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August 14th, 2014, 02:49 PM #1ASE14 Recap
Well, I'll do the recap later on, but for now, let me just say that it was great to see so many old friends and to make so many new ones, what a blast the ABW co-sponsored Affiliate Karaoke was, and how great you all made the ABW Cocktail Party.
The very end of ASE14 didn't work out so well for some us, though. After landing at LAX and taking the shuttle to get my car, I had a dead battery and it turned out to be another really late evening. By the time AAA came and got me going, then went back to the terminal to retrieve MrsHound and our luggage (amid construction and some kind of an incident with fire trucks and ambulances), and drive home, it was 2:00 am New York time.
Two years ago coming back from ASE12 in NYC, our flight was delayed several hours and we got home later than that, but the poor crew from INet who were at ASE14 had their Tuesday-night flight back to Ohio cancelled due to weather, and had to find lodging and stay over till the next morning.
The REAL recap will be coming soon - just had to vent a bit.
August 14th, 2014, 02:54 PM #2
August 15th, 2014, 08:44 AM #3
It was great seeing you and Mrs Hound! Looking forward to reading your summary.
August 16th, 2014, 07:28 AM #4
I love having AAA, but it seems like it's always a 60-90 minute wait anytime I need to use them.
August 16th, 2014, 07:32 AM #5
August 16th, 2014, 11:31 AM #6
August 18th, 2014, 05:58 PM #7The REAL Recap:
While my trips to and from NYC were somewhat snakebit, New York itself was great and ASE14 was another amazing experience. After attending many prior Summits representing myself alone, it was a new experience to be there also as the ABestWeb Community Leader.
It was great seeing so many friends again, and while I would like to name them all, I do not want to risk leaving anyone out. I also met so many new people from the affiliate world, but I will only mention the three other INet representatives who I have been interacting with for three months now, but met for the first time at ASE14, and who I can now all consider friends as well: Lucian, Eric and Cody.
We got in very late Friday night, and from the beginning, the staff at the Marriott Marquis was professional, knowledgable, and accommodating. We also quickly found out, though, that there were few dining options for us vegans in the hotel, but Juniors' Deli right across the street quickly became a frequent stop, at least for bagels and fruit cups. I have to say that unlike the stereotypical delis of New York and LA, the service at Juniors was absolutely exceptional.
Saturday morning and early afternoon were spent at Juniors and walking around Times Square, an area of NYC where I had never really spent much time before. We also found a market, actually a drugstore, where we were able to buy almond milk and a few other vegan essentials. I registered in the late afternoon, and spent time catching up with several old pals. In the evening, MrsHound and I began our journey to find a vegan or vegan-friendly restaurant within walking distance. The Concierge had given us a list of 45 restaurants, but none were within a couple of miles of the hotel, and we wanted to walk in the general area, not take a cab. After several unsuccessful attempts at a variety of restaurants, we found Europa Cafe, not too far from the hotel, and a perfect place where they make pasta, salads, and rice bowls to your specifications.
Sunday began ASE14 in earnest: Sessions, Meet Market, networking, and more. The Meet Market was absolutely packed - it seemed like the aisles were not as wide as in the past, and just walking through was next to impossible. I spent part of the day in the Meet Market, went to a session or two, and had my first meeting with the INet guys, and we checked out the facilities at Hurleys' where the ABW Cocktail Party was to be held. Sunday night was the always amazing ShareASale Party, this year a James Bond-themed casino night, with blackjack and roulette tables, and of course great appetizers (1 veggie) and several bars. As always, Brian was a great host, and despite losing most of my fake money at the roulette table, a great time was had.
I had never sprung for the VIP Pass before, so having access to the meals was a great new experience. I was a bit out of it Monday morning at breakfast, but enjoyed the camaraderie. I was more awake by lunch, and had some enlightening and entertaining conversations with old friends and new acquaintances both at lunch Monday and again on Tuesday, and at a couple of the included "Snack Breaks" that were also part of the package.
Monday also meant another session or two and the Exhibition Hall. The Exhibition Hall was crowded, but not nearly as much as the Meet Market had been. I was really surprised to see a lack of booths on the part of the major networks this time. Affiliate Window had a Meet Market booth, and ShareASale an Exhibition Hall booth, but Commission Junction, Avantink, and Linkshare were nowhere to be seen, as they had always been in the past. CPA networks were, however, everywhere. It also seemed that almost every exhibitor was giving away sunglasses. I think I came home with 1/2 a dozen pair.
Monday evening meant our ABW Cocktail Party followed by Affiliate Karaoke, which ABW also co-sponsored.
The ABW Cocktail Party at Hurley's Irish Bar was a great success. We had a very large turnout, and everyone seemed to have a great time. And we stayed within budget! An hour later, it was time for Affiliate Karaoke - a wild time till 1:00 am. The First Annual ABW Golden Mike Award was presented to Nathan "CoffeeNate" Smith for his great performances, but everyone who had the guts to get up there and perform really deserved an award.
Tuesday was more Exhibition Hall and networking. I didn't really feel like sitting for any long period so I passed on more sessions and keynotes, but the day, and Summit, ended with an afternoon cocktail reception. That evening, MrsH and I returned to Europa Cafe for dinner, while all the ASE14 speakers enjoyed a fabulous wine and cheese cruise.
And Wednesday we flew home.
I didn't attend too many session as I needed to be out and about spreading the ABW word, and they all will be available on video in a few weeks. But, two that I did attend and that were excellent were the "Super Affiliate Toolkit for WordPress" presented by David Vogelpohl and Jeremy Palmer, and Rae Hoffman's "Surviving the SEO Evolution".
I also had one incident where somehow I inadvertently swapped tote bags with someone else. I had important stuff in mine, but nothing valuable, and I was upset. I could only imagine how the guy's whose bag I had was feeling - his had a tablet and his glasses inside. I didn't find any contact info in his but awhile later he found my card and called me and we each got our own bags and stuff back.
I guess I've said enough.
August 19th, 2014, 10:00 AM #8
Wait ... there was Karaoke??
Good meeting Michael and Greg and some of the other regulars here ... both at the cocktail party and in the sessions/Meet Market.
Those late-night parties meant a long recovery time for me when I got back here to Texas. And now I have about 200 business cards to sort through to try to remember the face/conversation behind each one.
I really hope to make the next one in January. And I look forward to seeing the videos of the sessions I couldn't make it to.
Greg/AKAGorilla hosted a really helpful session on Shareasale window dressing, by the way.
By MichaelColey in forum Events and GatheringsReplies: 22Last Post: July 1st, 2014, 02:07 PM
Featured: ASE14 Newcomer ProgramBy JCrooks - AffiliateWindow in forum Events and GatheringsReplies: 1Last Post: June 14th, 2014, 10:28 AM
By Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound in forum Events and GatheringsReplies: 7Last Post: June 1st, 2014, 08:00 PM