That’s right, boys and girls… it’s that time of year again where publishers, affiliate marketers, networks, and vendors head to Sin City for a few days of networking, learning, and maybe a little debauchery. Affiliate Summit West 2008 promises to be bigger than ever, tipping the scales at nearly 200 exhibiting companies and 2700+ attendees! The conference caters to newbies and seasoned veterans alike – from email, PPC, and SEO sessions to legal risks and marketing compliance discussions.
In addition to all the sessions and forums, a trip to Vegas wouldn’t be complete without a little fun. There are plenty of chances to network over a cocktail during the Summit – here are just a few:
For those early arrivals, there is an unofficial early bird get-together in the lobby of the Rio on Saturday afternoon. Grab some food, hang out, network with your SEM, PPC, and CPA peers, or hit the slots and card tables – just a chance to get to know some people and do a little networking.
Sunday night has two offerings: the “Glam in Vegas” event and the ShareASale “Under the Stars” party. The Glam event is only for Glam Interactive Group members and their invited guests, so if you’re not the former or the latter, find the ShareASale table during the Meet Market on Sunday to inquire about invitations to their party at the Palms Hotel.
Monday night features WebmasterRadio.FM’s AffiliateBash at Tao at the Venetian. Doors open at 8pm with fantastic food and a premium open bar. Be sure not to miss the exclusive performance by the Blue Man Group to celebrate the launch of the new Blue Man Group Affiliate Program.
On Tuesday night, the Blue Man Group will host an exclusive VIP cocktail reception at the Blue Man Theatre at the Venetian. Cocktails will be served from 6pm to 9pm, and stop by before or after the 7pm or 10pm show to learn more about the new affiliate program.
If you want to stray from the Summit crowd, there might be a thing or two to do, but you’ve got to search hard – after all, Vegas is pretty boring. Ha! Seriously though, there are tons of diversions from the conference crowd, from restaurants to shows, from dance clubs to strip clubs. For the low-down on the Vegas scene, I turn this article over to my lovely South Florida cohort, Danielle Raybuck!
“Las Vegas, Sin City, the neon lights, the crowds… ‘Who the hell took $300 out of my checking account at 3 am???? Oh that was me.’ So let’s be honest, we’re all going to Affiliate Summit to work. Some call it ‘client entertaining’, others ‘business development’… whatever you call it you better make sure you read our tips on nightlife, restaurants, shows, and the like.
My major problem with the timing of Affiliate Summit this year is that there are no NFL playoffs! Nor am I heading to the Bellagio to collect my Gator national championship winnings! And I guess I can’t meet clients at the sports book for cocktails?”
“Ah but alas there’s always other things to do… this is Vegas after all and I’m not one to miss a party. When it comes to places to eat, of course I have a few suggestions. To begin with, and I can’t say this enough: Reservations, reservations, reservations! For lunch or for dinner, time is money people and it gets really busy in Vegas, especially during large conferences. I find that www.opentable.com is a fantastic resource for finding reservation times, locations (you can search by city), and great restaurant suggestions. It’s easy to navigate and it’s FREE * (was that FTC compliant?). Since I’m from South Florida my first suggestion would be Joe’s Stone Crab, mainly because it’s great food (it is a bit pricey—it IS seafood) but they take reservations, which the one in South Florida does not! Additionally, Café Martorano is fantastic in South Florida, has a fun atmosphere, and great Italian food. I can’t personally speak for the one in Vegas but it is located in the Rio hotel which is really convenient for Summit-goers. I also always try to frequent Tao – their food is good, their sushi is better, and you can stay after dinner and shake a little somethin’. I’m also trying out Craftsteak this time on the suggestion of 2 of my other clients. I try to limit my steak intake during these shows, for how often do you eat six-course steak dinners 5 nights in a row?”
“Another great way to entertain clients is by checking out Las Vegas’ shows. For those who don’t know me, I’m a huge Cirque Du Soleil fan, so this trip I’m personally going to see The Beatles LOVE. But I bet there are some of you whose favorite show will naturally be “Spamalot” (sorry, it had to be said). There’s also “Le Reven Zumanity” and “Mystere”. Again, I would totally suggest planning ahead here and buying tickets as soon as possible.”
“Last but not least – clubs. I’ve already mentioned Tao but here are a few others you may want to check out: Tryst, Mix Lounge, Ghost Bar (if you haven’t seen it you should), Jet, Body English, and Caramel. Also I’ve heard another South Beach favorite has made its way to the Vegas scene: Prive – again, I can’t speak for the one in Vegas, but the one in South Beach does a body good!”
Thanks to my rock-star concierge, Danielle Raybuck! Make Affiliate Summit all it can be – network with new prospects and get to know those wonderful clients whom you’ve never met face-to-face yet. Buy Warren a scotch – hey, they’re free if you’re spending money at a table. And throw some chips Missy’s and Shawn’s way for good luck, because as Vince Vaughn says in Swingers, “Baby, we’re going to be up five hunny by midnight! Vegas baby! Vegas!”