An Affiliate Summit 2012 Album

The Hotdogman was a man with a plan at Affiliate Summit West this year. I had three main objectives and I accomplished all three. The first was to have discussions with affiliate networks about hooking up a company I work with for affiliate sales. The second was to cement some relationships for partnerships going forward. The third was to get ASW 2012 attendees perspective on a VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION (more on that later).

I made some great connections, got some solid new ideas, and had a boatload of fun. My photo journal of the event follows.

The journey started on an unseasonably warm January Saturday morning at Logan Airport in Boston.

After eight long hours of travel, I arrived in Las Vegas with my chariot awaiting me.

Before I knew it, the Las Vegas Strip was at my feet.

I went to Caesar's Palace to check in to the conference early. 

There was a very small crowd of early birds and I bumped into Priscilla Nunez who was definitely in the spirit of the conference- right down to her nails!

After that, I saw the volcano at the Mirage erupt. I shot a video of the entire eruption.

The next stop was an impromptu meet up at Gilley's.

After that, I headed back to my hotel. On my way I posed with some modern day Romans.

When I got to my hotel, I played some craps, won $75 then went to bed. I woke up the next day and had an AMAZING breakfast at the Hash House a Go Go.

Before hitting the conference, I hit the sports book and made some small investments which I would duplicate at the Caesar's Sports book. I went 3 for 3 on my Winning Football Picks and insured I would not have to hit the ATM during the rest of the conference.

I ascended to the conference area, giddy with excitement!

The registration area hadn't reached critical mass yet, so I headed over to the Blogger's Lounge.

Blogger's Lounge mistress Heather from Beautiful B.C. was there to get everyone set up- she was a real trooper for the entire conference, so I gave her some sea glass earrings and asked her "the question."

I was off to breakout sessions after that. The first was "The Future of  Content Monetization and Publishing" with panelists Murray Newlands, Ian Fernando, John Chow and Steve Hall.

The next session I went to was "SEO-Ask the Pros" with Bruce Clay (pictured below), Stephan Spencer and some anonymous dude. 

After the SEO session, I hit the Meet Market. The floor was crowded.

Next up was "Affiliate Improv" with Daniel Clark, (pictured below) Mike Buechele, Trisha Lyn Fawver, and Eric Souza.

I also went to "Affiliate/Merchant Networking" where I met Kim Rowley and many other folks- but I didn't take any pictures. After a nice dinner with Kirk Taylor and Ron Opher, it was time to PARTY!

The first stop was The Party at the Chateau Nightclub in the Paris Casino.

This is a dual level nightclub with the indoors downstairs and a lovely patio under the Eiffel Tower.

After that, it was off to the Palms for the Tip Off Party. There was an open bar and the Hotdogman got a VIP pass! I got pretty lathered up at this shindig and snapped a picture of these Blue Man Group wannabees dancing.

Off to bed after that and looking to Monday. I hit the Blogger Room for some coffee and then hit the opening keynote speech with Jon Spoelstra. His message to "market outrageously" hit home and he just loved the Hotdogman's National Hot Dog Month stunt! We snapped a picture and I asked him the question too.

The Exhibit Hall opened up, so I went to check it out. 

I had specific business with Share a Sale, Commission Junction and As Seen on PC. I also roamed around grabbing swag.

The best give away in the joint by far was at the Convert2Media booth.
They had Rodney serving up my two most favorite words: FREE BEER!

I roamed the exhibit hall for a while after speaking with the folks I needed to see, then headed out for a smoke. The smoking lounge was a great place to network away from the noise of the exhibit hall.

I spent the rest of the afternoon circulating and interviewing folks. I interviewed my benefactor, John Chow (he gave me the passes to the Summit).

Next up was the $2000 Blackjack Hand for Shoemoney Contest Winner Julian Hooks.
Julian won $500 for travel, free suite at Caesar's, a Platinum Pass, AND the opportunity to bet $2000 on one hand of blackjack. Here's Shoemoney and Julian with the cash!

Julian sat at a full table and laid the money down- see what happened HERE.

After that, I zipped back over to my hotel to change and got ready for a long evening of poker and partying. My first stop was Purpose Inc's Poker Tournament at the Mirage. This is the fourth Affiliate Summit Tournament DK has put on.

I didn't make it to the break, but I hung around until the end to shoot a video of the tournament. Here's a photo of the final table. Note Bruce Clay in the front- like any good SEO guy he was everywhere!

During the break, as always, DK served In and Out Burgers.

You had to know this picture was coming!

Tony Ridley ended up taking home the prize by going all in with a full house.

While DK consoled second place finisher Troy McAllister, I made plans to make like a Shepperd and get the flock out of there!

The next stop was the Affiliate Ball at the Rio sponsored by Max Bounty. I had a VIP pass, but all that really got me was access to a bar with shorter lines and more expensive drinks! The ball featured Nelly. I must admit, I had no clue as to who Nelly was- I asked my 18 year old who replied "Oh, he's so middle school, dad!" The place was packed.

They had some very energetic dancers too.

This really wasn't my scene, so I hopped a cab to Affiliate Fight Night at Randy Coutoure's Gym. There were multiple sponsors for this event, but the main sponsor was Clickbooth.

It was pitch black when I walked in- you could hardly see the fighters.

Once I figured out my flash was off, I snapped a photo of the go go girls goofing off. ZOIKS!

One of the gals slapped a choke hold on the Hotdogman.

There were 3 fights scheduled. The fighters used 16 ounce gloves and wore pads; there was no ground and pound allowed either, so it was more like muay thai or kick boxing. It was still some pretty rough action that I got to see from a viewpoint I wouldn't normally get.

There was a shuttle bus with tons of beer on board that took us back to Caesar's Palace. John Chow, who was a guest judge for the final fight, was on the bus too- I swear he was following me around all weekend!

After hitting the sheets at about 4 AM, I woke up Tuesday in need of mass quantities of coffee. After an espresso IV, I hit the Pinnacle Awards and Keynote. I chatted with Tricia Meyer who won Blogger of the Year. I asked her "the question" too.

Turns out I didn't need the coffee since Eric Thomas, the Hip Hop Preacher was the morning keynote speaker. His high energy, uplifting speech could have woken the dead! We chatted after the speech and snapped a picture together.

After that, Ron Opher and I went to Pinks Las Vegas to do a Hot Dog Story.

Once I was done with the video shoot, it was nearly time for the closing keynote by Jeremy "Shoemoney" Schoemaker. His speech was informative and hilarious! He said it would be his final speaking gig ever (we'll see).

I caught up with Shawn Collins and Missy Ward, co-founders of Affiliate Summit, after the speech. This year's Summit was the biggest ever with over 5000 attendees. 

After mugging with Shoemoney.... was time to head back to my hotel and get ready to go home. I had a couple of hours to kill before my flight and I didn't want to blow my stack gambling, so I took a seat at a $0.25 poker machine and fed it a $20 bill. After a few spins of the wheel, look what happened:

A ROYAL FLUSH!!! Sweet! Mrs. Hotdogman was excited to see this picture pop up on her phone!

All told, it was a great trip. I definitely give Affiliate Summit West 2012

As Arnold once said, "I'll be back!"

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