I’m just now getting around to writing my wrap-up from Affiliate Summit West because so many exciting things happened there and shortly after! I went into the conference with the goal of treating it like it was my first time, and in many ways I achieved that. I attended sessions, made new friends, and even checked out the entire Exhibit Hall and Meet Market.
Although there were a lot of highlights for me, here are 8 things that I was glad that I didn’t miss but some of you might have.
Affiliate Karaoke: Although it was not an official even this time (anyone want to be a sponsor in New York??), Nathan Smith found us an amazing little dive bar to get cheap drinks, dance, and sing karaoke. We had a fun group of bloggers, merchants, and OPMs. Some of us knew we were looking for it in advance and others just saw us talking about it on Twitter. It pays to follow conference hashtags on Twitter if you are looking for something fun to do!
My session with Eric and Todd: I was lucky enough to give a presentation with Eric Nagel and Todd Farmer about our site WineClubGroup.com. We didn’t hold anything back. We showed our analytics, our revenue, how we find merchants, and everything that has made the site successful. I’m disappointed that more bloggers didn’t show up because we really did share a lot of our tips and tricks. You can still download our Resource Guide if you missed it.
Meeting Kozzi in the Meet Market: I promised myself that I was going to make a real effort to visit all of the Exhibits this time, and I did. Finding friends and current partners is nice, but finding NEW partners is a real bonus. If you didn’t make it to the back of the Meet Market to talk to Kozzi, you missed out. They are a stock photo provider with AMAZING deals for both people buying stock photos and affiliates who want to promote the program. If you have any interest in stock photos at all, you should check out the Kozzi Affiliate program.
Affiliate Legal Issues Session: As an affiliate and a lawyer, this session was totally up my alley. But even if you are not a lawyer, you need to understand things like nexus legislation and FTC disclosure requirements. Sam Engel, Gary Kibel, Carolyn Kmet, and Gerri-Lynn Becker did a great job of giving information about various legal issues that can threaten your business as an affiliate or a merchant. If you are not paying attention to these, you may find yourself on the wrong side of a lawsuit.
Newcomer Program: The Affiliate Summit Newcomer Program “helps connect first time attendees with Affiliate Summit veterans.” I was paired up with the amazing Mindy Marzec of Budget Fairy Tale. Not only did I make a new friend, but it was nice to be a part of something that would help someone else experience Affiliate Summit fully. I used to do it all the time but had stopped because I didn’t think I had time anymore. Remembering back to my first time at Affiliate Summit, I realized that it doesn’t take much to help put someone at ease. Whether you are a veteran or a newcomer, you should be taking advantage of this program if possible. (and thanks to Mindy for some of the photos above!)
PMA CEO & Founder Event: The Performance Marketing Association put on a terrific cocktail party where members and others interested in joining could chat about industry issues and the part that the PMA is playing. It was great seeing so much support for the organization and getting a chance to share the wonderful things that the organization has done this year. If you are reading this and are not a member, you need to find out how to become one.
ASW Speaker Event: Being a speaker has its perks, besides the free pass. This year we were invited to a networking event on the High Roller, which is like a great big enclosed Ferris Wheel. I was incredibly nervous about getting on it and my friends did their best to make me think we were going to fall to our deaths (or at least into the safety net below it). Despite that, it was a nice opportunity to chat with other speakers before the conference started and take in AMAZING views of Las Vegas. Thanks to Shawn and Missy for treating their speakers!
Pinnacle Awards: I was not really looking forward to the Pinnacle Awards because I had become a perennial loser and it is kind of embarrassing to sit there with my friends and lose every year. But it IS an honor to be a finalist even if you don’t win. I was absolutely floored when I found out that I won Affiliate of the Year! It was a moment that I will never forget. And I was incredibly excited for fellow winners Joe Sousa, Brian Littleton, FMTC, and Acceleration Partners.
There’s a lot of other stuff that happened that was important to me but wouldn’t be important to you (including quality time with some of the people that I treasure most in this world–you know who you are!). I’ll spare you the personal details.
Did you attend any of these events? Was there something you did that *I* missed that I need to do next time?