Fall is coming towards an end, and winter is right around the corner. With Affiliate Summit West coming up so quickly, it has made me think back to some of my early memories of this event. With a lot of people coming from different parts of the world, and perhaps a good amount of first timers. I Figured I would share my tips, insights, and some frustrations with you all. It will be interesting to see how it is this year, with another AWA event weeks before ASW. Times are changing, and new affiliate events are starting to make big waves in the industry. Though With Vegas being Vegas, a lot of people tend to come out to this event regardless. They are expecting something like 6000+ people this year. Should be a nice mix of affiliates, merchants, vendors, networks, and traffic sources.
What: Affiliate Summit west 2017
When: January 15-17, 2017
Where: Paris Las Vegas Hotel.
Why: Networking (parties?)
Tip 1: Avoiding the Chaos of Registration day
If you are going to go the meet market, then its almost a must to get your pass/badge on Saturday. It becomes such a bother with so many people trying to get their pass, with only 10ish people working the booth.
- Date: January 14, 2017
- Start Time: 12:00 pm
- End Time:8:00 pm
- Location: Champagne 1/4
It’s open until 8 pm, so if you have the ability to do this. I highly recommend it, if you plan on sleeping in a bit the following morning. Otherwise expect to wait about 20-30minutes in line to pick it up on Sunday. Not always a bad thing, you tend to see people you know. If you can’t make this early registration, the Conference “start” January 15 at 10:00 AM. I would show up maybe 15 minutes early to get a good spot. You might as well expect them to be yelling at you for being there early but, hang in there. The meet market usually doesn’t open until Noon, and they will NOT let you in without a table/network pass. Go grab some grub while people setup the tables, and network with other people till it opens.
Tip 2: Vegas Blocks are Huge, and Walking Sucks
Vegas Blocks are HUGE! Even if you are staying at a hotel close to the event like the Arias. You still have a solid mile walk over to the Paris, not that a mile is that far for most people. If you also sit at a computer all day like me. Then its going to be brutal on your feet, blisters are not fun. When you are walking around all day networking, you won’t want to walk another mile to get back to your hotel to relax. Bring comfortable walking shoes; Dr Scholls inserts can be your best friend.
Cabs are expensive – and they can get pretty cranky about short cab rides. So you may think about just going with Uber for some of your rides around town. Car pooling/sharing and shuttles will be the cheapest route to go.
Tip 3: Vegas Hotels are Overly Expensive
Room Sharing: You will start seeing people looking to split the cost of a room as well, so keep a eye out on Facebook. You could also let people know you are looking in one of the bigger groups like: Supergoddamnaffiliate, Affsum, or Superaffsandpubs.
Airbnb: Another option if you are struggling to find cheap rooms, or if don’t want to stay in a traditional hotel. Airbnb would be the better choice for doing room sharing with some marketing friends.
Tip 4: Bring Business Cards
Seriously don’t this dude/lady and push your cards onto people. You meet so many cool people and unfortunately, will forget some of them the following morning. Summit can be pretty overwhelming when you don’t get a chance to decompress and take it all in. At least this way, they will have something to get ahold of you. Like Prince Charming looking for the owner of a glass slipper.
Simple Rules for not being a tool with cards:
- Dont push your cards onto people.
- Business cards are not a conversation starter.
- Business cards are a reminder of the conversation.
- Don’t be slinging them at parties, unless someone directly asks for one.
- The card design speaks volumes about who you are.
Tip 5: It wont be Warm in January
Vegas is a Desert, and Deserts get cold during the winter time. Bring clothes for the weather in the high 50’s low-mid 60’s. A light sweatshirt should be okay for most evenings. Your lungs might not feel super great after this trip, but you will hack it up in a few days. Hang in there. You can let people know with the hashtag of #ASWFlu17. You and most everyone else in the CPA marketing world are going to get the flu in January from the summit. It has happened every single time for the last four plus years, and we have almost lost the entire industry due to the common cold. Try to prep your body for Vegas.
ASW Environmental Complaints:
- The air is extremely dry.
- Hotels are full of cig smoke.
- Airplane recycled air is gross.
- The city is super dusty, and dirty.
