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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    ShareAsale Think Tank - Vegas 11-3-06
    I can't believe no one has posted about this here yet. The Think Tank was an absolutely incredible event. As usual, Brian and his SAS team left no holds barred. You should have seen the ROOMS!!! They were the best rooms I've ever stayed in, and I've been in the travel industry. The views of Las Vegas were breathtaking...

    Quick recap on the events:

    1. Cocktail reception - The party got started quickly, being open bar and all. But thankfully some terrific sushi, pasta, and other foods were provided to help soke it all in. Merchants, affiliates, and OPMs started making deals almost immediately. (It's hard for us to resist when such large affiliates are in the same room as us). I won't disclose all the events that followed the cocktail reception due to the promise "what happens in Vegas...."

    2. The Merchant presentations. I know that shareasale prides itself on being THE solution for middle sized online companies, but I was astounded at the quality of merchants that exist. IBSDirect (Andy), Vanns.com, batteries.com and so many more. Truly sleeping giants on ShareAsale.

    3. There was a little time left for OPMs to talk, and a couple of us got our pitches in. It's amazing how hungry this industry is for quality programs.

    4. A lot of us had dinner at "The Buffet" at the Wynn. Someone said that the buffet was 700 feet long, but my guess was that it was closer to 300 feet, but it was no less impressive. The freshest seafood, crab legs, shrimp, along with sushi and other asian cuisine, on top of the fresh cut meets, made to order items, and so much more. I haven't even gotten to the deserts yet. There was an entire "kiosk" type stand dedicated to dessert, with a variety that seemed to be in the hundreds.

    4. After Dinner, Brian hosted a party in his room. I thought my room was nice. His suite (which was larger than my house) was beautiful. I'll let the pictures that some people took speak for the room, because I wouldn't be able to do it justice. The party was awesome as always, and once the alcohol set in, all hell broke loose as usual, but I won't name any names . A poker game broke out, and it was, let's just say, interesting, since we didn't have any chips, but that didn't stop us... Oh, and someone did 100 drunken jumping jacks, that was quite impressive. Anyway, around 4:45 a.m., I hear an affiliate and a merchant discussing how they can work together. What dedication!

    5. Sunday was just finishing up, we dumped all of our suggestions on Brian, and true to his form, I'm sure he'll get them done. We had to go back to "The Buffet" for Lunch, where we ran into MIKE TYSON! lol. A few of us hit "Le Reve" that evening before catching a flight home.

    Synopsis, this was one of the best networking events I have ever attended. The business that will come out of this for me is rediculous compared to the miniscule amount I had to pay to go.

    THANK YOU SHAREASALE, AND PARTICULARLY BRIAN, FOR YOUR INFINITE GENOROSITY!

  2. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Nice. I envy you...

    G.

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno Prussakov
    Nice. I envy you...

    G.
    I will second that. I am glad Brian is putting these sessions together for his merchants, I think it is a great resource. Looking forward to seeing everyone at Summit.
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  4. #4
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Thanks all, for coming! It was a pleasure meeting with you guys, and an even greater pleasure taking your cards, bottlecaps and cocktail stirrers at the poker table! Thanks, KC for assuming dealer duty.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    It was an incredible event and Brian should be commended for his choice of people he pulled together for this. He and his team showed true creative genious in putting something like this together.

    I know I was up for 22 hours the day I arrived and it was so exciting talking to everyone I had little time to sleep nor desire to do so the entire weekend. I would do it again in an instant.

    And, oh, I saw Elvis (twice).
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  6. #6
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    I was truely honored to attend.

    A big THANK YOU to Brian and SAS. The opportunity of meeting Brian and Carolyn, the merchants/managers and other affiliates was an honor and very inspiring. I wish I had a little less jet lag, next time I'll fly in a day early!

    It was great to meet and talk with merchants and affiliates. I learned a lot from both and a big thank you to all. In addition to all I learned it was great to recharge my batteries.


    The hotel was amazing, the room was amazing. And I got to soak in a huge bath tub and sip wine as I watched tv.

    I met Elvis too. He even said "good evening maam".

    Thanks again Brian, I hope there are more opportunities such as these. Very valuable and extremely helpful. I know a lot of good will come from the Think Tank.

  8. #8
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    think tank + think tanked = when do we get to see photos/features?
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
    ================================================================

  9. #9
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    The Wynn?????

    Dang! My spies told me to go to Ballys!!

    That explains why I've been alone for 2 days. Guess I'll go home then.

