As we ring in another new year, we look forward to many things. The NFL Playoffs are about to start… it’s Wild Card Weekend! For college fans, it’s the second year of the College Football Playoffs, and we have perennial powerhouse Alabama taking on unbeaten Clemson on Monday night. And we’ve got a little trade show kicking off in Las Vegas this weekend: Affiliate Summit West.
Co-founders Shawn Collins and Missy Ward bring their conference to Las Vegas for the twelfth time since the show’s beginnings in 2003. Affiliate Summit is the premier conference of the affiliate marketing industry, offering sessions, events, and networking for affiliates, networks, merchants, vendors, advertisers, agencies, and technology providers alike. The Paris Las Vegas will host Affiliate Summit West 2016 and its over 6000 attendees during January 10-12.
Packing conference bags before the first Las Vegas Affiliate Summit in 2005
Affiliate Summit kicks off this Sunday morning with a full day of sessions as well as a first-timer orientation by Shawn Collins. At noon, doors open for the Meet Market – a wildly popular six-hour session featuring over 150 companies each with tables for networking, deal-making, and exploring new opportunities. At 2pm, the RevShare Roundup debuts – a three-hour event dedicated to the discussion of revenue share affiliate programs.
The exhibition hall opens Monday morning, and the first of two keynote speakers take the stage. Affiliate marketing icon Kerri Pollard is a 16-year industry veteran and recent president of CJ Marketplace. Tuesday morning’s keynote session features Greg Gifford, Director of Search and Social at DealerOn, a software company that provides websites and online marketing to new car dealers all over the country.
The long days of learning in the sessions and keynotes, and networking and deal-closing at the Meet Market and in the exhibition hall lead into more networking and fun as the sun sets. For you Performance Marketing Association members, the PMA cocktail party is at 6pm. On Sunday night the annual ShareASale “Under the Stars” party kicks off at The Heart at OMNIA – this “Golden Gatsby” party is a sold-out event, so make sure you’re registered! Also on Sunday night is the Mailer Meetup, a private event for email marketers.
Monday night, the big bash goes down… Affiliate Ball featuring E-40 and Tha Dogg Pound. Known for their old school rappers, they have featured acts including Shaggy, Sean Paul, Ice T, Big Boi, and Busta Rhymes. Pretty much everyone is invited to this one, so RSVP now.
Clickbooth, a company also known for throwing huge parties at Affiliate Summit, is now hosting smaller but more exclusive, invite-only cb:Black events. The cb:Black Advertiser event is Sunday at Altered States Ultra Lounge, and the cb:Black Affiliate event is at the Paradise Tower Penthouse at HRH. Only 100 VIPs are admitted at each event, so apply for your invitation now.
Of course, there are other diversions around the Summit and conference events – you’re in Vegas, after all! If you are a sports fan, there is a full slate of college and NBA basketball this weekend, the NFL Playoffs begin, and of course the College Football Playoff National Championship is Monday night… I think I know who my coworker Mary Ann is rooting for. There are sports books all over Las Vegas to make the games more interesting, but my personal favorite for watching games is Lagasse’s Stadium at the Palazzo… picture a sports bar & book made by Emeril.
However you choose to spend your time at Affiliate Summit, be sure to pack appropriately – it’s going to be cold in the desert this time around. Bring some warm clothes, business cards, and lip balm – you’re going to need all three. Travel safe and get ready to do some business and have some fun – I’ll see you in Vegas!