As the great philosopher Bananarama once said, “It’s a cruel… cruel summer”. We’ve sweated through record high temperatures and wave after wave of blistering heat. Some of us have suffered through power outages and water shortages. But with our discomfort comes some relief – Affiliate Summit is finally here!
Personally, I’ve found some solace from the South Florida heat by ducking into an air-conditioned local bar with some friends and collectively cheering on Michael Phelps… and the women’s gymnastics team… and USA Basketball… and Walsh & May… and Rosenthal & Gibb… and Missy Franklin… and even some international athletes like some dude named Usain Bolt. Now I get to make my annual August trek to New York and see some more friends, colleagues, and prospective business associates at the premier affiliate marketing conference on the planet.
As always, Affiliate Summit brings a dynamic and engaging array of keynote speakers, and this conference doesn’t disappoint. Monday features Sara Levinson, who has forged a distinguished career working with several of the world’s leading brands, such as Macy’s and Harley Davidson. In addition to being a board member of CafeMom and Flow.net, she’s served a president of the Women’s Publishing Group, Rodale Inc, president of NFL Properties (where a ton of my money has gone), and president of MTV. Personally, I think MTV could use Levinson back – I think they actually used to play music when she was in charge.
Tuesday’s keynotes begin with Ntiedo (NT) Edo, the force behind DimensionU, a global company that has fundamentally changed the way that kids learned. While volunteering in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, Etuk discovered that a student he was tutoring wasn’t having any fun learning. That’s when he decided to start Dimension U (formerly Tabula Digita), built on the premise that students are the true customer in education and that to provide them with an experience that excites their love of learning you have to match the teaching of key skills (math, literacy), with interesting formats (video games) and compelling, relevant rewards (pride, social status, and even the opportunity to earn their next iPod). Millions of games have been played in DimensionU, which has led Etuk to be honored as “Top Entrepreneur” and a “Silicon Alley One to Watch” by Crain’s New York, selected by Technology & Learning as one of the 30 Future Leaders of Education Technology, and identified as one of Black Enterprise magazine’s Masters of Technology.
Tuesday’s closing keynote is Dave Cupples, chairman of FatCowBusiness.com. Cupples is an affiliate mastermind, starting his first business at age 4, and by 15 he was earning thousands in affiliate commissions. He topped the University of Sydney in eMarketing and Marketing Research as well as graduating with First Class Honours in Law and completing internships with J.P. Morgan Investment Bank and Senior Counsel Barristers at the Public Defenders Office. While still a full-time student he turned a hypothetical assignment into a successful online store ApeShop, winning the City of Sydney Business Awards, NSW Small Business Champion Awards, NSW Young Entrepreneur of the Year and being featured on Channel 9 and Sky Business Television. Dave has travelled the world speaking at leading conferences including speaking in 2011 at Affili@Syd, the largest Affiliate Marketing conference in Australia, then A4uExpo in Munich, the largest Performance Marketing conference in Europe, and on Tuesday he’ll be speaking at the largest affiliate marketing conference in the world.
In addition to the great keynotes and the excellent content that Affiliate Summit never fails to supply, there are some great networking events and parties to help you unwind after hours. ShareASale is throwing its perennial “Under the Stars” party on Sunday night in the Nassau Suite with this show’s theme being “70’s Disco”. It’s a 70s-style New York summer disco party, featuring open bar, appetizers, a 70s disco DJ, photo booth, impersonators, entertainers, disco ball, dancing, and a “Best Dressed” contest. Also on Sunday is the Mailer Meetup at 48 Lounge. The Meetup is traditionally a great networking event for email marketers, and this show’s event is brought to you by Profit Kings Media, Robomail, OfferWeb, Digital Bulldogs, Impressionwise, Digital Target, and Liquid Data.
Monday night features a couple big bashes, including the Affiliate Ball, hosted by Ice-T & Coco. I grew up listening to Ice-T’s “Power” album featuring “I’m Your Pusher” – before he laid down the theme song for the movie “Colors”. These days you know him from “Law & Order: SVU” – and the kids say he and his wife Coco have a reality show as well. Also at the party is Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys, and this event is brought to you by Neverblue and mastermind Darren Blatt, along with LabelDate, InfiniteTraffic, BrainHost, SellHealth, EDK Innovations, CPA Trend, Dream Marriage, W3i, Envyus Media, Webair, Global-Acces, PushFire, ItsMyUrls, OfferVault, CPAFIX, AdHustler, Adrants, and PPC.biz
Rounding out the night is Clickbooth’s Empire Party at Hudson Terrace. This Florida company is a perennial party powerhouse and this show’s event will let you “back that azz up”, featuring rapper Juvenile. Clickbooth brings this party to you along with Optizmo, cbpowr, Flatiron Media, Rushcard, ScoresLive.com, ide, CPA Detective, Performance Marketing Insider, OfferVault, PeerThis, AdRants, Digital Moses Confidential, John Chow dot Com, TylerCruz.com, ZachJohnson.com, OfferSnitch, and CPAFix. This huge bash is so big that you might even catch DJ Liverwurst attending, but who knows.
This Affiliate Summit’s cornucopia of content and plethora of parties is enough to make a grilled-out Ryan Lochte scream “Jeah!” from an Olympic-sized swimming pool. I can’t wait to see everyone in the city that never sleeps – let’s make it the best Summit yet!