- Hand sanitizer
- Emergen C
- Bottled Water ( Vitamin water ftw )
- Mild weight Sweatshirt
- Advil (painkillers)
- Saline nose drops
Tip 6: Keeping the Phone Alive
- Pocket Sized Battery Changer ( It sucks lugging around a 3 lbs of batteries )
- A rapid/quick charger for quick room changing
- Expect Weak and Unpredictable Wi-fi (turn it off when not in use)
- Weak Cell Service ( Set to use wi-fi when available )
Something about Vegas hotels, T-mobile isn’t the greatest but oi….Plan on being slightly disconnected at times from the world, and just enjoy yourself. Setup times/places to meetup with people and try to follow up with them about it when you do get service.
Note: please leave all note 7’s at home.
Tip 7: The Food is Expensive, But die happy
Food is relatively expensive in Vegas. Without even trying to ball out on food, I would drop around 90 dollars a day on breakfast lunch and dinner. If you are looking to save a few dollars on food, i would recommend checking out the local Yelp reviews. If you really want to save some money, just make sure your hotel room has some kind of a small kitchen. Hit up the local grocery store. I know 90 dollars worth of food there will last me 4+ days. ( I’d hope ). If anything, you might think about a case of cheap beer. 14 dollar whiskey and cokes add up fast, and free beer can be a way to become someone’s friend.
Personal Recommendation: Burgr , If you order a milkshake..then expect to never be happy with any other milkshake you will have from that day on. Burger’s food isn’t crazy expensive, and it’s beyond amazing.
Tip 8: P A R T Why? Because we are Affiliates!!
Parties are a great way to network, loosen up, and have some fun. I’ve always thought of parties as a way to build relationships with people; we are stepping out of our suit and tie. You can learn a lot from people while sharing a drink with them.
What parties are going on?!?! I wouldn’t expect to see any party lists until late December or early January as well. Most people still have to plan, and buy the event space. So its hard to say when and where right now. I will try to create one if i can.
Look for the open bar ones, for two reasons. Free drinks, and other people to network with who want to get their drink on. People tend to jump around from party to party on Sunday/Monday. There is no need to stress if you don’t hit up every single party. Just don’t go too crazy; nobody wants to see you puking on the dance floor. They will remember you for being that person. I know I’ve learned my bodies limits the hard way at Summit. You can get trashed any night back home; you don’t get to see these people often. The goal is to remember who you met, and what you talked about the following morning. Write down the hotel you are staying at, and hotel number just incase.
Pro Summit Drinking Tips:
Call your bank, and let them know you are traveling. Ask them to set a limit on ATM withdrawals from the 14th – 17th. Let us be real here, sometimes we drink too much and make horrible decisions. Do Not wake up one morning with the world worst hangover, and 1k left in the bank because drunk you decided to hit the tables. Try to manage your alcohol intake, i promise you will get a better ROI from summit if you do.
If you do get tanked…Turn off your phone, try not to post stuff on Facebook when you are that hammered. Hungover breakfasts are surprisingly a nice way to have some quiet one on one time with a few people. If you do end up inches away from death with the worlds worst hangover. Then get ready to spend a few bills, but you will feel better with Hangover Heaven.
Tip 9: Shawn & Missy Really Love Twitter
If you are wanting to stay on top of what’s happening at ASW17, then follow these three will keep you informed. If summit sells out for passes, this is where you will find the link to get a pass when enough people cancel.
Searching for the hashtags of #ASW #ASW17 #AffiliateSummit should pull some good information as well, and hopefully the soon to come party list.
Tip 10: We can be an Awkward group of people
Evening during my account managing time, and talking with people for years on skype. Meeting them in person at summit; “So uhh… The sky is blue and thats pretty cool” haha. We can be pretty awkward in person, and be quite different than our internet persona. Internet marketers come from so many backgrounds, and this culture does tend to attract a cretin type of personalities. Be warm and welcoming, and it will open many doors for you. Be nice, say hello. Be genuinely interested in what they are saying, ask questions. They are likely feeling uncomfortable as well, so try to pick up on the vibe of the situation. If you see someone with an ASW Pass eating alone, ask if you can join them. If you are a smoker, well you already know what to do. Ask someone if they would like a drink, if you bump into someone you want to talk with at a party. Alot of people are there by themselves, and dont know a ton of people. Network with old friends, meet new people, and have fun.