Well that’s another successful Affiliate Summit in the books. I just got back from Philly and it was certainly unlike any other show they’ve had before.
First off, with the location being Philadelphia for the first time for everyone, things were a bit different than everyone was used to – which is cool by me because I think Affiliate Summit should change locations up once in a while. The show took place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which I liked a lot because the place was huge. The only downside was there was no hotel bar to link up and have quick meetings like we’re used to at the Hilton and it was a bit of a far walk to get to one’s room if you wanted to take a break from the show for a bit.
As for the city itself, Philadelphia is of course a city rich with history and great architecture especially in Center City where the show was taking place. It was great to see a lot of attendees take advantage of being in the area to check out things like the Rocky Steps, grabbing a delicious cheesesteak from one of the original restaurants, or checking out a Phillies game. With that said, Philly is not one of those cities that is accustomed to the late night after-after-parties that often take place at Affiliate Summit and especially not on Sunday-Tuesday nights with most places closing at 2am. Nonetheless, the parties that did go down on Monday night were actually pretty good with Havana Brown at the Affiliate Nation party at Lit, Busta Rhymes and Evander Holyfield at Affiliate Ball, and the private 50 on Red and Leadnomics party at Rumor.
I got in pretty late Sunday, but was able to catch the after-show events such as the STM / F5 Meetup which went down at the Raw Sushi Lounge. The crowd was cool with affiliates gathering from mostly the northeast it seemed like. I noticed a lot of people there were very new affiliates. I remember having to explain to one of them who Wes Mahler was and what Tracking202 was because although he was an affiliate, he never had used or heard of 202. Wow now that made me feel like an old-timer in this industry lol. Following the meet up, myself and a few other affiliates along with the Glispa team decided to grab some dinner at The Corner, which is known for their awesome truffled grilled cheese and it was truly good. After hearing that the Share-a-sale party and Badger Ball were really packed, we decided to venture out on the town and found an interesting spot on 20th and Ranstead before we headed off to The Bru at the end of the night which is where we found a lot of other Affiliate Summit attendees. Overall it was a good first night, and I was definitely ready to call it a night.
I hit the exhibit hall right after grabbing a meal with some of my Jersey affiliate people at Reading Terminal Market. The lines at the famous cheesesteak places were absolutely ridiculous so we opted for the next best thing – gyros. Following that, we headed off to the floor which was interesting to see as it was all in one giant room as opposed to the three floor set up we’re used to in NYC. It was nice to not have to take escalators up and down to see different booths and definitely one of the advantages of being at the PA Convention Center. I explored the floor and caught up with old friends and made some new important contacts. There were a lot of mobile focused companies there, more advertisers than usual, and a lot of white-label and product fulfillment companies as well.
Following the show, it was time to attend one of my good friends’ dinner. He graciously decided to host a dinner for all his friends in the affiliate industry at Maggiono’s to show his thanks for all the support he’s received from the people around him that’s enabled him to make more money in a year than he’s ever made before. This good friend’s name is JJ Alan and he’s truly one of those rare good friends because they never take anything for granted and are selfless as well as able to show their gratitude. The dinner was absolutely amazing from everything from the appetizers to the main course to the desserts, but the company was even better. Thanks JJ and here’s hoping to your continued success!
Monday night is party night of course and there was a pretty big lineup. We started off the night at Lit for the Affiliate Nation party sponsored by ClickBooth, CPAWay, and MaxBounty. The music was actually really good here, it wasn’t super packed to the point of being uncomfortable, and there was plenty of eye candy as you can see below.
Following that, we rushed it to Affiliate Ball at Whisper to catch Busta Rhymes perform and little did I know Evander Holyfield was also there! Whisper was absolutely packed and it was crazy hot in there, but it was absolutely worth it to see Busta party it up with our industry. I got catch up with my friends at XRevMedia and Greg Davis and got a nice view of the show at their table.
As soon as Busta Rhymes was done performing and chugging down a whole bottle of Patron, we headed to Rumor to catch the end of the 50onRed, Fluent, and Leadnomics party. The venue was actually really nice and felt way more personal. I ran into a contact I had met back in Amsterdam two years ago and it was amazing how he had grown his business. We talked about how we can work together and I ran into some other people I knew. Before you knew it, the party was ending and it was time to find some grub – but not before dealing with the Philly police who decided to block off the street for some reason causing people to just flood the street. When they finally kicked everyone out, we ventured next door to a burger spot open til 3am and from there called it a night. There you go – cops and 3am burger runs – that’s what affiliates taking over Philly does lol.
I hit the floor one more time to check out some of the booths I missed earlier and was actually able to get a decent amount of potential future business done. I talked to a few suppliers to see how they could help get me a better deal for my own diet offer, which I have just opened up to select affiliates. I’ve already sold out of my first batch of product and have just had a re-order come in and am ready to scale, so as a side note if you’re a serious affiliate with good traffic, let’s see if we can work together.
Overall it was an awesome Affiliate Summit East and I’m really glad I came out even though it was on the tail end of a month and half long travel period. I made a few solid connections and picked up a few golden nuggets and that’s all you really need to make your trip worth it and with Affiliate Summit it always is for me. Every time I have gone to the show, it’s always spurred my business whether it be from one contact, one conversation, or one new idea – it can truly change and exponentially grow your business. I’ve met so many affiliates that have for years missed out on the show because they didn’t feel like they needed it, but then when they did come out one year all of a sudden their whole mindset and progression changes. As independent of a business as affiliate marketing is, it still relies on people at the end of the day whether it be with your affiliate manger, advertising network reps, or your customers and the best way to really understand and grow in this business is to connect with them face-to-face at events like Affiliate Summit. Go ahead and pre-register for Affiliate Summit West if you haven’t done so already and get your discounted pass – it will be here before you know it!