Affiliate Summit East 2010 Was AWESOME!

by Mike Chiasson on August 19, 2010 · 4 comments

Earlier this week I had the chance to go to Affiliate Summit East 2010 in New York City.  This was my very first Affiliate Summit and I was really pumped for the whole experience. It seems everyone is doing a recap so I figured I would jump on the bandwagon and share my experiences.

Day 1: Sunday August 15th

I left my house at 6 AM to head to New York. I was pretty worried I might not make it for Shawn Collins‘ new comer session but luckily I arrived at like 9:15 AM which gave me plenty of time to get situated for the session. As it turns out they had booked me at the wrong hotel and in my arguing with the hotel agents about it they upgraded my room, which was pretty cool since I already had a discounted rate. Upon entering the session area I quickly spotted Dave Cutter who I had previously chatted really briefly with on the ASE social network.

He was a really cool guy and we actually ended up spending a lot of time together. Meeting Dave was awesome because we both were 1st timers, we were pretty much equivalent in affiliate experience and knowledge, and both of us had similar personalities. I also met up with Andy Komach at the session and got to introduce myself to Shawn Collins and congratulate him on beating me in the ASE Nike+ challenge (only by like 30 miles!!).

After the first session Dave and I grabbed some street meat outside the Hilton and had some crazy guy start screaming at us. The guy literally stopped, gave us the finger, and proceeded to yell at us for like 30 seconds about how we are “FUCKING THIEVES, YOU FUCKING PRICKS, I HOPE YOU FUCKING DIE, YOU AND ALL YOUR RHETORIC BULL SHIT” haha. It was definitely a Welcome To New York kind of moment!

I was really hoping to catch a few of the sessions on that day but I got really distracted at the Meet Market and only made it to One session that day.

The Meet Market was cool but shitty. If I could do it over again I would just pass on the whole meet market thing and visit everyone during their exhibit hall hours. The market was way too crowded. It was cool though that it was a level playing field, so a lot of the smaller companies didn’t look shanty next to the people with the $40,000 booths.

Leaving the market I spotted Brian Evans from Daily Conversions and went to catch a session with him. The session to be honest was fairly empty but had a handful of catchy 1 liners for take aways. Brian and I hung for a while and made plans to hit up the NYC Affiliate Meetup w/ open bar at Touch (Sponsored by Affiliate.com). Around 5:30 we headed over to the club and found ourselves the first people there with one other local affiliate. There was also a random woman there who pretended like she knew what affiliate marketing was but really just RSVPd to the meetup event because someone sent it to her. Her exact words were “So what are we pre-gaming for?…Affiliate marketing…What’s that?”

After the meetup Brian had invited me to head over to the Ianteract Dinner that Ian Fernando & Kitara were putting on. Now this was really cool to get the chance to hang out with some of the bigger names in the industry. Of course we made the mistake of not calling Ian to heads up him about 1 more being at the table. Ian was really cool about the whole thing though and I definitely give him props for not making a big deal about it, he simply asked the waiter to swing over another chair for us and that was that. The dinner was amazing. I got a chance to hang with Ryan Gray, who had given me my ASE pass in the first place. The folks from Kitara were funny as hell and probably one of the friendliest bunch of people you could eat with. Ad Hustler was there and literally almost had me fall out of my seat with one of his lines. I got to meet Kris from Cash Tactics and we briefly discussed some glorious nerd talk about Starcraft II.

After the dinner most of us ended up at the Share A Sale rooftop party. The party was crazy packed and the drinks were flowing. We met a few other peeps up there and ended up leaving after having a few drinks and saying hi to a few people. Once we got back to the Hilton we met up with Ryan, Richard & John (the Super Affiliate Twins) and hung out with them and a few other people from Internet University. This was probably one of the best parts of the show. Everyone at the table at the sidebar was chill as hell and I probably learned more about affiliate marketing in the 2 hours we were there than I would’ve in any of the sessions.

Day 2:Monday August 16th

I woke up and was hanging a bit. I definitely shouldn’t have just crashed in my bed after leaving the bar lol. I missed the keynote from Frank Lunts, which everyone was raving about later. I have his famed book ‘words that work’ on audiobook and figured I could just crank that on the way home and be just as well off. Unfortunately my pass wasn’t good for any of the sessions on Monday so I checked the exhibit hall for a while and then went to a 1:00 appointment I had to go check out a time share.

Now I really had no intention of buying a time share in NYC but I had agreed to go on a tour of one to get a discounted rate at the Hilton. They had offered me a room at $380 a night once the conference rate of $220 sold out. Instead for taking the timeshare preview I got that lowered to $115 a night (SCORE). So I really couldn’t pass that deal up. Now at the timeshare I basically walked in told the guy that I couldn’t make any financial decisions without my fiance present. He agreed and let me go after 10 minutes. I walked out of there with an extra 20k in Hilton Honors points (2 free nights basically) and $150 destination cash (KA CHING).

