So I’m Thinking About Attending ASW 2013…

November 18, 2012 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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I don’t attend conferences for a number of reasons, the top two being cost and the fact that I hate the actual "travelling" part (it’s a bit of a pain traveling from an island in Canada to the US).

In fact, I’ve only ever been to one conference before, and that was BlogWorld way back in 2008, 4 years ago. It happened to be in Vegas, and I had an absolute awesome time – far better than I had expected. We ended up staying for 8 days, as it was our first time in Vegas and we wanted to do stuff outside of the conference.

The next Affiliate Summit West (ASW) is on January 13-15, 2013 at Las Vegas, and is being held at Caesar’s Palace. It is a 3-day event and will be the biggest ASW yet (should be over 5,000 attendees).

Travel & Costs

I wouldn’t go unless I could get a free pass, but I’m fairly confident I could get either a VIP or All-Access pass ($1,249 and $2,249 respectively).

Unfortunately, the first group rate for the hotel at Caesar’s Palace is booked out already (was $119/night), and the new group rate is at $169/night, which is basically their normal rate.

I’m planning on staying for 7-8 days since I only travel about once a year, and am torn about where to stay. The first time I was in Vegas, I stayed at the Monte Carlo, and I want to get something a bit better this time.

I narrowed it down to 4 places.

The Bellagio is stunningly beautiful, but the actual hotel rooms seem very dated and rather ‘blah’ to me. Caesar’s Palace would make sense, as that is where ASW is being held, and it’s cheap, but I’m also not sure I want to stay in the same place that the resort is being held at for 3 days…

7

Then there are the two Wynn hotels. After looking at things closer, it appears that the Encore is the better deal, so out of the two options, I’d definitely choose the Encore. The suites at the Encore look really nice, but I’m not sure if it’s worth paying $275-$373 per person more than the 2 options listed above.

8

Lastly, I found the Aria, which is also on the cheaper side, but is another new hotel and the rooms look about as good as the Wynn, just a couple hundred square feet smaller.

9

Right now, I think it’s a toss-up between Encore and Aria.

Um… okay, sorry – got a bit too engrossed into the hotels there. The flight is only 2 hours and 38 minutes – the funny thing is, the ferry ride from the island I live on to the mainland is 2 hours in itself, so the actual flight is only slightly longer.

Added costs are of course meals, shows, taxi’s, currency exchange rates, insurance, phone roaming charges, etc.

Overall it would probably cost around $3,500-$4,000 and I’m not sure I want to spend that much.

Then again, I do only go on vacation once a year, and I might actually make money by going, with what I might learn at ASW and the contacts I might meet.

I could also drop the trip down by a day or two to cut costs down further.

The Real Benefit

I’ve never been to an an affiliate summit before, so there would be a ton to learn and discover at my first one.

There are a ton of educational sessions, keynote speeches, and other events, but the main events I’m interested in are the Meet Market and Exhibit Hall. I’m not really sure what the difference between them are, but I think that the Meet Market has a lower barrier of entry, so smaller and newer companies can afford to rent space.

I know that a lot (the vast majority?) of people go to these things for the parties held afterwards, but I’m a pretty quiet guy and definitely not a partier, and the main thing I’m interested in doing is networking.

It is such a benefit to meeting people in person because it instantly gives you credibility if you ever deal with them again in the future, and they will take you a lot more seriously.

I plan on signing up to a bunch of new traffic sources and networks right on the spot, and will definitely be stopping by and saying hello to the various networks and companies I deal with regularly such as PeerFly and AmpedMedia, for example. My goal, though, is to meet new people, or people I haven’t met in person before.

In addition to meeting "the companies", I’d really like to meet other affiliates as well. If I go, I’ll probably be one of the smallest affiliates there so it’d be good to talk to other affiliates who could maybe share a few tips with me.

That brings me to my next point – I originally told myself that I wouldn’t go to an affiliate-related conference until I hit the $100,000/month milestone (partly because I didn’t want to me the lowest-earning affiliate there), but in some ways that is counterproductive because going to one of these could actually improve my earnings.

When I met up with PeerFly and AmpedMedia last year, they really pushed me to attend ASW because they said it is an absolute awesome event and is incredibly inspiring and motivating – basically, it seems to light a fire under your ass and get you pushing yourself to get to the next level.

Still Undecided

I’m still on the fence on if I should go or not – I find traveling stressful, and that money could be better spent on testing new campaigns Smile with tongue out.

Then again, I had a blast the last time I went to Vegas, and I could come away from ASW 2013 with a ton of good contacts and information.

In any case, I have to make a decision soon, for booking purposes.

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Posted: November 18th, 2012 under Affiliate Marketing  

19 Responses to “So I’m Thinking About Attending ASW 2013…”

  1. 2 hours on a boat and then 3 hours flying isn’t long at all. Put 2 good films on a tablet and you’ll be there before you know it.

    Most of my bus journeys recently have been 14 hours. It’s not so bad if you have books to read or an ipad to play with.

  2. Kyle says:

    I go to Vegas all the time and actually have made it a point to try out all the Hotels on the Strip…..I am almost there.

    Aria….really nice more and is more modern luxury / cool then it is lavish luxury like the Encore. I actually would suggest Cosmopolitan which is connected to City Center but is in a better location than Aria as it is hidden back a little bit. Cosmo is nicer as well.

