As I depart Las Vegas from a lengthy 12 day stay spanning over the new year, the ASW 2012 Summit, and part of the CES conference which I was able to get access to for a day, I wonder what it is that brought me to sin city and put a noticeable dent in my wallet. As far as my energy levels go, I’m burnt out and glad to be heading back to my current place of residence, Calgary Canada. ASW and Vegas have both left me encouraged, inspired and ready to take affiliate marketing to a new level in 2012, especially because I have to recoup my Vegas related expenses rather rapidly!
After spending new years eve partying at the Cat House in the Luxor (summary: bad venue, cheap liquor instead of top-shelf and no coat-check, wtf?) and watching the fireworks on the strip, I spent a week attending shows and finding things to fill the day as I awaited ASW12 to start. The shows I got to see were Penn & Teller (awesome), David Copperfield (decent), Marc Savard’s Comedy Hypnosis (hilarious, awesome), Absinthe (amazingly good) and KA (Cirque du Soleil, impressive display, but not my kind of entertainment). Additional to this I was able to go Indoor skydiving, hit up the rides on the Stratosphere and ride the rollercoaster at New York, New York.
What I learnt from Vegas is that it is a very effective money-sucking machine. One thing that caught my attention was for those who aren’t sure how to gamble, there’s a good chance your hotel room TV-set had a channel dedicated to educating those not familiar with the rules of certain games such as Craps – well play Vegas, well played…
Additional to this, Harrah’s had a ‘fake’ slot machine on the street – if you won (90% of the time you did), you’d get a fake $50 bill that would lure you into their casino to use on one of their ‘fake money’ slot machines – most likely in an attempt to give you a taste and start a new addiction. After all, it was Vegas, where all over the place you notice tactics to have you empty your wallets amongst the allure of bright lights and a luxury lifestyle.
Moving on, I was able to attend Affiliate Summit West for free thanks to StackThatMoney forums! I was given one of 2 silver-passes as part of a competition they held. On the 8th I started my day off by attending the newcomers conference (albeit, a bit late due to getting my all important caffeine fix) and then attending the meet-market at 12pm. The meet-market is one hell of a noisy place, but allowed me to get introduced to my Affiliate Managers who I’d never met in the past and discover networks and traffic sources which I’d never heard of before.
It amazed me to see some networks had hired absolutely clueless models to promote their company and sign people up, instead of someone with actual knowledge on the company or industry. For example, one network had hired two blondes, placed them in JumpSuits and had them register affiliates on their network for a chance to win a trip to Aspen. When I asked what the company was and what they did, I got a reply that went along the lines of: “well basically, if you have a website and someone clicks on our link, we get paid and you get paid”. Nice, it’s that easy huh? Good lord Adperio, get your act together.
Afterwards, the night had begun with plans to attend the STM meetup, the AffPlaybook meetup and partying with w4 and Ads4Dough at Club XS. I made it to the STM party (and consumed some Grey Goose) but left after a short while as I had received an invited to dinner with some of the EWA crew, to which I was able to meet Ryan, Harrison, Jared, Matthew and several others over a meal and some more Grey Goose. It was a great start to the night, to which I made it to XS just on time to meet up with the A4D crew and begin the onslaught of liver-damaging alcohol consumption. I partied with w4, consumed some Grey Goose, partied with Ads4Dough, consumed more Grey Goose, and before I knew it, my legs were failing me and I had texted my AMs to let them know “I’m getting the fuck outta here before I die“.
Somehow I made it to the Bellagio and hung out with Harrison, Jared and a few others from EWA for about an hour, before passing out slightly and realizing I had to get back to my hotel ASAP. The stumble back was quite entertaining after being offered a “quick blowjob” from a sketchy looking girl wearing a hoodie. I sincerely believe she wanted to stab me, steal my wallet and never deliver on her original offer. Luckily I wasn’t THAT drunk 🙂
The onslaught of that night had caused me to miss most of the next day and a bunch of parties that night due to a incurable hangover. I got a decent sleep and made it to the conference the next day to attend the exhibition hall and meet some more companies, hang out with my AMs and grab a few meals.
Overall, it wasn’t as productive as I’d originally hoped, but I did make some good connections, establish stronger relationships with people I work or worked with and generally feel like I’m in a solid industry that’s not going away for a very long time.
If you’re looking for further Affiliate Marketing Guidance, check out StackThatMoney. Best community of experienced marketers from around the globe, exclusive meetups, follow along’s, tutorials and the knowledge of a thousand sun-gods.
Can’t Decide on Tracking Software?
I’ve recently switched over to a new tracking platform called Thrive by the guys over at iPyxel which I love. It’s still in development, but is constantly improving and making strides, and the best part about it can be self-hosted. The offer a 30-day trial and it’s $99 a month thereafter which is well worth the investment.
Those on a smaller budget can still opt to go the CPVLab route, another favorite of mine but a little more outdated. It is, however, more suitable for PPV traffic if that’s your traffic of choice.