Conferences & Networking

My Affiliate Management Days Goal

Posted on Jan 25, 2013 in Affiliate Marketing, Career, Conferences & Networking |

My Affiliate Management Days Goal

Affiliate Management Days 2013 San FranciscoI’m always looking to learn from those colleagues in our industry who have been doing this longer than I have.  It’s for this reason that I’d LOVE to attend Affiliate Management Days 2013 in San Francisco.  I wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel, or flight, or much of anything outside of my normal daily expenses since it’s just across the SF bay from me.  There’s just one not-so-tiny problem.

The registration price tag.

It’s a lot to ask – $1200 – not that it’s not worth it.  This will be their second conference in San Francisco and I heard terrific things about last year’s show.  Which was their first-ever, so that’s considerably impressive.  I’d love to go hear insights from folks who do the same things I do.  They’ve been where I’ve been.  They know the daily stresses, challenges, and rewards that being an affiliate manager holds.  So I’d be pretty crazy not to want to go!

These are challenging economic times.  While it’s an incredible investment and can easily be claimed as a business expense (because it is), bills are still due.  In an effort to offset the costs and make my goal of attending a reality, I’m asking for your help.   You can help in a number of ways:

  1. If you’re a fellow affiliate manager and haven’t already registered, but intend to, please do so through my affiliate link.  The commission I earn will help me to pay for the pass.
  2. Share my post so others can potentially help.
  3. If you’re not attending, but want to help me reach this goal, I’ve set up a ChipIn campaign to help raise funds towards the conference registration cost.  If I do not make my goal, you will be refunded your donation. You can donate through the widget below:

Thank you so much.  Please – share my goal and help me contribute to the industry I so love by learning more and sharing my own knowledge at Affiliate Management Days SF 2013!

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The Story of My Stolen Purse in Las Vegas

Posted on Jan 21, 2013 in Conferences & Networking |

The Story of My Stolen Purse in Las Vegas

I can now cross “having my purse stolen in Las Vegas” off my life experiences check list.  Here’s how it went down.

While in Las Vegas for the fabulous Affiliate Summit West 2013, on Monday evening I took some time away from parties and happy hours to have dinner with my friend & former boss Connie and afterwards we went off in pursuit of the golden slot machine that would pay for our trips.  After some trial & error, we found ourselves in the Forum Casino area of Caesars Palace.  Connie had settled in on an older vintage machine whereas I wanted the newer machines with all the video game-like bonuses, so I told her where I was going & wandered off to a neighboring bank of penny slots.  After awhile, I decided I was done with that machine & wandered back.  After a minute or two playing some 25¢ slots behind her, I told Connie I was going to go to another bank of slots across the way.

After making my way around a kiosk of machines to find which one “spoke to me”, I went to insert my players card and voucher.  That’s when I realized… WHERE IS MY PURSE?!?!Woman Freaking Out

I jogged back to Connie, hoping I’d just set it down in the chair next to her.  No such luck.  She hadn’t seen my purse, but of course, hadn’t really been paying attention.  I look behind her where I’d been sitting, no purse.  Jogged over to the other bank of slots, NO PURSE!  I looked beside the machines, in the old coin areas that are merely decorative now, and under all the chairs.  WHERE IS MY PURSE?!

I’m glad I was with Connie, because she had the presence of mind to tell me to go tell a security guard that I’d lost my purse.  I’m not sure I’d have thought of that in my panic.

The security guard radios it in and I take him to where I last saw my purse, the first machine with the bonuses.  He asked how long ago was it, and was I SURE that’s where I last left it.

It’s a good thing I have a photographic and sensory memory.  I told him it was less than 5 minutes because the last time I had my purse I remember vividly pulling a cough drop out & putting it in my mouth.  The cough drop is still in my mouth & not even halfway gone.  See?  There’s the wrapper sitting in the ashtray next to the machine.  I could still taste the lip butter I’d put on from inside my purse and, of course, the last thing I remember was tilting my phone out to see that it was just before 11 o’clock.  So yeah, I’m sure.

