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Tag: Yacht Party

adtech New York

Although I was not sure I’ll be attending ad:tech NY 2009 until the last moment (because of various family and personal illnesses), I’m certainly glad I did. Overall, I can say it was a blast! Bigger than the last conference I attended, Affiliate Summit East (ASE), but somehow less overwhelming too – perhaps because there were more companies that really did not relate to anything I am doing.

 
After thinking about this for a while, I’ve decided to break my ad:tech summary into three separate posts. One describing my personal experiences, the other describing a few companies I got a chance to talk to, and the last describing the (few) sessions I attended. This is a good point to mention that unlike in ASE, this time I came as press.

 
udi schlessinger's press badge

 

Journalism's very best

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Where shall I begin? Ad:tech took place at the Javits conference center and was enormous. It took me about 15 minutes to just find where I can obtain my press badge. But it was well worth the effort, since after getting it, I saw the monstrous line for ’standard’ passes – there must have been hundreds of people waiting in line!
 
As you can see, it was pretty crowded

As you can see, it was pretty crowded



 
Since this was the first time I came as press, I was very determined to do my job properly. About 1-2 weeks before the conference started, I started getting requests from companies to interview them. Since I got so many, I tried to only pick those that are relevant to me/my background in a way. Despite this filtering I must’ve set meetings with about 15 companies.

 
I started walking the exhibitor booths. The first person I bumped into was Eric Schechter, Clickbooth’s Social Media Manager and a really great guy. I don’t know whether you’re familiar with Eric’s videos (here’s one for example), but he makes the most hilarious videos for Clickbooth. I politely asked him to participate in one of the videos and when he hesitated I resorted to begging. Hopefully I’ll participate in one of those – when crazy is required, I’m always the first to raise my hand ;) .

 
Later I bumped into my ex-boss and CEO from 7 years ago (in my previous career as a technical lead/software architect, I created/redesigned almost all of the company’s products). Since both of us changed industries during this time, we were both quite shocked to see each other. Certainly a surreal experience for me. I also bumped into a friend I haven’t seen since 1992 (another surprising incident). Considering several friends of mine attended ad:tech and I didn’t see them even once since the place was so big, I consider the former occurrences one of those weird coincidences that occasionally happen.

 
Although I had a press pass and was really eager to attend some of the sessions, I spent the entire first day almost exclusively running from one meeting to another. Almost surprisingly, this was actually a lot of fun! My first instinct was to ‘pat myself on the shoulder’ for setting meetings with so many companies that are truly interesting and relevant for me, but after talking to several company executives, I realize that the filtering was mutual: it seems many – if not all – contacted me because my background was relevant to them. Most were familiar with my blog and background.

 
I’ll describe those companies in the next post.

 
Although I did get to attend a few sessions, I simply didn’t have enough time to attend as many as I wanted. Fortunately the third day consisted only of sessions, and most people were gone by then (no more exhibitors).

 
In addition I spent a lot of time talking to the various companies – there were just so many! Interesting how my focus changed in the past few months. In ASE I was primarily interesting in finding unique affiliate offers, so had a lot of conversations with both large and small affiliate networks. But now my hands are pretty full in this respect, so this time I was more interested in finding interesting/cheap/unique traffic sources, so primarily was talking to ad networks and other companies that offer equivalent services.

 
During the day I met many friends I know from the NY affilate meetups, from ASE as well as some of my affiliate managers from some networks that I have not met in person until now. It was great seeing Casan Van Langen, my affiliate manager from AzoogleAds, and finally meeting Melissa Emmett, my affiliate manager from MarketLeverage.

 
Also great to meet friends I know, such as Dina Riccobono (from MarketLeverage), Heather Smith, Miki Rapoport (see his picture below closing a 7 figure deal – a moment I was lucky to capture in real time), Ian Fernando, Ken Chen, Steve Fulop, and many more.

 
Miki closing a big deal

Miki closing a big deal



 
I also had a fantastic meeting with Richard Young (from Arcamax publishing). Just like the last time we have met, we had an absolutely great conversation. I wouldn’t have met him if it weren’t for the yacht party in ASE!

 
One fun thing about ad:tech was the Twitter board. There were a few of those, and they included tweets that mentioned the #adtechny hashtag. I think this was moderated, because I found myself talking to a guy next to it and neither of us saw our tweets on the board. Though eventually I did manage to get one in ;)

 
The full Twitter board

The full Twitter board



 
My tweeted message

My tweeted message



 

Parties

A major aspect of these conferences is the after hours parties. Irritatingly – but understandably – they all took place on the first day. I’ve been invited to six separate parties on Wednesday, and planned to attend three. Unfortunately, I forgot to RSVP one (Clickbooth’s). I went to Azoogleleads’ heaven and hell’s themed party which was awesome (and really embarrassed my wife when I wore the glowing red horns, unlike the standard ‘cloth’ ones, during the entire time. Hey, what’s wrong with some attention? :P ). Unfortunately I can’t provide a picture (believe me, I want to!) because the photographer seems to have omitted it from his website, and did not respond to my email…

 
heavenandhell

 
Later I went to the VIP Mix+Mingle event (organized by Advertise.com, Adknowledge and GenieKnows) – which was tons of fun as well. Still need to find my picture which was taken there somehow.

