I am back from another Affiliate Summit, back to work, and back to recovering from another great trip. I took last year off from Affiliate Summits (my little boy was just two weeks old last January so that is a good enough reason, isn’t it?) but I was glad to be able to go back and connect with old friends and make a few new ones.
There are plenty of other sites recapping Affiliate Summit so I won’t go into too much detail. But I will say that Shawn Collins and Missy Ward continue to make Affiliate Summit a top notch event. There are good things and bad things about every Summit but overall Shawn and Missy have kept Affiliate Summit on the top of the heap when it comes to affiliate conferences.
This was my first Affiliate Summit as an affiliate manager after going to probably 10 of them as an affiliate. It was definitely a different experience and involved a lot more meetings and actual “work” but I am very glad I was there.
Friday – If you were there you know. That is all I need to say.
Saturday – Great day golfing with a great group of guys. It was only about 28 degrees when we teed off but it got up over freezing soon after and was very comfortable the rest of the day. Awesome course, awesome group of guys, and I even hit a couple decent shots. The rust was showing though and once again I was the worst golfer of the bunch. But it was still a blast.
Sunday – Shareasale party – Brian Littleton and his crew always put on the party that is the high point of the conference for many people. Once again the Shareasale crew pulled off a great one at Chateau night club in the Paris hotel with a masquerade theme. Upstairs was a bit cold but if you huddled around the heaters it wasn’t bad at all. Adam Reimer won for best costume (he had that award locked up months ago) but it was fun seeing everyone in their masks and costumes. They also had a magician there who was doing some close up tricks where you could be a foot away from the deck of cards and not see what he was doing. Pretty amazing.
On Sunday I also spoke on a panel with Kim Rowley and Jeremy Palmer. We talked about the role of small affiliates in the industry, where they fit, how they can get started, and how they can provide value for their merchants. Here is a link to the slide deck and a quick review of the session from Kelly Clay.
The day started out on a sad note though as my beloved Seahawks gave up a last second field goal to lose. If I was a bit grumpy during the day that is why.
Monday – On Monday most of my time was filled up with meetings. I was able to connect with some affiliates I have only spoken to on the phone or through email so it was nice to be able to sit down face to face and see what they need from me, what more we can do, new ideas they had, and new ways we can grow their sales.
It is always interesting to see all the different business models in this industry, both good and bad. From coupons to blogs to SEO to toolbars to paid search to social there are many different ways to make money in this business. Some of those ways I like more than others though. But that is for another blog post or series of blog posts.
The day finished off with a late night In-n-Out run with Wade Tonkin and a good conversation with him in the hotel bar while scarfing down a Double Double animal style.
Tuesday – This was a day I had been looking forward to for a few weeks. Back when I was first getting started in the SEO/Affiliate industry one of the first people I met was someone destined to be a legend. I met him in Irvine, CA at the first US Pubcon and have been greatly influenced by him ever since. From interacting with him on many different forums to sitting in the bar until the early hours of the morning chatting about everything under the sun this legend has had a great influence on my business over the years. Many others can easily say the same thing.
This man is someone who many people who are new to the industry in the last 5 years might not know but he is a key influencer of many of the people who have been around the affiliate game for a number of years. You might not have been directly influenced by him but you have been influenced by those he has influenced.
A few weeks ago an old friend Pat Grady contacted me and said he had convinced this guy to be in Vegas to receive his Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Legend award. When I heard that news I was very excited since I haven’t seen this guy since the ThinkTank at Pelican Hill. I was really looking forward to seeing him again. Then Pat said I could go on stage to receive the award alongside him, Kellie Stevens, and Rae Hoffman (others he has greatly influenced). I was pretty blown away by this and very honored to do this.
The man is Mike Mackin. You might know him as Mr. Mackin or just Mackin (or maybe some of the other nicks he went by at various forums) but if you know nothing else you can know this: He is a LEGEND in this industry. If you have never been greeted with an extended middle finger or repeatedly called an MFer by him you have an empty hole in your life that will never be filled.
It was awesome to see Mike get some of the credit he deserves for his profound impact on this industry and it was a great honor for me to be a part of it. I was very humbled by the experience and it was a huge highlight of the trip and my time in this business.
Be sure to get registered for Affiliate Summit East 13 in Philadelphia. It is sure to be another great conference you won’t want to miss.