January 13, 2011

Recap: Closing the books on Affiliate Summit West

We’re just back from Affiliate Summit West 2011, which took place Sunday through Tuesday at Wynn Las Vegas.
We were never fond of the whole “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” thing, and that’s good news for you because that allows us to share with you take-aways from the conference that, for us, was a great success on a number of levels.

From the moment Meet Market opened on Sunday afternoon, it was clear that this conference – like our industry itself – continues to multiply like a Gremlin dropped in water. Indeed, conference co-founder Shawn Collins announced that this was the biggest Affiliate Summit to date with 4,627 affiliate marketers in attendance. We enjoyed the opportunity to speak with so many affiliates, merchants and vendors at Meet Market and on the trade show floor.

For those of you who couldn’t attend this Summit, you no doubt are wondering about the biggest take-aways from the conference. We’ve been asked about emerging trends for weeks now, and we see this year as the rise of the daily deal. This observation was validated at Summit, where nearly every affiliate who stopped by our booth seemed to be working a daily deal component into their marketing plan for this new year.

Another take-away: it’s time to take mobile marketing seriously (if you aren’t already). I know what you’re thinking: they’ve been saying this is the year of mobile marketing since, well, 2006ish. What we can tell you is that whenever a session at Summit failed to include mention of the mobile side of things, attendees asked for that information in the Q&A sessions that followed.

For us at Schaaf-PartnerCentric, Summit also served as a great opportunity to gather our team and meet with some of our valued clients and affiliates. It was a treat to have so many clients stop by our salon suite at the Wynn. We were also fortunate to have a full lineup of sit-downs with some of our top affiliate partners – all of whom are excited to be promoting the programs we manage in 2011 and beyond.
The winners of the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awards were announced on Tuesday.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Lisa Picarille, who won the Affiliate Marketing Advocate category. Lisa is a founding board member of the Performance Marketing Association and a constant presence in the industry. For those of you who missed it, Lisa joined us recently on the Affiliate Marketing Insider podcast to offer tips that will help affiliate marketers to create better content.

Speaking of the PMA, Summit gave PMA Executive Director Rebecca Madigan and the board a chance to review their successes in 2010 with members and those who will hopefully soon be joining the organization (http://www.performancemarketingassociation.com/members/join-now/).

It’s clear that the PMA was instrumental in helping our industry fight state efforts to pass affiliate nexus tax legislation. It’s more important than ever that we all get involved and do our part, and the PMA announced a number of new working groups that need your support.

We at Schaaf-PartnerCentric were fortunate to have so much time with our clients and affiliates who were at the conference. Thanks to all who visited our Meet Market table, trade show booth and salon suite – and a special thanks to those who joined us for dinner at Top of the World (Stratosphere).

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