I always am amazed when I’m at the Affiliate Summits and people hear me talk and just automatically go “Oh you’re from BAHston (*read Boston)!” Now to be honest I am from about 40 minutes west of Boston, and the accent I have sounds actually nothing like someone from the city depths of Boston, Massachusetts. I actually also make fun of the REAL Boston accent because it is fairly humorous to me. I am aware that I speak fairly crude, swear a lot, and do occasionally miss the letter ‘R’ when speaking but its a Central Massachusetts everyone, not Boston!
Ok now that we are done making fun of my wannabe Boston accent, how was the show? Well pretty much AWESOME!
This was my first time ever going to Las Vegas and I loved every bit of it. My friends and my wife will be the first to tell you I suffer from a moderate gambling problem. Not that I have ever bet more than I could afford to lose, I just am absolutely in love with everything about a Casino. I get such a rush being surrounded by the people all hoping to make their dreams come true and living dangerously with the thoughts that they might lose it all!
I booked my flight almost the day after Affiliate Summit East 2011 in New York. I was traveling out of Manchester, NH to Las Vegas, NV on Saturday the 7th. I flew Continental airlines round trip here which was overall pretty shitty. I had actually ran into a family member who had two $200 certificates for Continental and gave them to me. This is the sole reason I picked them… Booked one way flights with each gift cert. Still got hit for some bullshit $25 bag fee each way, I knew in advance of this, just thought it was complete BS still.
As usual I waited until like 4 days before I left to book a hotel and all the good places were sold out for Sat/Sun decent rates. To make matters worse the Consumer Electronics Show was in Vegas starting the 10th so hotels got really expensive! I was contemplating staying at a nice 5 star and then changing my room starting Monday. In the end I just booked via Hotwire for the FABULOUS Hooters Hotel & Casino. It ended up costing $76 a night for a 3 Star hotel.
Now this place was exactly as expected. Cheesy as fuck. However it did have a small casino below my room and I was in my room for a solid 4 hours a night to sleep and thats about it.
When I got back to Vegas I think I will definitely try and book in advance to stay at the main conference hotel but overall I didn’t experience any problem at all with this location. Several times I opted to walk there to get some much needed exercise and it was directly across from the MGM. It was definitely more than acceptable for the price. I als0 ran into tons of other affiliates staying there (It is normally like $22 a night but was along the lines of $350 a night during CES).
On the way home on the 11th I ended up sitting next to an awesome guy from EWA Network who works out of London, so that was a really interesting flight. However on the connecting flight out of Newark we got delayed for 4 hours and then around 12:30AM in the morning were told the flight was cancelled. They put me in a hotel for the night. Overall it sucked, I was exhausted and just wanted to be home. To make matters worse at 6:40 AM I was back at the airport checking into security and realized I left my wedding ring on the sink at the hotel…now that really sucked!
The extent of my actual interaction with the conference consisted of this: Trade Show Floor walk through and closing Key Note. That was it. The tradeshow floor was great! It was much larger than in New York with more space to walk and nice tables all around to sit down if you had to chat with someone. I got a chance to stop by some of my favorite affiliate networks, see some new ones, and visit a bunch of my affiliate friends!
I had previously saw on Twitter that the Peerfly affiliate network was doing a little contest if you were wearing one of their shirts that they have been giving away for the last few Affiliate Summits. I rocked my ASE11 shirt they gave me in New York and stopped by to say hi to Luke my affiliate manager over there. They all loved that I was rocking a shirt and had me pull a card from a deck to try and win a $100 Caesar’s Palace chip. Unfortunately I pulled a ’7′ which one me a whole $1 chip! I swung down to the roulette table and tossed it on Lucky #7. It hit scoring me an additional $35 on top of the $70 I won with my money. Thanks Peerfly!
The actual keynote from Shoemoney was pretty funny. One of the things I have always struggled in affiliate marketing with is the fact that I push some pretty messed up CPA offers sometimes. It really questions my morals in some niches. He had a few key points for us folks who “Exploit people’s passions for money”. This is only the 2nd keynote I have ever been able to attend and it was entertaining, not overdrawn out, and overall great.
The funny thing was I had went to the Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas convention center earlier that day (courtesy of my friend Blake!!) and forgot my ASW pass at the hotel. They actually rejected me at the door for the keynote. I went downstairs and they wanted $50 for a new pass print out but after declining to pay and stating that I would rather just go downstairs and gamble more they decided to print me a freebie.
Parties and Meetups
The party situation in Vegas was CRAZY! Every night had multiple things to do! Sunday I hit up the AffPlaybook Mastermind session at the Palms Place penthouse. The event was great as always and more millionaires were probably groomed at that event than anything else during the show.
After the meetup David Ford from AffPlaybook picked up a limo for a bunch of us to swing up to the Adsimilis meetup at the hangover suite at Caesar’s Palace.
At the Adimilis meetup I got to briefly meet the whole crew, including my awesome AM Naomi, and reconnect with some friends I haven’t seen in a while! Please notice the classic Mike Chiasson maneuver of not planning for the night and walking around all night in a lame Red Sox t-shirt.
After the Adsimilis party a bunch of us grabbed some cabs and headed back to the Palms Place for the AffPlaybook meetup. A couple things to note, the AffPlaybook meetups have been GOLD for me. Its always been so relaxed that its nothing to jump into a conversion with new people. If you are a member of the forum its even more effective of a networking event because you can try and find who is who. If you are interested in signing up for the forum check out AffPlaybook.com! Also as it turns out…I still suck at pool. Jeremiah Cooper from Wolf Storm Media kicked my ass with like 3 of my balls left on the table. That was kind of rough. Fortunately for me he declined my original offer of playing for $100 a ball.
The next night I was invited out to dinner by Vito and Flo from CPA Tank at the Old Homestead Steakhouse in Caesar’s Palace. Vito had a great crew of people going out to dinner. I got to meet a bunch of new faces and see some familiar ones! I even got to catch up with my account manager over at Traffic Vance, Jonathan Vogel, who convinced me to reinstall Starcraft II so that we can go dominate the gaming niche haha. Big thanks to Vito and CPA Tank for the good times and good eats!
Although the venue was awesome the ultimate lure of this party was the fighting, and that fell short. I was expecting an amateur fight for sure, but this was not only amateur, but unsanctioned gym friends sparring was a more accurate statement. We stayed for the firs fight where the guys were wearing the heavier padding gloves and not doing any grappling. It was a one sided fight and although having exciting moments it was lackluster at best.
Props to Clickbooth for picking such a unique venue, but we left after the first fight and some of us headed over to the Ads4Dough, Dough4Hoes party.
This party was out of control. Unfortunately for us we got there so late there were no tables left and we had to settle for the typical white guy standing against the wall maneuver. Plenty of eye candy there and I even caught up with a few friends I hadn’t seen in a while. There were so many people at this meetup I could only imagine the bill. Big thanks to Jason and the A4D team for the drinks!
What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas!
There were countless things that happened that really don’t need to be repeated on the blog. Those of you involved, know what I mean!!
Unfortunately I feel like some of my connections might stay in Vegas as well. A lot of the coolest guys I met didn’t have cards on them so I picked up their first name as we chilled at an event but no idea how to reconnect. If I met you in Vegas feel free to friend me on Facebook or hit me up via email or twitter!
Special thanks to all my friends who I met up with that shared their industry news and tips with me through out the show! See everyone in New York?!?