ADOTAS — It’s mid-week and I’m writing my requisite pre-conference column. Room at the Hilton? Check. Favorite seats on the Lauderdale-to-JFK JetBlue flight? Check. Meetings set with list owners, list managers, affiliates, and advertisers? Check.
Only thing left is to see how the weather will be in New York City this weekend and early next week so I can dress accordingly… do I take that winter coat, scarf, and gloves to ad:tech or leave them? Hold on – highs in the 80s, lows in the 70s? Oh, snap! This isn’t ad:tech in November – it’s Affiliate Summit in August!
“The Summit” (as I call it for short – not to be confused with a puke orange basketball arena) is back in New York City for the first time since… gosh, its inception in 2003. And it’s not at Baruch College this time – it’s at the Hilton New York. When I think of industry conferences at the Hilton, I think of ad:techs… I think of DMDays. Now the Hilton hosts “The Summit”. I guess Missy Ward’s and Shawn Collins’ brainchild is all grown up.
There’s a lot more to this Affiliate Summit than previous shows. For example, the “Meet Market” – which has become as popular as the exhibit hall – features a silent auction this year benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City. There’s some great stuff in the auction – lots of travel, jewelry, snowboards, weekend getaways, gift cards, theme park and movie tickets, business services – something of value to everybody… and a worthy cause to boot.
For those of us who would rather get a workout (kinda) than win an auction, the Affiliate Summit Triathlon is back, also benefiting BBBS of NYC. I didn’t attend this event last time, so I thought it would be similar to that little running event that happens the Sunday before each November ad:tech. Nope – I’m wrong again. With events such as toilet races, Skee-ball, and Whack-a-Mole, this sounds like an event I’ve been training for all my life. Believe it or not, I’m not in “marathon-shape” right now.
This Summit’s keynote speakers include Chris Brogan, president of New Marketing Labs, and Peter Shankman, founder and CEO of The Geek Factory. I haven’t seen Chris speak before, but I accidentally caught Peter at an AMA event (“Marketing”, not “Medical”) in Fort Lauderdale. Glad I did – very entertaining fellow. He even talked me into getting a Poken – so if you’ve got one, bring it to New York and let’s poke! (Censors, this is not dirty – it’s a social networking tool. Oh my, that was even worse… nevermind.)
Speaking of social networking, it’s a large part of both Chris’ and Peter’s work. In fact, just like every conference and seminar I’ve been to this year, social networking is very prevalent in this edition of “The Summit”. With sessions named “Social Media Marketing” and “Advertising on Facebook”, with the Affiliate Summit Tweetup, and with Warren and Raybuck running around with Pokens, there are a lot of opportunities to be social. Hmmm. Weird… I always thought “social networking” was what we all did at the parties after dark.
Ahhh.. the parties… probably what you’re looking for in my article, eh? Well, I’m not one to reinvent the wheel, and Ms. Ward has done so well in featuring all of the Affiliate Summit “pah-tays” on her site, so I’ll defer to Missy’s blog. 17 of ‘em, last time I counted. With all these parties, 200+ exhibitors, and 2700+ pre-registered attendees at the 2009 edition of Affiliate Summit East, you just gotta ask yourself: “Recession? What recession?”