Welcome, 2013. A brand new year, but has much changed? We still have the same guy in the White House, the SEC still reigns over college football, we still have the same number of members in the Baseball Hall of Fame as this time last year, we still haven’t experienced an apocalypse or end-of-days, Brent Musburger is still making comments about female football fans (remember the FSU Cowgirls?), and thousands of affiliates, agencies, vendors, merchants, and networks still descend upon Sin City every January for a few days of discussions, deals, drinks, and debauchery.
Founded in 2003 by Missy Ward and Shawn Collins, Affiliate Summit is the premier affiliate marketing conference, offering educational sessions on the latest industry issues and fostering an environment of productive networking for one and all. Over 5,300 will be attending this year’s conference at Caesars Palace, enjoying and learning in educational sessions covering web content, social marketing, lead generation, search engine optimization, performance tracking and tons of other topics under the affiliate marketing sun.
Like all of the Summits past, this show brings engaging and inspiring keynote speakers. The first keynote speaker to take the stage on Monday morning is Daniel “Rudy” Ruettinger (pictured) of Notre Dame football lore. Rudy was the first player in Notre Dame history to be carried off the field after he recorded a sack against Georgia Tech in November of 1975. This is definitely a keynote that I will try my hardest to get up, shake the hangover off, and attend.
Tuesday morning features Julie Clark (pictured), founder of The Baby Einstein Company. With almost a dozen videos and 30 children’s books under her belt and sales of over $20 million, Julie sold The Baby Einstein Company to The Walt Disney Company in 2001. Julie is the recipient of Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year Award,” as well as Working Mother’s “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in three categories: Most Philanthropic Company, Most Innovative Business and Best Small Company.
The closing keynote speaker is Tim Ash (pictured), author of the bestselling book “Landing Page Optimization,” and CEO of SiteTuners, a firm that specializes in improving website conversion rates through landing page diagnosis and redesign, conversion consulting, a/b-split and multivariate test plan creation, and client training/mentoring. Tim is a highly-regarded keynote and conference presenter, and the chairperson of Conversion Conference, the first worldwide conference series focused on improving online conversions.
While Affiliate Summit promises a stellar cast of keynotes and a jam-packed agenda of sessions, panels, and workshops led by industry professionals and veterans, it is also an excellent opportunity for some of the best and most valuable networking around. Where else can you sit down face-to-face with all of your valued customers, prospective clients, and industry friends and associates? So make sure to bring a big stack of business cards to swap at the sessions, the casino bar, the craps table, the elevator, and the parties! Oh yeah… speaking of parties…
The NFL postseason continues this weekend, and the VIP Football Sunday event is becoming commonplace at Affiliate Summit West. This takes place at Lagasse’s Stadium at the Palazzo – the best sports bar in Vegas! This linebacker-sized event comes from CrushAds, BMI Elite, Ironclad Media, and GMB Direct.
For you email marketers out there, the Mailer Meetup takes place Sunday night at The View on the 52nd floor of the Palms Fantasy Tower. This show’s Mailer Meetup is brought to you by MediaWhiz, Robomail, Digital Bulldogs, Affiliati Network, VoloMP, Bridge Marketing, MobileClick, Liquid Data, Affiliate Revenue, and Commission Gateway. This event is for active mailers only; RSVP at www.mailermeetup.com.
Also on Sunday night in the Palms Fantasy Tower is the annual Tip-Off Party in the 10,000 sq. ft. Hardwood Suite. The basketball-styled suite features an indoor basketball court, professional locker room, and scoreboard. This NBA-sized party is brought to you by Double Play Media, Infinite Traffic, Hygienics.com, bizzblizz, Optizmo, Long Ball Media Group, Tazo Media, WeBuildAwesomeWebsites.com, The Web Gem Network, OfferVault, AdRants, Performance Marketing Insider, DM Confidential, CPAFix.com, AffiliatePaying, Tremtek, PerformanceMarketingJobs.com, and Kira Labs.
At the Chateau Rooftop at the Paris Hotel, ShareASale’s Under the Stars Party has a masquerade theme. There will be a best-dressed contest, so if you need gear for the masquerade party, check out http://shareasale.shareist.com/need-gear-for-the-masquerade-party/.
I’m excited to check out the Playboy Suite for the Badger Ball – as well as check out the open bar. Badger Ball Vegas 2013 boasts stellar sponsors such as Convert2Media, PerformTel, CrushAds, Webair, Obey, Kelly/Warner Law, EWA, and Raspberryketone.com.
The parties continue Monday night, including the Affiliate Ball featuring Big Boi of Outkast (pictured). This event at Chateau Nightclub at the Paris is brought to you by SocietyInvite, OfferSearch, iBallers, KSIX, Evoplus, PerformInsider, W3i, WP Engine, TrustedRevenue, Madrivo, NDemandAffiliates, Sellhealth, DerechoMedia, EnvyusMedia, EDK Innovations, CallPixels, ProfitKingsMedia, and Webair.
I’m going to round out my party schedule with Affiliate Nation’s The Future Is Now – Industry Legends Unite party. According to Lyndsie Ezell of Clickbooth, “It’s going to be the most fantastical party ever…” Well, I guess I’ll have to check it out to see if she’s right. Ya gotta be “right thurr” at Tao if you want to see Chingy (pictured) perform – brought to you by CPAWay, Clickbooth, Max Bounty, Optizmo, Digital Bulldogs, adknowledge, HitCPA.com, fraudlogix, adMobix, YTZ International, UpForIt Networks, Saphire E-Cigarettes, Tyler Cruz, Zac Johnson, NetworkRoundup, John Chow Dot Com, OfferVault, Revenue Performance, AdRants, Affiliate Paying, RevenueAds, MailerForum.com, and Bevo Media Exchange.
Well, it sure sounds like a busy few days in Vegas for the affiliate marketing world! Safe travels to all you readers out there. Make sure to hit the sports book before the VIP Football Sunday event, good luck at the slots and tables, and let’s make this the biggest and best Affiliate Summit yet!