ADOTAS – How is the summer of 2010 going, everyone? It’s been a strange year — the “Aints” won the Super Bowl, “Billy the Bass” became a singing sensation pushing fast-food fried boneless fish sandwiches, Japanese cars became the “wrong” ones to buy, the U.S. was temporarily interested in the World Cup, stadium horns became internationally hated, we watched the self-destruction of the greatest golfer who ever lived, we cringed while the Gulf of Mexico was destroyed for the next few decades, teenage girls (and some confused grown women) became obsessed with vampires, Chispa turned 30… and where are we now?
If you’re like me, you’re craving some Gator football. But we’ve got a very nice appetizer before the pigskin is served — Affiliate Summit East in New York, New York, the city so nice, they named it twice. (I’m not sure where that phrase comes from — I remember it from Letterman)
Over 4,000 people from networks, merchants, vendors, affiliates, and agencies will congregate at the Hilton New York this weekend for a few days of networking, education, meetings, deal-closing, and of course, a little bit of fun. For those coming in early, the Audience Conference on Saturday will feature comedy relating your business, website, and customers, with an impressive roster of comedians and speakers including Chris Brogan, Loren Feldman, Chris Pearson, and Brian Alvey.
The conference proper begins on Sunday, with dozens of sessions spanning multiple tracks for the novice affiliate to the innovative social media marketer to the seasoned SEO veteran. The famous “Meet Market” begins at noon on Sunday. Now, I remember when the Meet Market was a half-a-dozen folding tables — now it’s one of the highlights of the entire conference. Almost 200 merchants and vendors will be sharing information, discussing programs, cutting deals — this is a must-see, must-do.
This Summit’s keynote speakers begin on Monday with Frank Luntz, who Time Magazine named one of “50 of America’s most promising leaders aged 40 and under.” Luntz is one of the most honored communication professionals in the America today, and has been a guest on “Meet the Press,” “Nightline,” “The Today Show,” “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” “Good Morning America,” and a bunch of other shows which I’m too lazy to mention.
On Tuesday, we’ve got Jim Kukral, who has helped companies like FedEx, Sherwin Williams, Ernst & Young, and Progressive Auto Insurance understand how to build successful new online businesses or energize and refresh existing ones. He is the author of “Attention! This Book Will Make You Money” — 300 copies of the book will be available before his Tuesday keynote.
This is the part of my column where I have a guest writer, usually a local to the area, tell you where to go and what to do around the city outside of the conference when you’re not closing (or losing) deals, networking, meeting new prospects, or hooking up with old clients.
Well, I couldn’t find a New Yorker this time around — y’know, those New Yorkers are few and far between. So, God/Tebow/(insert your preferred deity here) help you, here are my personal suggestions and tips for Affiliate Summit East 2010 weekend.
For you sports fans, you can hit Yankee Stadium starting Monday, where the Bronx Bombers host a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers. Also on Monday, you can check out the new Meadowlands Stadium for the NY Jets preseason game against the NY Giants. Nice week to be in town if you’re a sports fan.
For those of you who would rather lounge around with a drink in your hand while checking out some great views of the city, rooftop bars are all the rage. In fact, my friend Casey, who will remain last-nameless, is forgoing a hotel room and instead lounging on a rooftop bar the entire show. These places offer a breathtaking vantage during the day, and a gorgeous nightscape of city lights. My favorite rooftop bar is… actually, I don’t want to wait in line to get in (and up) because you’re holding all of your meetings at my favorite spot.
Finally, for those of you itching to catch a concert or Broadway musical, you may want to broaden your horizons — I hear that freestyle rapper Peter Klein is in town all week, and he’s more entertaining than a JetBlue emergency slide at JFK.
Also, I’ve got some tips for you novices and veterans alike. First of all, a friend of mine told me it might be raining, so I should pack my umbrella and goulashes. I told her I didn’t want to bring any Hungarian soups — they’d just be messy. I still haven’t heard back from her.
Make sure you bring your chargers, and don’t leave them in your hotel rooms. I don’t know how many times I hear “I need a charger,” or days later, “I left my charger in New York.” And to those staying in the more… ummm… “minimalistic” hotels in New York — be careful when you string your charger up and plug it in the only available outlet in the room — the one in the bathroom. Countless people walk in their bathroom across their charger cable, only to watch their phone drown in the toilet.
Carry small bills for tipping — not so important in cabs because of credit card machines in the cars, but more important for those open-bar parties you go to. They probably won’t have change to break your big bill. Plus, I hate being the only guy tipping because I have bunch of ‘ones’ from the night before. Where they come from, I have no clue… probably from Zimm’s room.
Hey, speaking of parties — you’re probably wondering where all the parties are, right? Well, allow me to point you in the direction of the blog of Ms. Missy Ward -– Affiliate Summit co-founder, breast cancer walker, “embarrass Warren at karaoke”-er, and all-around general badass. Oh, if you missed that hyperlink and need someone to tell you where to click, then click here.
Lastly, pace yourself. Yes, you’ve got three full days to meet, greet and network, but I guarantee some of your colleagues will be missing after those late nights catch up with them. They call New York “the city that never sleeps,” but that doesn’t mean you should do the same. Some of you might ask how I manage to pull it off every show… well, I’m in the FFC, and as the Jersey girls say, I’m “koabd.”