    Encore is really nice but its on the BAD end of the strip (less popular end) and a long walk to the more hip (middle) of strip.

    THE Planet Hollywood Hotel is (Nice) but not my favorite but it has a great location right in the middle of strip (right across from Cosmo)

    I will tell you what I tell everyone..its more about location than it is the room. That being said I usually like the higher end hotels as the service usually is a little better as well:)

    So to conclude…go to the COSMO

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Thanks – I took a look at the Cosmopolitan, but the package deal for it is very minimal, whereas the ones I listed have the best value (from their standard prices anyway). The Cosmo is only slightly cheaper than the Encore, and so I’d rather go with the Encore for that price…

      • Kyle says:

        Cosmopolitan is actually nicer than the Encore in my opinion….a little bit more upscale modern luxury. Plus the Encore is way down the strip and pretty poor location.

        I personally have no idea of the prices for Cosmo as I get to stay for free (Comps) but I do know that it is the hippest spot in town:)

        Either way you can’t beat any of these spots! All Fun and NICE:) I am actually heading down in December and staying at Treasure Island which is not fancy but is actually decently nice and a great value.

        Have fun

  3. CJ says:

    I stayed at the Aria back in the spring, and their rooms are awesome! A remote control next to your bed controls lights, curtains, TV, etc. Food in the hotel is crazy expensive, so eat elsewhere!

    I actually just stayed at the Cosmopolitan last month, and it’s a pretty killer hotel as well. But keep in mind that both the Aria and Cosmo are a pretty far walk from Caesars, and cabs in this town are really expensive..

    For my money, I’d just stay at Caesars. Or stay at a hotel downtown and rent a car, it’ll still be cheaper in the long run. :)

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Thanks for the suggestions.

      I’m not too concerned about the walking distance – it’s only a 20 minutes (according to Google maps) from Encore to Caesars, and probably the most entertaining type of walk you can do :P

      Aria is 11-minutes, and Bellagio 7-minutes, and Cosmopolitan 10-minutes.

      Everything is really close together… I’m mostly just trying to find the best value (money for quality).

  4. I prefer to stay at the hotel the conference is being held at because it just makes it easier to get to the conference and all the hotel rooms are usually the same.

    I definitely think you should go. I’ll even buy you a drink! :)

  5. Eddie Jones says:

    The Aria hotel is by far the sexiest hotel in Las Vegas. You could easily take a cab between the two hotels considering their distance (or walk).

  6. Dr_Ngo says:

    $4k? Seriously?

    ASW Ticket free via Press Pass with your Blog –

    http://www.affiliatesummit.com/press-pass/

    I don’t know how much your flight costs. But lets say $500.

    I find most conferences that 3-4 days are more than good enough. After the 3rd day I’m ready to go home and get to work.

    If costs is a concerned then stay at a cheaper hotel. You can stay at flamingo’s for $40 a night, which is right next to Caesar’s. You’re at the conference or partying most of the time, who cares about what hotel you’re at.

    You can do the whole trip for under $1k with my suggestions.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      The flight + hotel room prices are actually included in the screenshots on the post (it’s inclusive of both roundtrip and hotel).

      My $3,500-$4,000 estimation was based on 8 days for 2 people (my and my girlfriend), inclusive of everything even including a show or two.

  7. Michael Kwan says:

    My personal experience is that a week in Vegas is too long… but then again, I’ve been to Vegas about 10 times (I’ve lost count).

    We stayed at Wynn Encore in 2009 and I shot a brief room tour if you want to see: http://btr.michaelkwan.com/2009/01/09/our-suite-at-encore-las-vegas-wynn/

    I’d say that both the Aria and Encore are good choices and both are about the same distance from Caesar’s. That said, as Dr_Ngo mentions above, you can save tons of money by staying somewhere cheaper. How much time do you plan on spending in your room anyway. Flamingo and Harrah’s are right across the street from Caesar’s.

  8. Great idea, first off hotel stay at Aria. Stayed there 2 years ago and it was so nice, I was very impressed.

  9. I’m considering the same dilemmas about the trip but think I will make the trip as lots to learn as it will be my first ever of one of these events.

  10. Kyle says:

    Hit up a Terry Fator….or a Cirques show. Reading your blog for last couple years I figure you would like Terry Fator….pretty funny stuff.

    Anyways…..Aria is really cool. I won a lot of cash back when it first opened. Vdara is nice too if you don’t like the Gambling in your hotel.

    Last couple times I have went to vegas have been 6 day trips. The last time I stayed at 4 hotels (just to change it up a bit)

  11. Awesome man glad to see your going to ASW13 will def see you there I will be staying at the flamingo due to the over pricing at Cesars Palace. This will be my 4th year going to ASW!

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Ya, you don’t need to stay at an expensive hotel. It’s just one of those things I do like to splurge on. I don’t have a fancy car or an expensive watch, but I do like nice accomodation!

  12. Cloud Server says:

    I think you are making a good decision, affiliate Summit is a great conference to attend, and you are right it doesn’t hurt that it is being held in Vegas. I would stay at the Winn If I was going. It is newer than some of the other hotels and has great customer service. Good luck and have a great time.

PeerFly

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