Hopefully you’ve already made your plans this weekend for Affiliate Summit West 2013 in Las Vegas. We’ll be there of course, at the Meet Market on Sunday (Table #57) and the Conference Floor (Booth #324) on Monday and Tuesday. We’re looking forward to meeting (and catching up with!) all of you who will be attending.
I recently had a chance to sit down and chat with Shawn Collins, co-founder of Affiliate Summit, about the affiliate industry and what attendees can expect at Affiliate Summit West.
Kelly: What are some of the biggest trends you saw this past year in the affiliate industry?
Shawn: This is not anything new, but there has been an ongoing expansion of affiliate marketers into mobile. I expect that we’ll soon consider it to be automatic that affiliates all have mobile versions of their sites.
K: What advice do you have for those attending the conference for the first time?
S: I actually have a whole session of advice for first timers on the Sunday morning of the conference called First Timers Orientation for Affiliate Summit.
There is a version of the presentation online, but the in-person version shouldn’t be missed.
I’ll be in costume, there will be music from Toby Keith, Lionel Ritchie, and Erasure, and an opportunity for folks in attendance to go to dinner with speakers from the conference.
K: If you could only choose one session (or event) to attend this year – what would it be, and why?
S: I’m really excited about the Sunday afternoon keynote: Affiliate to CEO from Guys Who’ve Been There, Done That
It’s going to be a unique opportunity to sit in on a conversation with affiliates who have grown from traffic arbitrage into building well-recognized, very successful businesses.
This and the other three keynotes are open to all pass types.
K: What are you most looking forward to this year at Affiliate Summit West?
S: The people. This is such a unique, warm industry, and each Affiliate Summit feels like a family reunion to me. It’s great to see everybody and hear about their struggles and successes.
I love how people come together and help each other – not just in the structured environment of the conference, but all across the days before, during, and after.
I always come away inspired and excited to get to work on my own affiliate projects after being immersed with everybody for days. Well, I catch up on sleep first at home, and then I act on things.
K: And of course…what are you most looking forward to in Las Vegas?
S: My experience is different from the attendees at Affiliate Summit – I don’t really have time to play in Las Vegas from the time I land the Friday before the conference until we wrap up on Tuesday afternoon. So, I’ll pretty much see a lot of Caesars Palace for 5 days.
But I am excited about the dinner I mentioned earlier. We’ll have a group of 75 people (speakers, members of our advisory board, and first timers) going to Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Harrah’s on Tuesday night.
Heading over there after the conference began as a little tradition for me 6 or 7 years ago, when I went with one friend. Over the years, the group has grown, and now I’m excited to celebrate another Affiliate Summit with dozens of people.
It’s sort of a hokey spot, but I love it – chicken fried steak, beer in mason jars, live music, dancing – that’s a nice way to wind up a bunch of great days.
Will you be attending ASW this weekend? What are you looking most forward to?
In addition to writing about emerging news and trends in the performance marketing industry, she is a columnist for Forbes, covering the intersection of technology and society. She can be can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, or her personal blog... and usually with a cup of coffee in hand, too.