Heat Is On at Affiliate Summit West

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affiliatesummitADOTAS – This past year was a trying one for many — I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say “I’m glad 2009 is over.” Well, this month we ushered in a new decade.

It doesn’t seem like it’s been 10 years since all those crazy millennium parties, does it? It also doesn’t seem like we’ve lived through nine years of those annoying “double-zero” New Year’s Eve glasses — I’m glad to see those go away.

2010 also ushers in the eighth year for the Affiliate Summit — this is their fourteenth conference to date. This weekend, thousands of affiliates, networks, merchants, networks and agencies will fly into Las Vegas for a few days of networking, education, and — who knows — maybe a little fun.

I spoke to Missy Ward last week and she tells me that her and Shawn have 4,215 registered attendees — that a whopping thousand more attendees than last year’s Vegas show. That’s impressive growth — but then again, the Summit showed growth even during the economic recession between 2008 and 2009. The conference also promises to have the largest exhibit hall to date. Lastly, the Meet Market — the face-to-face networking juggernaut — has now grown to two rooms.

Even the agenda looks larger this year, with early registration on Saturday, and a full schedule of sessions beginning Sunday at noon. The keynotes are also impressive — Monday features Dr. Robert Cialdini, the most cited living social psychologist in the world today. Dr. Cialdini is the author of the best-seller “Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive,” and “Influence: Science and Practice.”

Tuesday gives us Brian Clark, co-founder of DIY Themes. Clark is a 10-year veteran of Internet publishing and marketing, creator of the Thesis Theme for WordPress and his influential blog “Copyblogger” is read by over 67,000 people.

With all this networking, learning, meeting and greeting, you’re probably asking yourself, “Warren, is there any fun to be had in Las Vegas?” Well, if you’re asking yourself that question, you’re probably from another world and haven’t seen “Swingers” or “The Hangover.”

While there are tons of clubs, restaurants,and casinos to hit, one of my Affiliate Summit West traditions is to visit the sports book and put some money on the NFL Divisional Playoffs — might as well make some money while you’re working, right?

I tend to do better putting my money on the games rather than the cards (knock on wood) — last year I went three for four. My friend Casey went four for four, so maybe I’ll just follow her lead… I shouldn’t have bet against Pittsburgh last year (apologies to my buddies at Direct Response).

Just remember to place your bets early — I’m an East Coast guy and it always screws with my head when the Sunday game kicks off at 10am Vegas time. Then, instead of watching the games in the sports book, I always head up to the XY7.com suite for their annual football party — with food, an open bar, cheerleaders and massages, what more can you ask for?

Speaking of parties — there are more parties and special events than you can shake a stick at (can’t you see me now… shaking a stick at a party?). Instead of reinventing the wheel and listing them all here, I’ll just point you over to Missy’s blog. I used to try to make an appearance at all the parties that I was invited to — now I just hope to remember what I did the night before.

Two things you should try to do while in Vegas: Watch drunk affiliate marketers try to play basketball in the Hardwood Suite at The Palms during Double Play Media’s party, and get a picture with “The King” and “The King of Pop” at the same time — these guys can be found standing in front of the shops across the street from New York New York.

You know what, that might actually be the real Michael Jackson.

Oh, one last thing – if you make it to the XY7.com football party, try to figure out what they’re doing on Monday night — some secret party with medallions involved… intriguing.

For those of you who haven’t flown since Christmas, I suggest you show up to the airport a little earlier than normal — heightened security might lead to longer waits before the gates. You don’t want to keep Sin City waiting because you missed your flight!

Safe travels, and I’ll see you in Vegas!

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