“Party in the city where the heat is on All night, on the beach till the break of dawn Welcome to Miami Buenvenidos a Miami”- from Welcome to Miami by Will Smith
Affiliate Summit East 2007 kicks off this Sunday in Miami, Florida, or as we South Floridians like to call it, “Cuba North”. This love-child of Missy Ward and Shawn Collins (for the umpteenth time, they are NOT married) saw its humble beginnings at Baruch College in New York with only a couple hundred attendees. This East 2007 show is packing in nearly 1700 attendees, almost 50% more than last year’s event in Orlando.
Unlike the ultra-conservative, family-friendly, “no fun after 2am” feel of Orlando (where Walt Disney is always watching you), Miami offers much more in the way of dining, culture, and nightlife. Orlando has people running around in stifling animal costumes; Miami has models and hotties in bikinis. Orlando has tons of European tourists; Miami has… well, they have European tourists as well. Unfortunately, in Miami you’ll see them walking down the beach in their Speedos — so bring your sunglasses to shade your eyes from their blinding paleness!
Some of you have mentioned weather concerns: “Warren, weather.com shows thunderstorms the whole show!” Let me fill you in — there are thunderstorms EVERY DAY in South Florida. It can be sunny and 88 degrees one minute, then torrential downpours the next — and it dips to a chilly 80 degrees. But we’re not in Seattle — those storm clouds will be gone in 20 minutes… trust me — you’ll get your sun.
While I know where to party it up in Vegas and San Francisco, South Florida is not my thing — there’s even a running joke down here that I don’t venture more than 2 miles from my house at night. Since I don’t really know my way around south of Palm Beach County, I have recruited my good friend, fellow Gator, and blonde bombshell Danielle Raybuck to help me with this article. She knows Miami and South Beach like I know how to write almost-humorous articles in ADOTAS.
I know that many of you attending the Summit are coming in early to have a little fun in South Florida. If you have some free time, Danielle suggests “take a stroll down Espanola Way and Lincoln Road — both are full of restaurants and are chocked full of great people-watching.”
“One of my personal favorite restaurants is Sushi Samba — affordable South Beach Thai and sushi. Did I say ‘affordable’? Retract that…this is SoBe — bring your wallets! Also, grab an authentic mojito at Shore Club or Nikki Beach.” Nikki Beach is particularly known for their Sunday night crowd — but don’t tell Missy and Shawn that Warren suggested that…I don’t want to contribute to any Monday-morning Affiliate Summit hangovers.
I like to think of Danielle as a culinary connoisseur — she should be a food critic, not a sales manager. For good eats, she suggests Blue Door at the Delano, Smith and Wolinksy for the view, Pizza Rustica for your late-night cravings, and Nobu or Bond Street for high-end sushi. If you are in the mood for an Italian joint that’s close to the conference, try Perricone’s — Missy held an affiliate dinner there a couple months ago… good stuff.
And now, to the nightlife. Miami is known for their club scene, and Danielle has this to offer: “My favorite club has got to be upstairs at Suite where the music doesn’t stop ’til 5am — I should know… I’ve been kicked out at 5am more than once. Mansion is arguably the loudest and probably the most popular, but some other hidden gems include Jazid, Automatic Slims, Bed, Mynt, and Prive.”
“For you guys who like to go all night, there’s always Club Space, the only club on the beach with a 24-hour liquor license. But if you are not familiar with Space, this is not the time to learn!” Thanks for the advice Danielle — if we lose any Summit attendees, we’ll know where to look.
My suggestion to all of the out-of-towners: Don’t go crazy — Danielle and I are trained professionals. I wouldn’t want you guys to miss Affiliate Summit — it is an excellent opportunity to learn about the affiliate marketing industry and network with your peers. You won’t find a better venue to meet email and web publishers, affiliate networks, and vendors and web merchants. So, welcome to Miami, and have a great Summit!