My only regret is that I didn’t record this episode days ago! It’s just me, sans guest, giving my thoughts and opinions about one of my most positive conference experiences ever: Affiliate Summit West 2011. Here’s my brief summary of my recap… how very meta. Quick, someone excerpt my summary, let’s see how far we can distill this thing.
I arrived in Las Vegas on Thursday, January 6th – a little early, to say the least. I don’t like to be rushed, so I enjoy getting to town a day earlier than most (a lot of my friends and colleagues come in on Friday and Saturday). I checked into Harrah’s (big mistake – I’m staying at the conference hotel, wherever that may be in the future, from now on) and relaxed. Did a bit of walking, but generally relaxed and enjoyed quiet time (calm before the storm).
Friday I met up with my Geek Dads Weekly co-host Drew Bennett. We went to Cali Lewis’ meetup at Planet Hollywood, then had dinner at the Flamingo. Meh. Not great. Kinda like one small step up from a Denny’s. After that, we went down to the Wynn and met up with Jill Swartwout at B Bar. Drew went back to get some sleep after a bit, but I walked over to Treasure Island to say hi to Leslie Nazarian and her sister Sharon, who had arrived in Vegas late that night.
Saturday, Drew and I went to CES, courtesy of XShot (extremely cool people and a great product). We spent the majority of the day at CES and ran into Heather Smith and her daughter Crystal while we were there. Check out BenSpark.com for some cool videos that Drew shot there. After CES, it was back to hotel, did an episode of Geek Dads Weekly, then dinner at Red 8 at the Wynn, then off to the buy.at party (awesome).
Sunday, Affiliate Summit started! We had our Affiliate Improv! session at 11am and it was awesome. We had really good feedback from everyone we heard from, which is fantastic. There was lunch, a quick trip through the Meet Market, and before I knew it, it was time for dinner with Leslie Nazarian and the Purpose, Inc poker tournament. (I neglected to mention in the podcast that right before the tournament was the Newcomer meetup that Jen Goode organized.) I busted out of the tournament, got to the ShareASale party just a bit too late, and went to Gold Coast for bowling. The charity bowling event to support Affiliate Marketers Give Back was once again sponsored by GTO Management (thanks Karen and Joel!), Things From Another World (props to Andrew and Dale!) and BowlingShirt.com. It was a great time, despite my blisters preventing me from putting on the bowling shoes and throwing a few. I got back to my hotel around 2am.
Monday and Tuesday were spent almost exclusively in the Blogger Lounge, when I wasn’t out having breakfast or lunch. I had my podcasting gear set up in there and had some great discussions about it with various people. Didn’t get much recording done, but made some invaluable contacts that more than made up for the lack of new content. Monday night was Trivia Night at the Wynn, which was awesome, despite my team’s loss – me & Shawn’s winning streak was broken by Tricia Meyer’s team. All good things must come to an end, I guess, but we’ll be back for another round in New York! Tuesday night, a group of us had dinner at the MGM Grand buffet, then a few of us met up with another group at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Harrah’s. It was the perfect near-end to a nearly perfect conference.
Wednesday I had a wonderful breakfast with Jen Goode, Lisa Picarille and Brad Waller, then… nothin’. Packed up my room… had lunch before heading to the airport… and home. Exhausted, but in the best kind of way. I do love this industry!