Ultimate Guide to the Affiliate Summit West 2023 Recap

Dan Buontempone

TUNE Sales team at Affiliate Summit West 2023
The TUNE team at Affiliate Summit West 2023.

What a show! 

I have had the pleasure of attending the Affiliate Summit conferences since 2007, and this past Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas was truly one of the best that I have ever attended. From the quality of attendees both on the brand and publisher sides to a brand-new venue that didn’t have that “smoked in” smell, it will be hard to top this one. 

Dan Buontempone of TUNE at Affiliate Summit West 2023
The author checking out the sights and sounds. Source: Dan Buontempone

Once people finally realized that the show was at the newly built Caesars Forum and not Caesars Palace (as it was a few years back), meeting requests were flying across email, LinkedIn, the official Affiliate Summit app, and even Facebook Messenger (you know who you are). 

Sunday was a travel day for most of the TUNE team, with seven team members flying in from five different states. It seems like almost everyone had some sort of travel mishap or delay in getting to Vegas, but even air travel couldn’t put a damper on everyone’s spirits. The TUNE team got together for some quality eats at Beauty & Essex in the Cosmo, went to the affiliate-famous Chandelier bar for their signature Verbena cocktails, then finished the night catching the show “O” by Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio. 

The Meet Market of Affiliate Summit West 2023
The Meet Market at Affiliate Summit West 2023. Source: Dan Buontempone

Come Monday, it was showtime! The TUNE team was posted up at both our Meet Market table, and hundreds of affiliate marketers swarmed our booth for six straight hours. It was great to see a mixture of current clients, familiar faces, and many new ones, as well.

In shows past, the Meet Market is typically packed for the first hour or two, then ramps back up for the last hour or so — but this year it was non-stop. There were times that the line to speak with a TUNE member was three to four people deep. We had some killer swag, and handed out tons of TUNE + Fluent Happy Hour invites for Topgolf

After the Meet Market ended and the TUNE team had a quick breather, it was out to dinner again, then back to where the most affiliate action happens outside the show: the Chandelier bar.

Line for TUNE + Fluent happy hour at Topgolf Las Vegas during Affiliate Summit West 2023
The line to get in to the Topgolf happy hour hosted by TUNE + Fluent at Affiliate Summit West 2023. Source: TUNE

On Tuesday, the show shifted from Monday’s Meet Market to the Exhibit Hall. The show floor was a bit more manageable, and there were lots of affiliate marketers feverishly texting and messaging via the Affiliate Summit app on places to meet up within the Forum.

Dan Buontempone with Affiliate Summit co-founders Shawn Collins and Missy Ward during ASW23
Dan Buontempone with Affiliate Summit co-founders Shawn Collins and Missy Ward. Source: Dan Buontempone

Once the clock struck 5, the TUNE team headed over to Topgolf for our happy hour event with Fluent. This is always my favorite part of any show, and it’s such an absolute pleasure to hear from people that our happy hour (and not the one upstairs) was the highlight of their trip. We hosted nearly 400 affiliates, and people are still raving about it! 

After TUNE’s Topgolf event, people flocked to Darren Blatt’s Affiliate Ball, where Method Man performed for a lively crowd of performance marketers. 

Afterwards, the TUNE team got together for one last team meal in Las Vegas, making a visit to the best pizzeria west of the Delaware River (shhhh!).

And what Vegas trip would be complete without seeing the fountain show at Bellagio, and Billy Joel’s Piano Man at a dueling pianos bar?   

The water fountain show at the Bellagio during Affiliate Summit West 2023
The fountain at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Source: Dan Buontempone

Wednesday was the last official day of the show, which saw its fair share of affiliate zombies wandering around to pick up their last few meetings. Most of the team traveled home Wednesday, but we definitely took home a lot of industry trends with us: 

  • Brands are still struggling to find and recruit quality publishers, influencers, and shopping partners. Luckily, TUNE can help with that.
  • Content remains king, with publishers continuing to beef up their performance driven-editorials teams such as Buzzfeed Shopping, Capital One Shopping, NY Post Deals, and Buy Side from Wall Street Journal as I highlighted in our 2022 Marketing Trends Recap
  • Influencers, particularly utilizing short form video like Instagram Stories and TikTok, are in high demand. 
  • Brand to brand partnerships are becoming a much bigger conversation in the affiliate world, particularly now since platforms like TUNE can accurately track attribution for web, mobile, and even offline traffic. 

We are all back and ready to help scale your business! If you would like to learn more, chat with us today.

Dan Buontempone

Dan Buontempone has been in the partner marketing space since 2006, spending time on the brand, publisher, and agency sides of the business. Dan’s affiliate career has always revolved around connecting some of the best brands and publishers in the industry, and he continues to do that as TUNE’s Business Development Specialist. Nothing excites Dan more than a pixel or postback firing when it’s supposed to! Dan is forever a Long Islander and currently resides in New York’s Hudson Valley, about an hour north of the greatest city in the world.