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  1. #1
    MichaelCorfman's Avatar
    MichaelCorfman is offline GPWA Executive Director
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    Cool Affiliate Summit A Great Experience

    Last week, Sunday August 10th to Tuesday August 12th, the Affiliate Summit was held in Boston. I figured I'd spend some time there, but actually ended up spending all three days at the conference. I found it to be quite educational, and I'd recommend it to any affiliate.

    Sunday afternoon, before the summit expo hall opened and the conference began, there was an event called the "meet market" where exhibitors had tabletops before the regular show opened. I talked with quite a few exhibitors, and got a good feel for who I wanted to talk with more later.

    There was also a very nice party on the Spirit of Boston that evening with far more food to eat than I'm used to from iGaming parties along with the usual plenty to drink. But the party was definitely not as crazy as those with the wilder online crowd.

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    The "Meet Market" and the Spirit of Boston

    The conference itself is focused on general affiliate marketing, and not iGaming affiliate marketing, so it was quite a change from the usual CAP and CAC conferences I'm used to attending. For starters, it is a bigger conference than those specialized on the iGaming industry, with well over 2,000 attendees present. And the types of affiliate programs in attendence were extremely diverse. Examples of exhibitors included affiliate programs for resorts and hotels, books, health and beauty products, checkbook printers, shirts, show tickets, currency exchange, financial services, and food products. The booth for Crab affiliate sales even had a mascot roving around the show - see the picture below with Rebecca and me. Anyway, you name it, it was there - over 100 exhibitors in total.

    Most of the major affiliate networks were also present - they play a much greater role in general affiliate marketing than they do in the online gaming world. Companies I recognized from online gaming affiliate shows included Moniker (domain asset management and domain name auctions), Syntryx (they provide information on affiliate websites to affiliate programs), and the folks from Income Access were there exhibiting non-gaming products under the brand Share Results.

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    Blue Man Group, Exhibit Hall, and Rebecca and Michael with a Crab

    The keynote speaker was the Mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, who gave a very moving and inspirational speech about making a difference in what we do with a solid message that makes sense for anyone, particularly those running small businesses, which is all of us. And every bit as engaging was the introduction to the Mayor given by the Blue Man Group.

    There was a wide variety of very interesting sessions with three session going on at once throughout the conference. I attended sessions on social networks, search engine strategies, New York tax law issues, regulatory compliance, legal issues in affiliate marketing, and Ten golden rules for Internet Marketing, among others. If you think we have problems as online gaming affiliates, you should hear some of the stories from New York state affiliates. New York passed a law that resulted in many affiliate programs dropping all of their affiliates in New York state, and the effects on them was far worse than the effect of the UIGEA on us in many cases.

    And I think I also make some good connections for future affiliate program arrangements that will allow Casino City to diversify a little more. I'm most excited about a ticket agency program that has a strong focus on Las Vegas and sounds like it should be pretty easy for us to deeply integrate into the Casino City site. I also spoke to the folks from Ticketmaster and it seems there program has also evolved to the point we will want to work with them also.

    My eyes were definitely opened to the very broad scope of affiliate marketing and the general afffiliate marketplace. A found out about the largest affiliate community on the web, www.abestweb.com and met Haiko, who runs the site. Definitely a very different place culturally than the GPWA with over 40,000 members. And one that does not seem to have any discussion about iGaming affiliate marketing at all. Personally I've signed up the be a participant in that forum and made a couple posts there because some diversification outside iGaming is part of what Casino City is about.

    The next Affiliate Summit will be in Las Vegas at the Rio January 12-13, 2009, so if you're looking for an excuse to visit Sin City, the summit is a good one.

    If you'd like to see a few more photos from the summit, or be able to zoom in and see any of the photos above in greater detail, visit my Affiliate Summit Boston album on Facebook.

    Michael
    GPWA Executive Director, Casino City CEO, Friend to the Village Idiot

    Resources for Affiliates: iGamingDirectory.com, iGamingAffiliatePrograms.com, GamingMeets.com

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  3. #2
    masontech's Avatar
    masontech is offline Private Member
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    Hi Michael,

    I did the Affiliate Summit in Vegas in Feb of this year. Had a great time. I must admit that it was a part business funded trip to Sin City.

    There really is a lot going on in the affiliate world and the great SEO skills we learn building and making it in the hardest of sectors really makes some others a dream.

    I wholly recommend the events to anybody interested and you meet some great characters whilst there.

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