I got back to the exhibit hall and got to meet a few of my AMs that I had wanted to stop by and visit with some gifts. I brought a bunch of Sam Adams’ Summer Ale 6 packs with me and brought one over to each of the affiliate managers I have that I expected to be at the show. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Summer Ale is a seasonal brew that fricken rocks and probably isn’t available in a lot of you far fetched states since it is brewed in Massachusetts. I thought it would be a good experience as I met a lot of these guys for the first time lol.

That night I took Brian and Dave out to Rothman’s Steakhouse and used the cash the timeshare people gave us to snag a great dinner. Later on we ended up hitting up the Hilton bar and then making our way over to the Neverblue party where YTCracker was DJing. The scene was pretty cool but it was a total night club atmosphere which doesn’t bode well for an industry that is 99% guys. YT was actually sounding pretty sick on the tables and I wanted to get a chance to meet up but we ended up leaving fairly early. Back at the hotel I ended up finding someone to go running with in the morning, so we hit Central Park up for a run in the AM. That was pretty cool.

Day 3: Tuesday, August 17th

Tuesday was pretty laid back. I caught the keynote early in the morning and I have to say I was impressed. I thought after the one session I went to, that Jim Kukral might not be all that exciting, but he was. He had a ton of inspirational stories and some really good case studies. He also gave out copies of his new book to everyone. After the keynote I got to meet up with Shock Marketer and we grabbed some lunch at Carnegie’s Deli. Shock was also cool as hell and had a ton of great tips for me. Not only that but for a guy in pretty good shape, this fellow can eat, check out the MASSIVE sandwich he put down at the deli.

After lunch I ended up walking to Times Square to see a few sites. I checked out the M&M Store and then went to Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Besides the Black Hole thing inside Ripley’s it was a Rip Off. The TV show was about 100x better than the actual place.

After I returned I checked out of my hotel and hit the road to head home. Sure enough leaving the parking garage I got pulled over by a police officer for not wearing my self belt! $130 ticket…thanks lol.

There was a ton of traffic on the way home and it took me like 6 hours to get home, compared to the 3 to get to NY.

I really can’t stress enough though how amazing the experience was. Everyone I met was extremely nice to me.

I also wanted to share a few tips for everyone who might get a chance to attend an Affiliate Summit.

  • Don’t Feel Like You Have To Stick Around – Some of the things you think will be cool, won’t be. So if you aren’t feeling a session, a party, a meetup, just bounce and save yourself the time.
  • Don’t Be Afraid To Talk To Everyone – I saw a ton of first time people who seemed scared as hell to talk to anyone. I am far from guru status but every major blogger I saw I stopped and said hello to and let them know what I thought of their writings and thanked them if I found their sites helpful. EVERYONE was more than grateful to hear feedback and to just say to anyone no matter if you are pushing $10 a day or $10k a day in revenue.
  • Don’t Be Afraid To Get Personal With AMs – When I typically speak to an affiliate manager they are usually in the office or what not so I usually don’t dig into some more ‘taboo’ business topics. However in person when we are at a party I have no problem trying to get the dirt. I was asking most of my AMs what sort of bonus structure they get from my revenue, how much their top guys do, how many affiliates they supervise, how long they have been with the company, what their backgrounds are, etc. Every single AM I spoke to about stuff like this was more than happy to answer pretty much everything you wanted to know. That was cool as hell and I respect everyone for putting up with my curiosity.
  • Don’t Stay In Your Room – Some of my best times happened just heading to the bar to grab a drink myself and striking up conversations. You don’t have to be a millionaire and buy out the bar to meet cool people.
  • Get Sloppy….Not Too Sloppy – Personally I think hilarious times come out of complete drunkeness. Not everyone feels the same. So if you are hanging with people for the first time, try not to be the only hammered guy…no matter what you think, you aint funny to a bunch of people who are sober.

I have another post coming later this week talking about all the sick swag and gifts I picked up to. By far my best pickup was the scratcher card from the guys over at Qwik Media. At the show they were tossing out scratcher cards to win an Apple iPad. I didn’t win an iPad but I snagged $250 CASH. That $250 will go a long way on paying for my $130 seat belt tickets!

About the author

Mike Chiasson Mike Chiasson is the Director of IT for a publicly traded company by day and an Internet Marketer by night. He absolutely hates the words 'serial entrepreneur' but loves discussions about business. You can follow him on Twitter.

Shawn Collins August 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm

> The Meet Market was cool but shitty. If I could do it over again I would just pass on the whole meet market thing and visit everyone during their exhibit hall hours.

🙂

We actually created the Meet Market years back to provide a place for companies without booths to setup and get some attention.

Along the way, many of the companies with booths have gotten tables, too.

We thought it would be easier to move around this year, since we had a bigger spot than last year, but it was still a crush.

David August 25, 2010 at 4:37 am

Mike – it was a blast hanging with you! I'm glad we chatted beforehand and randomly met up at the first session. Great meeting you – be in touch.

Slave Rat September 2, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Thank you for the summary post, man… Wish I had been able to attend.

Mike September 2, 2010 at 10:03 pm

There is always ASW!

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