I arrived in Las Vegas for Affiliate Summit West on Saturday (1/9/16), just in time to attend the Speaker’s Reception and drink one of my “make me something fruity with rum” drinks. Then I was off to Missy Ward’s Birthday Party held at the renowned Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak and Stone Crab. Connie Arnold and I got our workout walking all over Caesar’s trying to find the place, but it was worth it – good food (yes, I tried stone crab) and good company.
Sunday was a busy day filled with meetings, the Meet Market (where I won an Apple Watch from Xero), and I was even able to catch a few sessions. David Vogelpohl from WPEngine gave some great tips on how to optimize WordPress like a Super Affiliate and Chuck Mullins talked on buying and selling websites. Sunday night, I had wanted to eat at Battista’s Hole in the Wall Italian restaurant that was recommend to me (thanks Trevor), and it was awesome – especially the old guy walking around playing the accordion for tips.
Then we were off to the ShareASale Under The Stars party where the theme was “A Golden Gatsy Celebration” which was another exceptional event put on Brian Littleton. After two of my fruity drinks, I decided I needed to be a good girl since I had duties in the morning. My only regret was that they didn’t play music from the Gatsby era so we could do the Charleston wearing our flapper dresses.
Monday was the first official day of my duties as emcee of the Affiliate Summit conference. This was the 33rd conference put on by Shawn Collins and Missy Ward (co-founders of Affiliate Summit) and the 12th consecutive show held in Las Vegas. I started out by asking the audience who remembered Angelfire, Geocities, Lycos and Tripod? Several affiliate veterans raised their hands. I shared how I started my affiliate sites on Tripod back in 1998 and was essentially blogging before they called it blogging. I remember posting an update in July of 1998 saying that I would be taking a few days off as I was having a baby. That baby is now seventeen, a senior in high school and has a blog of her own.
I then introduced keynote speaker Kerri Pollard, former President and current advisor of CJ Affiliate by Conversant who was wearing some spectacular Manolos. She began her affiliate marketing career at BeFree back in 1999. BeFree was one of the first affiliate networks I had joined “way back when”.
That night, after I hosted the Ask the Expects roundtables, Melissa Salas and I attended Michael Jackson’s ONE. I love Cirque du Soleil shows, and I admit I used to have a crush on Michael Jackson in junior high. I knew all his songs and remembered the poster of Michael Jackson I had hanging in my room from even farther “way back when”.
The second day of my emcee duties, I shared how I’m a big believer in the law of attraction. After last year’s Affiliate Summit, I made a list of goals, my bucket list per se, to help visualize my dreams. I was proud to announce that I was able to cross off four milestones since them creating the list:
- Being able to speak in front of a large crowd (there I was)!
- I was wearing a pair of coveted Christian Louboutin pumps.
- I was a guest on The Steve Harvey show and was wearing the dress that I had originally planned to wear on the show that day.
- I had a desire to vacation at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. And two days after the event, my mom and were going to head to Cancun! In fact, I wrote this very post from there!
Shawn and Missy then announced the nominees and winners (bold) of the Pinnacle Awards. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners! As a past nominee and winner, I know what an honor it is.
- Affiliate of the Year
- Affiliate Manager of the Year
- Exceptional Merchant of the Year
- Affiliate Marketing Advocate
- OPM/Agency of the Year
- Tool/Service of the Year
I teared up when Mike Nunez accepted the award for AffiliateManager.com as his brother, Jon Nunez, and him had started the company. Jon recently passed away and will be missed by all.
I then introduced keynote Greg Gifford, Director of Search and Social at DealerOn, and got booed when I said I didn’t share his love for bacon! In case you missed all of Greg’s movie references, his presentation (as all as all other speaker presentations) are available on Slideshare.
Thank you to Shawn Collins and Missy Ward for trusting me to host the show. I appreciated the opportunity and had a great time!
See you all in New York in July for Affiliate Summit East 2016!