Top 5 Highlights from Affiliate Summit West 2012

Affiliate Summit West 2012I've just come back from another great Affiliate Summit event and am excited to share my top 5 highlights from the event. In no particular order, here are my personal top 5 favorite things about Affiliate Summit West this year:

1. The People

A record breaking 5000+ attendees made it out to Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas this year. Although many newbie merchants, networks and affiliates made there way around the sessions, meet market and exhibit hall, I was able to meet up with an incredible group of people from various places.

I had the great pleasure of having personal conversations with Shawn Collins and Missy Ward, founders of Affiliate Summit. I had great conversations with top performing affiliates such as Scott Jangro, Todd Farmer (Affiliate Legend), James Martell (Affiliate Super Bootcamp), Tricia Meyer (Sunshine Rewards), Lisa Kennedy (, Mike Allen (Shopping-Bargains), Diane Khania (Coupon Cabin), Bill Swartwout (High Noon Marketing) and Sandi Wohlford (FatWallet) to name just a few.

I was able to catch up and have a few laughs with industry veterans Carolyn Kmet (Groupon), Lisa Picarelli (ReveNews), Todd Crawford (Impact Radius), Kim Rowley (Affiliate Legend of the Year) and so many more.

I love this show because of the great caliber of awesome people who attend each year. It's a warm and welcoming place to spend three days while being productive and progressive. Without all the amazing people who attend each year, this event just wouldn't be the same.

2. Eric Thomas, Keynote

Eric Thomas, also known as The Hip Hop Preacher and author The Secret to Success of started the day with an incredibly motivating and inspiring keynote right after the Pinnacle Awards ceremony. Within the first 10 minutes of his talk I was welling up, having to wipe inspired tears from my eyes. What a beautiful soul this guy is, to share his story of success despite his disadvantageous start in life. More importantly, his story was brimming with pride for his children and the successes of others.

I very regrettably had to leave half way through his presentation to attend a meeting I had booked at the same time, but WOW, what a great motivational speaker and overall great human being. I wish there were more people in the world like this who are not afraid to keep going, never quit, and create success for themselves and their family through honest, dedicated hard work and belief in ones-self.

3. SeaWorld's Affiliate Event

OK, maybe it was because we had our baby with us or maybe it's because I'm really just a kid at heart, but the Sea World Affiliate Event thrown by SeaWorld Affiliate Manager, Ashley Edwards was so much fun!  A few of the SeaWorld crew, including some amazing birds, reptiles and animals from the park came to show themselves off to the room of giddy attendees. They went over the highlights of their affiliate program and a reminder of why SeaWorld is such an awesome place to visit. A few people got some free SeaWorld day passes (including yours truly) and even got to hold some of the creatures that came to Vegas with the team.

It was a very cool promotional idea on their part and I'm glad we got to have some fun with a few other family and kid oriented people. Regardless, affiliate managers could take note that this tactic brought in some very eager and targeted affiliates who signed up for their program right on the spot.

4. ShareaSale's "Under the Stars" Party

This by far was one of my favorite nights of the entire four days at Affiliate Summit. ShareaSale's president, Brian Littleton, is notorious for throwing awesome parties and he did not disappoint again. The ShareaSale "Under the Stars" Party was held outside of the Paris Hotel right below the Eiffel Tower! The view was spectacular - a clear view of the Bellagio Hotel and fountains across the street. The DJ was awesome, playing music that even the dead would have wanted to dance to, and the free flowing open bar kept people's whistle's wet throughout the night.

Aside from the music and the atmosphere, my personal favorite moments where seeing Brian Littleton in a classy three piece suite and fedora (you looked great, Brian!) and watching a lady roll by with a desert table around her waist. Talk about extravagance! In the words of Missy Ward - those deserts literally went to her hips!

Great job again, Brian. Another successful night by you and the ShareaSale team.

5. AMT Launch Excitement

The most exiting part of the entire show for me personally was the overwhelming positive feedback and excitement around the launch of our new company, Affiliate Management Trainers (AMT). Not only were affiliates thrilled that such a service now exists, helping merchants and affiliate managers learn the business to provide better support and experiences to their affiliate partners, but merchants, networks and even independent industry veterans were interested in the opportunity to further the level of personalized support and education to merchants.