  10. #10
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Ballys? I thought we put you at the Westward Ho?

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    I am so freaking jealous right now.

    Look forward to the pics and more stories
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  12. #12
    Internet Cowboy
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    It was a great event. I learned a lot and found some really cool new merchants. I met lots of people whom I had not met, like 7-Days, Billy Kay, Mellie, Scott Campbell, Scott Jangro, Snib and many others.

    I have to say that between the cool merchants and being excited to meet so many big industry players I hardly noticed that we were in the absolute coolest, fanciest, and most luxurious hotel in the Western Hemisphere (not really, I knew where I was, this hotel is AWESOME!!!).

    Thank you to all of the merchants, affiliates and mostly to Brian, Carolyn, Sarah and the rest of the SAS crew for inviting me. It was an honor to be a part of it and I came away from it a better affiliate!


  13. #13
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Ok... my SERIOUS post...

    We all know there are members that are... I don't want to use the phrase "more important"... uh... more respected than others

    But I was humbled... with a capital H... by some ABW family members

    Their depth of knowledge, expertise, experience, and whatever words mean they look out for their peers, simply blew me away.

    I won't mention Donuts or Scooter by name , but we all owe them our gratitude for things they do that make our professional lives better... (and more profitable.)

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay

    I won't mention Donuts or Scooter by name , but we all owe them our gratitude for things they do that make our professional lives better... (and more profitable.)
    I have only met them one time in Chicago and would agree whole-heartedly.

    I only wish Scooter had spoken slower for me...not his fault just so much information for my feeble little brain to digest so quickly!
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  15. #15
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMcWilliams
    I only wish Scooter had spoken slower for me...not his fault just so much information for my feeble little brain to digest so quickly!
    Matt,
    Any time you have questions or just wanna chat, feel free to contact me. My door is always open to you my friend.

    I promise to s---p---e---a---k s---l---o--w---l---y

    Edited to say:
    THANK YOU to all the attending merchants for the very cool gifts and SWAG. I really didn't realize how much really cool stuff I had until I got home and sorted it out. What a haul!!!
    Last edited by UncleScooter; November 6th, 2006 at 09:22 PM. Reason: how could I forget??


  16. #16
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I feel I should also comment on the quality of the merchants that were represented.

    When I found out I would spend 6 hours listening to merchants give a spiel, first thing I did was beg to have my seat changed, as I was sitting next to Andy Rodriguez

    Actually, I thought it would be 6 hours of "My program is the best in my category. Yes, we're on ebates, but they only account for 1% of our sales. Yada Yada Yada.

    But the merchants that were showcased restored my faith in affiliate marketing. Like a lot of us - I sometimes feel it's a loosing battle.

    But these people actually understand that if WE make money, THEY make money. And when they use the phrase "We'll do whatever it takes"... it was sincere. They actually wanted to be out PARTNERS - in the ways we as affiliates define a partnership. (Helpful, responsive, giving, open to suggestions, etc.)

    And one more that doesn't fit into a category: Nunez. Michael has more knowledge about more subjects related to our business then 10 of us "mere mortals" combined. When he talks... listen! (and thank him later)

    The down side of naming names is people wonder why they weren't named. I truly respected, and learned from everyone I met. The people I named were only because I was impressed more than I was expected to be impressed.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Thank you Brian and everybody at SAS!! This was truly an amazing event!

    No words can do it justice. I'm still in awe over the Wynn - so much so that I never even stepped foot off the property for the entire weekend. The extravagance was far beyond anything I've experienced and the food was wonderful. I must have seen the Treasure Island show 5 or 6 times from the comfort of my room while taking breaks to enjoy the wall-mounted LCD HDTV on the most amazing bed ever. I felt like royalty and can only dream for another similar opportunity.

    It was wonderful meeting everybody, and it was a blast talking shop with so many ethical and exciting people. I really can't conceive of a better affiliate event.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager frankodelic's Avatar
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    Wow... I've got to get myself out to the next one of these babies... note to self... attend next Shareasale event...

    Sounds like a really great time all around. Honestly, this time of year is rough with the holidays coming, and I couldn't have attended regardless, but I'm going to see that I get out to one of these meetings of the mind soon. Sounds like it a great experience professionally... and personally!