 
I felt kind of stupid when I saw Clickbooth’s party was right across the street from the VIP Mix+Mingle event, and I couldn’t go because I didn’t RSVP… Eric later chastised me for not calling him (I didn’t have his number!).. next time.

 
I also had to miss the BlogUp, an event organized on the second day that aimed bloggers to meet other bloggers – since by then I started feeling unwell again. Based on what I heard, it was a big success and a lot of fun.

 

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affiliate summit east meet market

Before I begin: I took a lot of pictures from the day using my crappy phone camera (I know, I should’ve brought a camera), so when I met Drew Bennett, a professional photographer and the guy behind the “Photo a day” blog, I asked for his permission to use his photos. So all credit goes to him.

 
I know I said I’m going to be providing every day a summary of the summit. What I didn’t realize is how intense it is going to be, and how tired I’ll be at the end of every day. And once I returned, how much work and emails would’ve piled up. Excuses, excuses, I know. Anyway, I figure, better late than never. So here’s my perspective on the fantastic event that was Affiliate Summit East 2009.

 
The day started with the Meet Market. Basically a space filled with merchants, affiliate networks, affiliates and press all trying to talk to each other. I’m pretty used to similar events, but it was quite overwhelming (considering more than 3,000 people registered to ASE that should not be surprised). I started losing my voice after about 45 minutes – probably spoke to 15 people by this time. Nonetheless, I forced myself to network as much as possible, after all, this is what the summit is all about (I call this “Networking on Steroids”). And it was definitely worth it: I made so many contacts, some of which I hope have become new friends, which just proves how important these networking events are.

 
Of particular interest was meeting the PPCBully guys. PPCBully 2.0 is a fantastic research tool for PPC advertising which I bought, and watched their weekly webinars with great interest. So it was very cool meeting Emil Paz (@ppcbully), Ran Aroussi (@Aroussi) and Yefi Gureni (@yefig) in person.

 
But in the back of my mind I was just thinking of the evening. Why? Because of the Yacht Party! As I stated in a previous post, I won a ticket to the MarketLeverage Yacht Party.

 

Market Leverage Yacht Party from John Chow on Vimeo.

the valiant

Once it was evening, three limos (each with room for 28 people!) took us to the Valiant, the yacht where the party was to take place on. Although there were some hiccups, the first two limos were taken to the wrong address (fortunately I was on the third), this ruined none of our moods. Once we were all on the boat, we ate a delicious meal made by celebrity chef Casey Thompson.

 

statue of liberty

Then the cruise started, we went from the east river southward, reached the statue of liberty, made a circle and got back to where we left.During this time I was introduced to many interesting, exciting and successful people. First I got to meet super blogger John Chow (@JohnChow), and even star at the beginning of his coverage of this trip (as you can see in the movie above). John is not just a super blogger, but also extremely friendly. He is also the man who defeated Google (I hope I’m linking to the right article).

 
I also met and had a long and insightful conversation with Drew Bennett (@BenSpark), the “Photo a day” blogger, Kim Rowley (@KIMarketing), an affiliate marketing mogul (been doing affiliate marketing longer than anyone I have ever met!). Heather Smith (@HeatherinBC), also known as the Blog Queen, who’s always up to a good laugh (we played my standard game of “guess where I’m from” based on my accent, and for the first time ever someone actually got it! Not heather ;) , Murray Newlands (@MurrayNewlands), a cool guy who was quite shocked I’m not doing (yet!) email marketing. I also spoke to Richard Young, a publisher, and our conversation was one of the best I’ve had during the entire summit (not just the Yacht party) – what a great guy. There were many more. Apologies to anyone whom I’ve forgotten! Remind me if I forgot you? please?

 

yacht party

 
All of this was made possible thanks to the amazing Dina Riccobono (@MLDina) who organized this entire event for MarketLeverage. Dina is not just a fantastic organizer, but a sweet and fun person.

 
My summary of day 1

My summary of day 2

My summary of day 3

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Affiliate Summit

The Affiliate Summit (Affiliate Summit East 2009) begins tomorrow. Although I’ve participated in a number of academic conferences (and presented in most), I have to admit I’m particularly excited for this one, as I’ve never been to this type of conference.

 
As a silver pass member, unfortunately I won’t be able to attend many of the lectures I would’ve liked. But it almost doesn’t matter: there are so many people I wish to meet, and have set up meetings with, and there are going to be plenty of networking events and parties (Missy Ward’s party list). This is definitely unlike any academic conference I’ve attended!

 
Since I won a ticket to MarketLeverage’s VIP Yacht Party, it’s obvious I’m particularly looking forward for this social event!

 
I’ll try and provide the highlights of every day from my perspective. Hopefully I won’t be too thrashed after a long day of networking and excitement!

 
Here’s the summit’s agenda, and in PDF version.

 
If anyone outside of town hasn’t seen my list of things to do in NYC, you may want to check it out.

 
This is going to be short so I’ll finish now. Can’t wait for the summit to start! And the coolest thing: unlike most visitors, since I’m a local – I get to sleep in my own bed at home every night. The hotel is about 15 minutes away by Subway from my home ;)

 
P.S. If you read this and see me in the summit, come say hello! I’d be very happy to meet you.

 

 

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