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Affiliate Summit West 2024 Wrap Up - STEAK!

Keitaro
I spent last week hanging out in Las Vegas for Affiliate Summit West and it was a blast!

I have been to Affiliate Summit many many times (just look at all the badges!) but I believe this was my first solo trip to Las Vegas. I attended in 2020 right before the Covid-19 Pandemic broke out throughout the world, but had not been to Vegas since.

A lot has changed (even since Affiliate Summit East 2022), but the conference seems to be bigger and better than ever.



Here is a little wrap up of what I did (and how I had a GOLDEN dinner).

Sunday​

I arrived in Las Vegas on Sunday night. I was invited to a show at the Sphere by my friends Dennis and David from IPQS (more on them later) but unfortunately due to my flight time I was not able to make it.

I always try to arrive to a conference the day before it starts. Typically, the first day is one of the most important because everyone is still feeling full of energy and excitement. So, I try to get to the show a day before it starts to give myself time to get adjusted to the new time zone and time to actually get prepared for the conference.



I stayed at Caesars Palace during my time in Vegas and it took quite awhile to check into my hotel room. There was a very long line. When it was my turn, I was pointed to this guy that had pretty cool glasses. I complimented his frames and he offered to give me a bigger room than I had reserved with a view of the Bellagio fountains.

PRO TIP: be nice to the hotel staff and get a better room for free?

After I got all settled into my room, I went directly to CVS and bought myself wrinkle release for my clothes, ibuprofen for my future headaches, and a bunch of bottles of water. When I worked for PeerFly, the first thing the guys I traveled with was find a CVS or Walgreens to buy stuff they needed for the time at the conference. It's way cheaper than getting it from the hotel.

PRO TIP #2: traveling for a conference? Find a nearby store to get the things you did not travel with. You'll thank yourself later for the water.

I was exhausted from traveling so I went to bed early on Sunday so I could wake up early on Monday and get a good start to my trip.

Monday​

I got up early on Monday, got ready, and went to have a nice big breakfast at one of my favorite spots in Las Vegas, Mon Ami Gabi. Affiliate Summit was held in the Paris in Las Vegas for many years so I know the restaurants in there well and have an affinity for them. Mon Ami Gabi has great breakfast food and coffee so it's my first pick.

I messaged @Chad (the previous owner of PeerFly) because I went to this restaurant with him probably 10 times:



and immediately sent him this picture:



He knows me well!

After my delicious breakfast, I went to the conference center early to give myself plenty of time to figure out where it was and so I could get my pass for the conference before everyone else got there and it got crazy.

PRO TIP #3: check in to the conference early. If you wait until the normal start of the conference you may have to wait a LONG time before you're able to get your pass.

I thought when I reserved my room at Caesars Palace that the conference was being held there. But, it turned out the conference was actually being held at Caesars Forum, which is a brand new giant complex that is specifically for conferences.

It was easy to get to from Caesars Palace (just a short walk) and it's absolutely MASSIVE.





Caesars Forum is a fantastic place to hold a conference. It might be my favorite venue I've ever been to. It's MASSIVE. Apparently the room that the Exhibit Hall was in is the largest room in the world without a pillar. Caesars Forum has 2 of these rooms!

The first day of Affiliate Summit is when the Meet Market is. The Meet Market is a room filled with tables where you can meet different companies from throughout the industry.

I met up with some old friends at their tables and many new ones! πŸ˜€ (@AdsEmpire)



I also had a really nice long conversation with Igor from Golden Goose (@MrGoose).



During our conversation, Igor asked what kind of food I like. I told him steak (my favorite) and a few minutes later he invited me to dinner the next day at Nusr-Et Steakhouse.

I had never met Igor but I was really impressed by him almost immediately. He's the co-founder of Golden Goose and knows more about mVas than anyone else I know.

One of the things we talked about is the challenge they have in paying publishers/affiliates daily, but that they continue to do it and have no plans to stop. I get paid by Golden Goose every single day and have for years. They are the only affiliate network that I know of that is still doing daily payments. The cash flow pressure has to be immense! It's actually incredible they're able to do it.

By the time I left Caesars Forum on Monday, I had a pile of business cards from a ton of the tables there. I had conversations with quite a few new companies that are not on affLIFT (they will be soon hopefully!) and some fantastic conversations with Partners that are already active here on the forum.

By dinner time on Monday, I was absolutely exhausted. I had been in Las Vegas for 24 hours and hadn't even placed a bet yet! I walked around a bit, put a little money in the slot machines, and decided to just eat dinner at a restaurant in Caesars Palace and then watch TV in my room until I was ready to fall asleep.

Tuesday​

Tuesday was the first day of the Exhibit Hall. The Exhibit Hall is basically a bigger version of the Meet Market. I think I ended up probably getting more business from the Meet Market, but it was still fun to walk around the Exhibit Hall and chat with people from the industry.