  19. #19
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    And one more that doesn't fit into a category: Nunez. Michael has more knowledge about more subjects related to our business then 10 of us "mere mortals" combined. When he talks... listen! (and thank him later)

    The down side of naming names is people wonder why they weren't named. I truly respected, and learned from everyone I met. The people I named were only because I was impressed more than I was expected to be impressed.
    Thanks Billy! I never thought anyone listened, lol.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    I want to say Thank You to ShareASale for an awesome "first of many" SAS ThinkTank event. It was memorable and valuable meeting and totally first rate! The amazing thing was how much work got done with too little sleep and too much wine and in the heart of Las Vegas!

    Thank you, Brian, Carolyn, Sarah and everyone at SAS for all the hard work involved in putting together something like this and then for managing to execute perfectly while the rest of us stood in your way to eat, drink, talk and play poker.

    I also want to thank all of the wonderful people who attended and went out of their way to help make it a success. I know now why so many of you are extremely successful. It's tremendously inspiring to actually see the "good guys" win.

    Best advice for the future? Tell Billy Kay where we're going to be.
    I understand he's an excellent bartender.

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    Matt,
    Any time you have questions or just wanna chat, feel free to contact me. My door is always open to you my friend.

    I promise to s---p---e---a---k s---l---o--w---l---y
    Scooter...you rock.

    I appreciate the offer and think maybe the problem is not how fast you speak but the amount of beer we drank the night before.
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  22. #22
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    WOW - What an outstanding event! Being my first affiliate marketing event, I'm sure I'll be spoiled forever.

    The merchants and OPMs were wonderful, Brian and team did an awesome job on everything, meeting and getting to know other affiliates and ABWers was a huge treat, the food spreads were absolutely delicious and yeah, the WYNN was out of this world luxurious. I called my kids after stepping into my room and told them I wasn't ever coming home. LOL (To give an idea of the pure luxury: we slept on $1500.00 sheet sets.)

    All in all, it was a total class act ... impressive, so well planned and executed. I think we all learned a great deal, had TOO MUCH FUN and made new friends. Hell, I consider some of you FAMILY now and I miss you already.

    Brian, thank you for the opportunity to be included in this first SAS Think Tank. I would be way flattered to be included in the next one.

    And thank you to the merchants and SAS who gave out some really wonderful gifts. Wish I had brought an extra suitcase ...
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager TFAW.com's Avatar
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    Now THAT is a nice hotel! Awesome choice Brian!

    I really enjoyed meeting the ABW family members at this event. The affiliates, OPMs, and merchants were all very friendly, knowledgeable, and supportive. I was humbled by the presence of so many great people, and would highly recommend this hotel and this group of people to anyone.

    Thanks again to Brian, Carolyn and Sarah for hosting this excellent event.

    -Dale

    p.s. Big props to UncleScooter for having written notes on every single merchant and providing awesome feedback to all.
    Dale LaFountain, CIO, <a style="color:#c23015; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline;" href="http://www.tfaw.com/">Things From Another World</a> - More Comics. More Toys. More Stuff. More FUN!
    14% base comm / up to 21.5% w/perf incent / 90 return days / parasite free / HUGE datafeed / <a style="color:#c23015; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline;" href="http://www.tfaw.com/Help/Affiliate-Information___168?qt=abw">[b]Join[/b]</a>

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    yeah, what they said...

    It was great to see old friends and meet new ones. Lots of solid business got done in a small amount of time. First class all around.

    Much thanks to Brian, Carolyn, and Sarah.

    Brian, if you could do something about that defective craps table at the Wynn, that would be good. And If I'm privileged enough to get an invite to the next one, I'll bring poker chips.

  25. #25
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    This was my first event related to affiliate marketing and I have to admit to being nervous before hand. That nervousness quickly disappeared at the first cocktail hour. Several affiliates and merchants quickly made me feel at home.

    I also have to say Uncle Scooter you are amazing. I learned from just hearing you ask a question and knowing the amount of prep work you did. You were one of the first affiliates I met and at the first cocktail hour and I guessed right away this would be an awesome event.

    One of the most amazing things was realizing that there really are people in this business, it's not all screen names. Even though we are competitors, sometimes for almost exact markets, we're friends, and we help each other. I hope that at the next event (that's a hint I really want another invite) I can help others a bit more. It was great talking with Rexanne and several others I won't yet mention by name yet but it was great having the chance to talk with you. Some affiliates such as Billy Kay I only met from a distance, but it was still an honor.

    The SAS and merchant give aways also took me by surprise, glad I had a big enough suitcase that had an expansion zipper.

    Besides the gifts just talking informally with the merchants and managers such as Andy was wonderful. The energy, the desires, all very contagious. Their presentations were also great. I took quite a few notes.

    Thanks again Brian, Carolyn & Sarah.

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