I tell him the general description of my purse (again, very vivid since it was a Christmas present) and he makes some calls.  He points himself towards a specific camera in the ceiling and waves, which is when I start to remember the MANY shows I’ve seen on cable about how well oiled a machine the surveillance system at Las Vegas casinos are.  We wait awhile, the security guard explaining that they’re putting a rush on looking at the tapes and if a cleaning person or server picked it up, it’ll take 10-20 minutes for them to get back to their stations to report the found object.

LuLu Rouched Clutch

My LuLu Rouched Clutch

After waiting a few minutes with Connie for someone to turn it in, crying a bit because I can’t believe what an idiot I am to lose my purse, the guard decides that it’s been enough time waiting to hear someone turned it in that he’s going to go ahead and take me to the security booth to fill out an official incident report so they can “continue their investigation”.  Connie assures me that she’ll wait right there for me, and I head off.

Of course, after I fill out the incident report, my current boss Roger, his friend, and my co-worker Randy come wandering by.  Randy, being the consummate joker, asks if I’m in trouble of course.  I tell them that I lost my purse & Roger says to text him when I get my phone back.  Like Connie, they all tell me to think positive & that they’re sure it’ll turn up.  Being a pessimist, I was seriously doubting that.

The guard tells me he has to get back, but another person on their team, a woman, was going to come talk to me.  I chat with the guard stationed at the booth – super nice guy that actually used to live in the Bay Area.  We talk about housing prices and whatnot, and it really helps to distract me from the horror show that my night has turned into.  I finally see this woman who fit the first guard’s description walking towards us, when all of a sudden she stops short, listening to her radio on her shoulder.  She turns back around and walks towards the Forum Casino, where we’d just come from.

A minute later, the guard in the booth listens intently on his shoulder radio and says, “They think they got the guy”.


“So it was stolen after all?” I ask.  He nods.  At least I didn’t lose it, I think, but I still have no clue how someone got my purse away from me considering it was more of a clutch with a wrist strap that I had on the whole time (or so I thought).  Another moment goes by and he listens in then says “Oh, they think it was a woman”.

That bitch! I think… then the guard asks if I’d like to press charges.  Now I’m conflicted, because I do want to, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to go to the last day of the conference, if I’ll have to stay in town longer, or if I’ll have to come back at some point.  So I ask what pressing charges would entail.  When he tells me that it would just be 45-60 more minutes of my time to fill out extra paperwork, I

quickly agree to press charges.  He said it best when he explained that he’s glad I’m pressing charges – most people are on vacation & don’t want to be hassled with it as long as they get their stuff back, but if I don’t press charges then they just have to let the perp go, and then they’re going to do it to someone else.

Yeah, I said perp.  I watch a lot of Law & Order.


We chat some more, about a case they had where a man picked up some woman’s $50,000 bracelet that she’d dropped in the casino & went to jail for 5 years, essentially for not turning it in to Lost & Found since he didn’t actively rob her, and soon enough a manager type guy (suit & earwig, no uniform) comes walking our way with my little silver purse in hand.

YAY!  I clap for him to signal I can tell it’s my purse!  He comes over and asks me to verify that everything is in my purse, and it is.  Including more cash than I actually thought I’d had.  I ask about the paperwork and he says it’s not necessary, and that I should enjoy the rest of my night and that they’re sorry for my ordeal.  All told, it was about an hour between reporting my purse missing to the security guard and the manager bringing it back & sending me along on my way.

I never did meet the person who stole it.  I never did see the tape or learn how exactly she got my purse away from me.  I’m assuming that the video evidence was clear enough that they didn’t need any additional paperwork from me.  They have all my contact information on my incident report, so if they need me, I assume they’ll call.

I was happy to find Connie sitting right where I’d left her, and flashed her my (tightly clutched) purse as I made my way back to her.  We ended our night with some celebratory over-priced drinks with some folks we knew already holding court in the Galleria bar & then I was back up to my room!  I te

ll ya… next time it’s over-the-shoulder purses for me that I can keep a better eye on!

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Affiliate Summit Reviews Coming Soon – Promise!

Posted on Aug 30, 2012 in Conferences & Networking |

Affiliate Summit Reviews Coming Soon – Promise!

franticEveryone who’s ever handled multiple clients at once knows that the end of the month is a nutty time.  Reports!  Preparations for next month!  ACK!

