Thursday, January 25, 2007

EVERYTHING was BIG at the 2007 Affiliate Summit West (Well... just about!)

What's Las Vegas without an Elvis Impersonator? That's yours truly, along with my new buddy, Jason. Jason is from Clickspeed.com, and has a heckuva "mini-Elvis" gig going, and I have to tell you -- he was the ONLY thing "mini" about the 2007 Affiliate Summit West.

There were close to 2000 affiliates, merchants and vendors in attendance at Bally's on the strip in Las Vegas. The exhibit hall had around 100 booths. There were 4 different tracks, so you could always find a presentation that you were interested in. And... the waterfall at TRYST was some 90 feet high! Even the awards increased from one "lifetime achievement" award called the "Wayne Porter Affiliate Marketing Legend" Award to a total of six! Here are the six lucky folks who cornered the market on acrylic this year:
  • Affiliate of the Year: Scott Hazard
  • Affiliate Manager of the Year: Angel Djambazov
  • Exceptional Merchant: Amazon.com
  • Affiliate Marketing Advocate Award: Brian Littleton
  • Best Blogger: Jim Kukral
  • Wayne Porter Affiliate Marketing Legend: Todd Crawford

Congrats go out to the winners, as well as all those who were nominated.

On the plane ride(s) home, I started thinking. Has "the Summit" become too big? I'm asking the question, because I don't know the answer myself. As affiliate marketing becomes more mainstream, it would seem to be a given that the Summit would grow from it's humble beginnings at Baruch College. There were 200 people in attendance at that event in 2003. And the mainstreaming of affiliate marketing allows all attendees to the Summit the opportunty to learn so much more -- different tracks for merchants and affiliates, roundtable discussions -- and there are just so many more people to meet and learn FROM.

But... I think that you lose something as the Summit continues to expand. It's the closeness. Affiliate marketing is all about relationships, and it's tough to grow a relationship when it's difficult to bump into your friend on the Exhibit Hall floor. As an example, I didn't know Jim Gribble was at the Summit until I heard his name called at Affiliate Bingo. Even then, I couldn't find him in the large room full of people. I didn't see Jim until late in the day on Tuesday afternoon. Even later in the day on Tuesday, I bumped into Phillip Kidwell. I assumed that since I hadn't seen or heard of Phillip at the Summit that he must have had a conflict and didn't attend. I'm hoping I didn't miss too many of my other friends!

Do I have an answer as to what the perfect number of attendees is? No. Shawn and Missy do a wonderful job of coordinating everything, and I trust that they'll know if the Summit gets too big. Congrats on another fine job, Shawn and Missy. Your efforts are appreciated.

1 comment:

Laura Lake said...

Chris it was great to see you again. Great photo with Jason :)

This industry continues to grow in leaps and bounds. The best thing about Affiliate Summit is it allows not only to network and meet new people, but it gives us the opportunity to keep in contact with those we have met along the road.