ADOTAS – with assistance from Jennie Farrell, AdGent Digital account executive. Unlike the turmoil in the stock market, or the turmoil at the University of Miami, one thing is for certain – thousands of affiliates, advertisers and vendors will be flocking to New York City this weekend for Affiliate Summit East 2011.
I expect next week in The Big Apple to be a huge one for our industry, seeing that we have two major conferences back-to-back – both in the Hilton New York… the Summit is Sunday through Tuesday, and LeadsCon is on Wednesday and Thursday. While some people are attending one show or the other, there are definitely some people who will be in town for both shows due to the overlap in our industry.
While Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas a few months ago saw a record crowd of over 4,600 attendees, this year’s East show is also seeing record attendance at 3,943, over 10% growth from last year. And with all this talk of a recession, it seems that exhibitors are still spending money, with Affiliate Summit boasting over 300 exhibitor booths and Meet Market tables combined.
For those of you who haven’t attended an Affiliate Summit, the Meet Market is not to be missed. While I used to call it a “mini exhibition hall”, this thing is anything but “mini” – it’s a six-hour session of structured, face-to-face networking. Over 150 companies are represented on Sunday afternoon, all teaching, learning and cutting deals – so go meet and market!
I remember when the Meet Market was the only thing going on the first day of the conference, but not anymore. Try to drop by the conference area on Saturday afternoon for early registration, because this ain’t your father’s Summit – three full days of sessions and programming begin on Sunday.
There are sessions for anyone and everyone – beginner affiliates, SEO, advertisers, webmasters, designers, social media gurus, networks, vendors – anyone and everyone. And of course there are the great keynotes. On Sunday, Marc Ostrofsky, author of Get Rich Click speaks – you may have seen him on “20/20,” “The Today Show,” The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times or 1,000 other media outlets.
On Monday, Will Reynolds shares his knowledge from spearheading SEO strategies for companies like Barnes & Noble, Disney, Harman Kardon, Debeers, DoubleClick, Hotjobs and Mercedes-Benz USA. Wednesday features Internet marketing pioneer Bryan Eisenberg, co-author of the best-selling books “Call to Action,” “Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?”, and “Always Be Testing.”
With all this great content, you’re probably wondering, “Warren, this is information overload – is there any way to blow off some steam during the Summit?” Well, newbie – there are also tons of networking opportunities (Internet marketing techie term: “parties”) going on after-hours and outside of the show.
Some are open to all attendees while others are invite-only, so make sure to do your research before you go party-crashing – I’m sure not all of you are adept at this as Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan were.
Monday has the bulk of the events – I’m going to try to split time between a couple parties. The Mailer Summit starts at 8 p.m., sponsored by MediaTrust, Optizmo, and Popular Marketing. After this, I’m headed over to Clickbooth’s Affiliate Awakening – this huge bash is co-sponsored by Clickbooth CPC, Calculated Creativity, Authorise.com, Optizmo, Verified Credible and Prominent Leads.
However, if you’re up for a taste of the famed New York music scene, on Monday Adotas Senior Editor Gavin Dunaway’s post-punk/glam band Libel is playing hip Lower East Side venue Pianos. Libel is on at 8, warming up the stage for a night of excellent music.
And on Tuesday, Globalizer is hosting their Home Run Derby at Citi Field – take some batting practice and play the outfield at the home of the Mets. Just remember – if you can’t get into some of these events, maybe you should be doing more business with the sponsors.
If you happen to get affiliate marketing overload and just want to get away from it all, you just might be able to do that in New York City. But instead of trying to sound knowledgeable about The Big Apple, I’ll leave this to a local. Allow me to introduce Jennifer Farrell, account executive at AdGent Digital… take it away, Jennie!
“Welcome, all of you out-of-towners, to The City that Never Sleeps! What better way to welcome you than with a good old Sinatra line (to throw a little bit of history in the mix, Ol’ Blue Eyes popularized this nickname in his ever so famous lyrics of ‘New York, New York’)!
“I have to preface that I know very little about affiliate marketing as I come from the rich media and network space, but being a part of a neighboring industry I know there is heavy emphasis on ‘client entertainment’ and ‘team bonding’centering around ‘adult beverages.’
“Now I realize the Summit is at the Hilton New York, but a short cab ride out of the area promises a whole new world. Aside from the many sponsored parties in honor of the Summit, I’d love to suggest some must-go-tos for a true NYC experience.
“Apologies for starting this list on a slightly negative note, but this is the most important point. Please DO NOT walk a few avenues from the convention center to Times Square and expect to get ‘authentic NYC’ anything! You’ll be heckled for designer imposter sunglasses, comedy show passes and 3 for $10 pashminas. I repeat…please DO NOT do any eating, drinking, touring or client entertaining in Times Square. On a more positive note…
1. The Standard Biergarten. Located right under The Standard Hotel, this is a great group meet up spot to begin a night before heading out in the Meatpacking District or West Village. During the week, you’ll wait in line for about 30 minutes, but once in it’s a fun place to have a lot of beers very quickly. A great time if the weather is beautiful.
2. Morimoto. Simply awesome sushi. Mr Iron Chef’s restaurant has funky decor, excellent service and please visit the bathroom (simply for the beauty). Make a reservation as soon as possible as this gem fills up fast!
3. Abe & Arthurs. Great New American cuisine and the place to see and be seen. Beautiful crowd so ladies, please dress up, and gentlemen, get ready to pull out your credit cards! The wine list is great as is the food.
4. 230 Fifth. A great rooftop bar in lower Midtown with a spectacular view of the city. Good music, good crowd, expensive drinks.
5. Dos Caminos. With locations in Midtown, Park Ave and SoHo, this restaurant offers stylized south-of-the-border cuisine with great margaritas and rum punch. Casual, classy and not complicated.
“Are you in an Empire State of mind yet? I hope these little nuances help you to start planning your social schedules! Happy networking!”
Thank you very much, Jennie! Now I know what some of you are thinking: “Now I really want to go to Affiliate Summit, but the show is sold out!” As of Thursday morning, there are five auctions for Affiliate Summit passes on eBay – good luck! As for myself, I’ll be in town Friday afternoon – safe travels, and I’ll see you in New York!