Affiliate Summit West is an affiliate marketing conference that was started back in 2003. This was my first Affiliate Summit and my first conference that was focused on just affiliate marketing. Last year I went to Blog World Expo and SMX Advanced which indirectly may cover affiliate marketing, but I wanted to meet a new crowd of people.
I went to breakfast with Shane Pike who I’d been talking to via email since early 2008 and it was a lot of fun to finally meet him in person. He’s a brilliant guy and does very well online, I just wish he blogged more about what he was up to. After meeting up with Shane I met up with Logan Thompson, Ian Fernando and Brian Evans.
Brian and I went to DK’s $100 buy in poker tourney and I got to meet a ton of new people along with some old faces (Jonathan Volk). The tourney started at 8:00 PM and what followed was some of my worst poker ever; however, I managed to get lucky on several all in’s and ended up taking 3rd place out of 77 players and won $983. I also happened to sit next to Jeremiah (owner of Wolf Storm Media) and who also used to be a former Halo 2 professional gamer like me we both competed back at a tournament in 2005 (small world)! The event was a blast (thanks DK) and whenever I’m in Vegas I try to play at least one poker tournament. I’m happy that this time it worked out better than they normally do. We also stopped by the Gold & Pawn Shop where they film the show Pawn Stars; however, they were filming an episode so we couldn’t go in unfortunately.
One night I went to the affiliate ball to see Three 6 Mafia perform which was pretty disappointing because I heard that Sir Mix A Lot would be there and when I left at 1:45 AM he still hadn’t shown up; however, I did get to roll in a sweet Hummer limo to the party along with Andrew and the Amped Media team (thanks again!).
Overall I met dozens of people that I had very solid conversations with and plan to follow up with to work together on some projects.
I rarely attend more than a couple of the sessions at any conference I go to because I have more fun meeting new people and hanging out. That being said, I’m going to go back and watch some of the recordings of the sessions I missed because I heard a few were really good.
I went to one session on the first day on how to monetize websites with data feeds which was really good. It gave me some great info that I’m going to try implementing on some brand new websites I’m building. This session was put on by Eric Nagel and Joe Sousa and I’m glad I attended it.
I went to a few other sessions briefly and every morning I intended to go to the opening keynotes but I kept sleeping in (I was generally up to 3 or 4 AM each morning for poker, parties or just brainstorming biz ideas).
The closing keynote was put on by Dave Taylor and covered achieving work / life balance. I think it was great to hear his perspective. He opened his presentation covering with the number 275 and at the end came back to it by showing how $275 x 365 = $100,375 per year and talked about how $100k is a significant amount of money and if instead of adjusting your lifestyle as you make more money (buy expensive cars etc.) that you should focus on making the same money but working less and less (aka 4 hour work week). I think that’s alright for some people, but I enjoy what I do for a living and I’m not going to be buying the Guthrie Castle by slacking off. I should also add that although you can donate a nice chunk of your income if you’re making $100k per year think about how many lives you could help making $1MM+ per year?
I would attend another Affiliate Summit because as always the people you meet can help more than pay for the time you’ve invested in the conference and in this instance I won $983 in a poker tourney so I was paid to go! Fortunately the sessions I did attend were also really good as well which is (unfortunately) a rarity at other conferences I’ve attended.
See you at the next Affiliate Summit!