So in that spirit, I WILL post my notes and reviews from Affiliate Summit East AND Affiliate Summit Central soon.  Sure, that was at the beginning of this month… but lots of client stuff takes priority!  In the meantime, take a listen to the inaugural episode of Affiliate Marketing Fanatics on QAQN – our rebooted podcast with Daniel M. Clark as my co-host!

In that spirit, stay tuned… some awesome resources from the likes of Chris Pearson, Wil Reynolds, and more are coming soon!

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Reflecting on an Origin Story: Affiliate Summit East 2007

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 in Career, Conferences & Networking |

Reflecting on an Origin Story: Affiliate Summit East 2007

Yes, you read that right.  After a whirlwind trip to Oregon this week for a wedding, I’m making off into the night on a red-eye flight to New York for Affiliate Summit East 2012.

ase07-20This marks a milestone for me.  Affiliate Summit East 2007 in Miami was my first Summit, so this will be (counting last May’s Affiliate Summit Central) my 10th Summit and the 5 year anniversary of this blog and my participation in Affiliate Marketing.  I was just a baby in affiliate marketing back then.

Wow… how things  have changed!  Back then I didn’t know what I was doing at ALL, somehow teaching my co-worker everything I knew about affiliate marketing on our red-eye flight from Oakland to Miami.  And by everything I knew – that means everything I’d learned since about November of 2006, so not much.  How naive we were – we totally blew off the Meet Market thinking it would be lame (maybe back then it was, I wouldn’t have known) and didn’t participate in hardly ANY networking.  We were more interested in South Beach every night to eat dinner on the strip.

The trip was not all fun, and I did take it seriously and so glad I did.  I still use the same college-ruled composition book for notes.  The sessions I went to at that Summit might make you chuckle:

I remember some of the speakers, but not all… Jeremy Palmer, Scott Jangro, Rosalind Gardner, Stephanie Agresta, most notable in my mind at the time was Jay Berkowitz and his 10 golden rules session.  I remember offering up the merchant I worked for at the time for analysis in the Conversion Rate Clinic and going back to my manager at our booth saying, “We have a LOT to fix when we get back!  Josh Sloan made a magical impression on me with his magic tricks as we exhibited beside 1&1,.  We went to ONE networking event and only because we were told we could win some sweet prizes.  It was there that I met Karen & Joel Garcia, who I count as friends now.  I remember returning from that show and deciding that I should start a blog.  I started it on Blogger (I know, I’m ashamed too…) and later got with it and ported it over to self-hosted WordPress.  Want to read my first post?  It’s a doozy… but it was 5 years ago on 8/2 (also my wedding anniversary & Kevin Smith’s birthday).

Get Noticed FAST SpeakersSo in a few days I’m off to Summit again, and I’m so glad I went to summit back in ’07.  It set me on this career path when I just had a job, so I’ll be forever grateful to the speakers in the sessions I attended and the people I met back then that ignited this spark.  I’m proud to say that 5 years later, I’m still loving it!

Want to sit down with me and chat about any of the affiliate programs I manage?  Check out my schedule at and let’s set something up!

Another laugh… my random photos from Miami in 07!

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The Inaugural Affiliate Summit Central

Posted on May 21, 2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking |

The Inaugural Affiliate Summit Central

[singlepic id=122 w= h= float=left]Another conference down, another Affiliate Summit for the record books. The first ever Affiliate Summit Central has drawn to a close. This time around, I attended as a humble affiliate instead of a vendor. Sessions galore were on my agenda for this show, with my only real goal being to get some tips for my sites and Dominic’s, so mission accomplished! I even got some work done for the good ‘ol day job while I was at it!

The mini conference, just a day and a half long, kicked off Monday night with an official welcome party at Maggie Mae’s. It was a terribly crowded joint with a muggy heat and amped up band, so I didn’t end up staying long.  Instead, we wound up in the hotel bar chatting for quite some time and enjoying a glass of one of my favorite wines.

I started out Tuesday morning for a day full of sessions. I hit the second half of a session on optimizing WordPress for speed and sat in on a session for merchants on deals and coupons before a Texas style BBQ brisket lunch. After some grub, I learned more about compliance from Kellie Stevens than I knew existed and got some awesome tips from Jeremy Palmer. The day was rounded out by some great brainstorming with Karen Garcia and others on Pinterest marketing and a surprise balloon artist!