I had a few meetings lined up on Tuesday and I had asked everyone I planned to meet with to just meet me at the Ringba table. I had done this weeks in advance because Ringba always has one of the biggest booths at the conference right at the front when you walk in. They didn't let me down.

Here is their booth (and quite a few others in the wide angle):



I am friends with quite a few of the Ringba guys and it's always nice to catch up with them (they're the same guys from the podcast I did last year).

PRO TIP #4: not sure where to meet someone at Affiliate Summit? Just tell them to meet you at the Ringba booth!

I talked to my buddy Adam who owns Ringba and he thought it was pretty funny I was just having everyone meet me at his booth.

Speaking of people I met at Affiliate Summit, here is one of our original affLIFT members, @nitin!



Once I was done with all my meetings on Tuesday, I went back to my hotel, changed my clothes, and decided it was time to play some blackjack. Blackjack is my favorite card game and it's a Vegas tradition of mine to go to the Hooters casino and play.

On my way to Hooters, I decided to stop and play the Majestic Lions at the MGM Grand. This is another Vegas tradition of mine dating back before I could legally gamble.





I had absolutely no luck in the slot machines in Las Vegas on this trip but I did walk away 2 nights in a row way ahead in blackjack.

The main event for Tuesday was my dinner with Igor at Nusr-Et and boy did it turn out awesome.



Nusr-Et was really good. Igor and I had a table to ourselves and the restaurant was surprisingly empty as you can see from this picture:



I love a good steak and mashed potatoes and Nusr-Et delivered on that. Igor was great company and we chatted for about 2 hours. I left the dinner optimistic about Golden Goose's future, the future of mVas, and with my stomach very full.

After dinner, I hopped in an Uber with Igor to go to the Sphere. Again, I did not make it inside (my own fault for not getting tickets), but the Sphere is absolutely insane even from the outside. You can see it from far away, but I got right up by it to check it out:



It's crazy!

Wednesday​

Wednesday, the final day of the conference, always starts out slow. I did not attend any of the conference parties on purpose on this trip (but usually I would recommend it to get the most out of the conference experience) because I've gone to Affiliate Summit over 10 times so I know what to expect. You drink and party and then the next day you are basically a zombie. I was not surprised to see many people walking around like zombies on Wednesday morning (those who actually got up to come to the conference before noon).

I had some important meetings on Wednesday so I was happy to feel energetic. One of the meetings was with David from Affiliate.com. David just recently acquired Affiliate.com and has a very interesting product he's building on it. Well, I had a shirt from 2012'ish that Scott Richter gave me when Affiliate.com was an affiliate network. I took the shirt with me and gave it to David at our meeting. He was very appreciative and we had a great meeting. He also introduced me to someone else that I may start working with soon.

PRO TIP #5: just be kind.

Something I have not talked about yet is the conference sessions.



I have been to hundreds of sessions at affiliate marketing conferences and even spoke at Affiliate Summit once years ago. There is a lot that can be gained from attending a session, but I do recommend that you be very picky about what sessions you attend. Don't just attend one to attend one. I literally only went to 1 session at Affiliate Summit West this year. In my opinion, there is MUCH MORE to be gained from building relationships and networking than listening to someone talk about a topic they may not even really know much about.

PRO TIP #6: look through the conference agenda ahead of time and pick a few session topics that interest you OR speakers that interest you. I primarily choose which sessions to go to based on who the speaker is. Make sure sessions do not conflict with meetings. Prioritize meetings.

After the session, I decided my conference was over and headed straight to my hotel room to get some work done and do a little follow up. I also got myself a reservation to one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas, Gordon Ramsay's in the Paris.



Yes, I went back to the Paris. If you've read this whole thing, you know about my affinity for restaurants in the Paris. Some of my favorite dinners I've ever had were at Gordon Ramsay's so I went back. But, this time I went by myself.

I had a few people I could have invited to go with me, but by this point I was kind of tired of talking to other people and how often do you get to have a nice dinner by yourself? πŸ˜€

By now I am assuming you can guess what I had...





Steak and mashed potatoes. Which is exactly what I will have again next year at Affiliate Summit West 2025 πŸ˜€
 
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This feels like an old LukePeerFly.com blog post because I used to do 2 of these a year on my blog :)
 
1win
Sounds fun and the steak looks delish!

Speaking of people I met at Affiliate Summit, here is one of our original affLIFT members, @nitin!
OGs!
 
Looks like you had an enjoyable and productive time, I really want to get out to the states for a conference maybe 2024 is the year? :unsure:
 
Marketing conferences are great. Even if you don't do any deals you will meet great people with whom you will have a few drinks :D
 
Luke, sorry i missed you. I would have really liked to have met you in person.

Hope you had fun, see you at the next one.
Mark
 
Thanks Luke for the awesome report! Your words and photos really set the atmosphere πŸ‘πŸ”₯πŸ˜ƒ
 
Great article, a very good story. It makes me yearn for affiliate conferences very much.:love:
 
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