East 2009 Recap

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 β€œwe”, 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 β€œdinner” and β€œboat” 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 πŸ˜€

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!

Conferences

Jul.14

Going to Affiliate Summit in NY

Affiliate Summit East in NY is coming up in a few weeks, and there’s a few things you need to know:

Affiliate Summit

  • Bring business cards! If you have nice cards, print cheap ones, too, for the network give-aways (fish bowls). Save the nice ones for networking
  • Register early. There’s an early registration on Saturday this year (2nd Floor Promenade, 4-8pm), and based on the lines in previous years, I recommend if you’re in the area, take care of this.
  • Plan your parties early – know what’s going on, when, and where. Same with the agenda… don’t be sitting in one session, wondering what you’re going to next. If a session sucks, get up & leave. Go to another, or go back to the exhibit hall.
  • Hand sanitizer (avoid getting sick!), water, breath mints / spray, etc.
  • I’ve never met anyone that doesn’t want to talk at Affiliate Summit. It doesn’t matter if it’s a merchant, network, or affiliate – start a conversation. The more you start, the easier it gets.
  • If you haven’t booked your hotel yet, try to stay at the Hilton. If you have an extra 20 minutes, you can run up to your room & drop off all the crap you pick up from the vendors.

New York

  • Get confused w/ NY taxis like me? Here’s the scoop:

    The trick is in the lights atop the cab. When just the center is lit, highlighting the medallion number, the cab is available. When the medallion number, as well as the side lamps are lit, the cab is off-duty. When no lights are lit, the cab already has a fare they are bringing to a destination.

  • If you’re taking the subway (Map), get a MetroCard. I always buy a Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard when I’m in NY ($20 is good – with 15% bonus, you get 10 trips), and sell the unused portion on eBay when I get home.
  • JFK – If you’re loaded with money and in a rush, or afraid of trains, pay the $45 flat-fare and get a taxi from JFK to Manhatten. Otherwise, take the AirTrain to Jamaica Center, then transfer to the “E” Train and take it to 7th Ave station. Then walk to the Hilton. Directions
  • Central Park is 5 blocks from the Hilton – make it there. The Ed Sullivan Theatre isn’t too far, either. Just take a walk around in the morning – you can sleep on the plane home.
  • If you’re looking for a dodgy Rolex, look for a man carrying a suitcase in Battery Park. A simple head nod will get his attention. They go for around $50. While you’re there, take a photo of Lady Liberty.

If you’re going to be at ASE in NY, leave me a comment and let’s get together!

Conferences