[singlepic id=131 w= h= float=right] The Austin Hilton was a terrific venue for this smaller show.  It had the perfect sized conference facilities, while being just a block away from historic 6th St., with many live music venues.  If you were so inclined to explore further, the metro station was right outside as well.  I stayed after many folks left for ShareASale’s Think Tank at Lake Travis, so I had the pleasure of dining in the Liberty Tavern for lunch and Finn & Porter for dinner.  Both great places.

Affiliate Summit would not be complete without an Under the Stars party by ShareASale, of course! Before hand, food was needed! A group of us headed to a nice place called Haddington’s, a gastropub where we were not disappointed with the upscale pub grub. Then we walked over to the party at the Hangar Lounge, a three story venue with a live band on the rooftop area. It was a grat party, complete with a photo booth. Brian Littleton does not disappoint!

All in all, I’d say I got out of  Affiliate Summit Central what I wanted.  A nice trip to Austin, seeing some good friends, and a lot of great nuggets of information to bring back to my personal affiliate endeavors!

Most are not from the conference itself, but see all of my photos from Austin:

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CJU Course: Consumer Shopping Trends: What makes them tick? What makes them click?

Posted on Nov 3, 2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking |

The Internet has become the main purchase path for many consumers so let’s uncover the latest trends and developments in online shopping and learn about what is making consumers click “Buy Now.” How are innovations in mobile, local, and social changing the shopping experience? What is the real impact of coupon and deal sites? Join us to discuss what is driving changes in shopping behavior, who is buying and why, and most importantly, how affiliates can continue to be at the center of these trends. The speaker was:

  • Ronan Vance, Director, Business Development

This was a great last session to end on.  It was chock full of information – if you were an attendee of CJU and didn’t get a chance to check out Ronan’s presentation, I highly recommend you access the CJUniverse for his presentation PDF.  There’s so much more information in the form of great charts that I can’t really include here.  I love it when presentations have lots of interesting stats, and Ronan sure didn’t disappoint!

Bullet Point Review!

  • Where to buy? Lots of different ways to buy.
  • The times they are a-changin.
    • Early 20th century: personal, social, immediate, informative.
    • Late 20th century: variety, experiential, social, immediate.
    • Early 21st century: variety, convenience, transactional, informative.
  • Understanding the online shopper.
    • Buying more online, 30mil new shoppers online. 5.8% of total retail sales in 2010 (eMarketer). Forrester says if you take groceries out of the equation it’s more like 12%.
    • Top reasons us shoppers will shop online: 24 hr shopping, easier to compare prices, free shipping offers, I don’t want to fight the crowds, more convenient to shop online, easier to find iems online, better variety online, I often don’t have to pay tax.
  • Three hot trends that continue in 2011.
    • Coupons
      • Despite challenging economic conditions, people are still shopping online to get the best deal.
      • More people are price comparison shopping and printing coupons online than looking for jobs.
      • Couponing has become part of our culture.
      • Maximize coupon usage: give choices, diversify placement, remove obstacles, promote sharing, go mobile.
      • Adult mobile coupon users. About 19.8 mil today, est 35.6 mil by 2013.
    • Daily Deals/Deals of the Day
      • Fleeting, play into your emotion because people feel they need to take advantage of the opportunity that they’ll never see again.
      • Groupon and LivingSocial have ~40% of the group/ daily deal market.
      • Very social aspect. Over 80% of Groupon subscribers will share a deal in some way, shape, or form.
      • 77% of deal buyers for Groupon, LivingSocial, BuyWithMe, Travel Zoo are new customers, 36% spent beyond the deal value, 68% returned to the establishment and bought again without a coupon, 20% became return customers, 22% were unredeemed (Source: Rice University Survey)
    • Social local mobile (SoLoMo)
      • F-Commerce? Commerce on Facebook.
      • Discovery + eCommerce + community = future of F-commerce.
      • Local apps (Foursquare, Gowalla): check-in, find deals, build loyalty, earn rewards, get instant gratification.
      • Mobile: check stock, compare prices, find coupons, learn more, read reviews, shop online, phone in order.
  •  What’s next?: Informative, Experiential, personalized, social, immediate.
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