Affiliate Summit West – my impressions

Affiliate Summit LogoMike Glozman is my friend and partner. He runs a popular deal site, Cheap Stingy Bargains, and logs some overtime at our joint venture, He recently came back from the Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas and I asked him to share his impressions.

I had the privilege of attending the Affiliate Summit West in Vegas last week, and I wanted to share with you some of the highlights and things I learned during the conference.

If you are thinking about getting into the affiliate marketing industry, attending the Affiliate Summit is a great way to get your feet wet. Some people feel that affiliate marketing is only relevant for a shopping site, but there are many different ways to use affiliate marketing, many of which are discussed at the Affiliate Summit.

I would say that traditional shopping site owners represented less than 2% of conference attendees, if that. There are so many people doing so many different things in the affiliate space, it is quite thrilling to be a part of it. If you are already a part of the industry, attending the summit is a great way to network and discuss other business opportunities.

So here are my personal highlights from the conference:

Jason Calacanis at Affiliate SummitWhenever I attend a conference, I never miss the Keynote Address, though it’s hard to believe that some people make a point of skipping the Keynote Address. I love Keynotes not necessarily because they are the most informational, but because they are the most exciting and inspirational. This year’s Keynote Address was by Jason Calaconis. For those of you who have been living under a rock, Jason Calaconis is the founder of Weblogs Inc. which was sold to AOL last year. Weblogs Inc operates blogs like Engadget, AutoBlog, and more. Jason is now the founder of, a human powered search engine. To summarize, Jason challenged affiliate marketers to raise the level of their game. Jason spoke of how affiliate marketers should focus more and more on providing quality content and a real service to their customers. Most inspiring to me was his can-do attitude and the stories he shared about the challenges he faced when he first started blogging. Hearing people like Jason speak is priceless, and always gives me a bounce when I get back to work.

Aside from the Keynote Address, networking is a big (ok huge) part of the conference. This year I was lucky enough to meet one of the biggest names in the business, Ben from Ben has been in the deals business almost since it’s very beginning, and it was great to speak to him. I don’t think Ben could’ve been a nicer guy, answering just about any question I asked. I wish more deal site owners would attend, even though we are all competitors there is still a lot we can learn from and share with each other.

The final aspect of the conference I would like to highlight is the sessions. Affiliate Summit sessions are usually held by a panel of experts with a moderator, though they sometimes can be hit or miss in terms of quality and relevance. Affiliate Summit has a wide range of session topics from SEO to video and viral marketing. My secret to getting the most out of the sessions is leaving when I realize it’s not for me! When I first started attending conferences, I would sit for an entire session even though it was probably not useful, in large part out of respect for the speakers. But the bottom line is you are paying money for the event and your time is limited. Therefore, I now give a session a max of 10 minutes and if it doesn’t work I pick another one that is running concurrently. If you can go to the conference with a friend or business partner it’s much easier since you can divide the sessions between each other.

The highlights I described above cover just a small portion of the conference experience. Did I mention there are parties, gambling and nice weather? Overall, I would highly recommend attending the Affiliate Summit if you want to learn more about the industry or you are already part of it. Tickets can be expensive, but there are many ways of attending the conference on a budget. For example, there are coupons on the web (do a Google search) or on forums such as, or you can purchase a low priced exhibit hall only pass, which gives you the opportunity to network, but you will not be able to attend sessions. Airline tickets to Vegas are usually reasonable priced, and hey, at the very least, it’s a trip to Vegas! Looking forward to see you there next year.

See also:

5 Responses to “Affiliate Summit West – my impressions”

  1. 1 Garrett Gee Mar 5th, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    I actually helped organize a deal site meetup during the conference. Sorry that I didn’t notice you in from the attendee list. There was representation from,,,, and ! My day 1 recap can be found at

  2. 2 Mike G. Mar 5th, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Hey Garrett,

    Nice summary. I would love to meet up at the next conference.. Maybe CJU

    Great blog post also.

  3. 3 Yan Mar 6th, 2008 at 1:53 am

    Hmm, who were you representing, Garret?

  4. 4 Garrett Gee Mar 6th, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Yan, I was representing

  5. 5 Yan Mar 6th, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    I see now. You must be the partner Steve mentioned in an email to me

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