ASW 2012 Wrap-Up

Ahh, another ASW come and gone.  As is always the case, it proves to be the show with the most value in almost all categories.  In the past, Ad:Tech might have had the edge on certain areas, and still may, but Affiliate Summit is quickly overtaking them in terms of professional atmosphere and focus on Affiliate Marketing.

To say this show was different from years past would be quite an understatement.  Granted, Nickycakes was out of the country for last years summit, but lots of things have changed.  Here are a few glaring things that anyone would notice:

The Venue

The last ASW Nickycakes attended was 2010 at the Rio.  The Rio sucked as a venue.  Other than being in Vegas, which is always fun, it’s just a bad location and an even worse hotel.  The only options for hotels within walking distance were the Palms, Palms Place, and Gold Coast.  The rooms sucked, and it wasn’t much fun having to take a cab back and forth to and from the strip to do anything fun.

Last year was at Wynn, which is a great casino, but again, Nickycakes wasn’t there, so can’t really comment.

This year was at Caesars Palace, a great venue compared to Rio, even if it’s a bit old as far as casinos go.  It’s right in the middle of the strip, connected to the best mall in the country (Forum Shops).  According to people who stayed there, the rooms were pretty nice, but the show being at Caesars has the advantage of having some amazing hotels within walking or short cab distance on the strip.  Cosmo, Bellagio, Mandarin, Vdara, and Aria are all varying degrees of nice and quite close.

The exhibit hall and speaker rooms were pretty good, even though they were all a decent hike from the main entrance of the casino.

The Exhibitors


Where did all the affiliate networks go?  There seemed to be way fewer affiliate network booths in the exhibit hall this year.  Quite a few networks have closed up shop in the past couple years, but seeing the exhibit hall really drove the point home.

Abandoned Copeac table being used as a trash can.

It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though.  The void made room for lots of awesome ad networks and advertisers.  It also made it quite obvious who the good networks are.  If they had a booth this year, they’re probably doing ok.  If they didn’t, they’re probably struggling, or already dead.    To give you an idea of what the layout looked like if you weren’t there, you can check it out here.

Overall, the lack of affiliate networks and influx of more ‘corporate’ people made it better for business but less fun.  Nickycakes is cool with that.  Here are some pics!

This dude seriously ran over and posed like this for about a minute once he saw me taking a picture.

Bethany, Brandon (kaveman), Jamie from a4d. Not hungover. At all.

#bossmode. Ballin ass Steve Howe from C2M orders room service breakfast to his booth on Tuesday morning.

Worst booth gimmick ever? Approximately 0 people used that cardboard cut-out. Maybe 1 if you count John Chow.

Not sure what the deal was with the dude in the kilt.

Latest evidence of discriminatory hiring practices by AKMG

Clickbank had an interesting looking booth this year.

The Attendees

Finally, most of the retards are gone.  It seems with the exodus of “easy money” US rebills due to FTC crackdowns and other factors, a good number of the idiots who clogged up Affiliate Summit can’t afford tickets to vegas anymore.  Good riddance.

Still going were people who actually care about the industry and make money with hard work.  Even some dudes Nicky has known forever who got everything taken by the FTC recently were at the show and still working hard.  It was really a great show and was awesome to talk shop with smart people who have original ideas and get stuff done.

The Keynotes

Nicky was only able to make it to one keynote, the main one on Monday.  The speaker was Jon Spolestra, GM of the Trailblazers for 11 years and President of the Nets for 3.  He was hyped up to be really good, but overall his keynote fell flat.

"I'm Superman!"

The guy was a good speaker and everything, but he didn’t offer much in the way of helpful information or even motivation.  It seemed like he spent most of the time talking about his personal accomplishments and pretty much none on real world applications of his main points which were:

  1. New as a Way of Life
    -Basically, try new stuff.  What a revelation.
  2. What’s it Gonna Take?
    -Find out what you need to do to overcome your obstacles and go for it.  Another amazing revelation.
  3. Push the Outrageous Envelope
    -Do ‘outrageous’ stuff that nobody has thought of before, and make sure to come up with defenses when people criticize your idea…  So…try new stuff…(see point #1)

He did mention a few case studies about how he went from a tri-fold brochure to a full page catalog for selling game tickets which greatly increased his ticket sales, but seriously, split testing your media is probably the least groundbreaking idea you could possibly present at an affiliate marketing conference.

No offense to the dude, but Nickycakes could have used that extra hour of sleep.

Overall Impressions

GREAT SHOW.  Probably the most productive yet.  A single 10 minute conversation at ASW could pay for your entire trip many times over, so there’s really no reason not to go.

The parties were apparently pretty fun as well, but you’ll have to check other blogs for reports on those as Nicky spent most of the aftershow time catching up with local friends from when he lived in Vegas.

Upcoming Shows

At this Affiliate Summit, Nickycakes has never seen so many people who showed up without passes because they waited too long to try and buy one.  If you plan to go to Affiliate Summit East in NYC this year (equally awesome show), you can either buy a ticket now for $99 until March by clicking here, or spend close to $500 when you get to the show, if they even have tickets left.  Up to you!

Keep it real!

Peanut Gallery

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