The Merchant Sponsorship Program rewards an "upstanding merchant" for their efforts in working with affiliate partners when following industry best practices and strong business ethics, and was one of the main areas of interest with the AMT launch at the show. Merchants have the opportunity to win a free trip to Affiliate Summit next year through this program, keeping in mind that merchants must be nominated by an affiliate to be considered. The idea is to help better the industry through personalized education and accountability of merchants through "upstanding behavior" as deemed by their affiliate partners.

All in all, the show was another great success and I look forward to attending another Affiliate Summit event again soon!


Shawn Collins

11 years ago

I was really excited to see Eric Thomas speak, and he sure did deliver. We'll be getting the video of his keynote from our production company soon, and we'll be posting it up on YouTube.


11 years ago

Great! I had to miss the end so will be sure to check the video out once it's up. Thanks Shawn 🙂

Tricia Meyer

11 years ago

Great wrap-up. It was so great to meet up with you. We have a lot of work still to do together! Sorry I didn't get to meet your baby girl though. 🙁

Sarah Bundy

11 years ago

Yes, I`m excited to do more work with you this year. It was really great to see you too. Not sure if you`re going to Affiliate Management Days in March but Hailey will be there too 🙂 Either way, we`ll talk real soon!

theHoundDawg aka AffiliateHound

11 years ago

I agree with all of these.

1. The People - Renewing old friendships and meeting new people was great as always. At this Summit, I seemed to meet many more people attending from other countries, and that was not only fun, but extremely enlightening.

2. Eric Thomas, Keynote - As inspiring as Thomas' presentation was, and while he is not the dynamic speaker Thomas is, I found Jon Spoelstra's "New as a Way of Life" keynote theme a great thought to keep in mind when exploring and developing projects.

3. SeaWorld’s Affiliate Event - Up close and personal with those amazing animals was fabulous. I got some great videos, and MrsHound was ecstatic to pet the alligator and several others. You are absolutely correct about this type of event attracting eager affiliates. I would have never taken the time to look at their program (not close to any niche I'm in) but now I'm working on ideas. And the passes were an extra bonus.

4. ShareaSale’s “Under the Stars” Party - "Awesome" doesn't begin to describe it. I echo congrats to Brian for another amazing evening. (Wonder where he got that hat.)

5. AMT Launch Excitement - As an affiliate, this concept to provide real training for affiliate managers is a welcome addition to the industry. So many people with scant knowledge of affiliate marketing are thrust into this key position, and left to sink or swim virtually on their own. And even people who have been around awhile sometimes need a helping hand in understanding that just because their program has been operating a certain way does not mean that is the best way.

Sarah Bundy

11 years ago

Mr. Hound, thank you so much for your time in commenting on my post. I'm happy you got to experience some of the same highlights I did, though I'm sorry I missed speaking with you personally. Hopefully we can converse at the next event. And thank you for the positive feedback on the launch of We love all the support and positive energy around it 🙂

theHoundDawg aka AffiliateHound

11 years ago

"though I’m sorry I missed speaking with you personally"

I look forward to talking with you next time.


11 years ago

It would be my pleasure. Thank you 🙂

Ashley K. Edwards

11 years ago

Glad you and Sarah both found the value in hosting such an event. I always love seeing how people interact with our Animal Ambassadors! I know it's a special experience.

LinkTrust and Customers at ASW12 | LinkTrust Affiliate Tracking

11 years ago

[...] Sarah Bundy: Top 5 Highlights from Affiliate Summit West 2012 [...]


11 years ago

I really enjoyed the SeaWorld event as well. Made me wish I had my kids there with me. They are on the list of places to visit next time we make it down to Southern California or Orlando.

Sarah Bundy

11 years ago

Hi Lee, I know what you mean! I see you're in Canada too. Where are you based? Checked out your blog too. Very interesting stuff you write about. Nice work!



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