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Affiliate Summit – What Pass To Get and Why

Submitted by on January 14, 2013 – 2:52 am 2 Comments

danny maddox

Affiliate Summit Rocks!

The tagline of Affiliate Summit is the premiere affiliate marketing conference  is indeed very true. As a perennial veteran of three ASW conferences in Las Vegas and one ASC conference in Austin, Texas I can attest to the quality of the educational sessions, the expert speakers, the incredible networking opportunities and some serious fun at the many parties and events…..that is, if you have the right pass.

Affiliate Summit does a fantastic job in every aspect you can possibly think of in the planning and execution of the show.  As I struggle to post this late night on Day 1 of #ASW13 in Las Vegas, there are over 5300 attendees at a sold out show with everything seemingly running along smoothly.  Huge accolades to Affiliate Summit, SAS and Caesar’s Palace for what seems like a flawless execution.

As you can guess I love Affiliate Summit, however; there is one area that is lacking and is the only area I can knock them on. That being prior to registration, they do not clearly explain the differences between the passes or better said, the limitations of the Networking and Networking Plus passes. Not knowing this information can be the difference between having a great conference or one that sucks. Today, like the other conferences I have attended, I witnessed people frustrated and clueless when they weren’t admitted to the latter sessions due to not having the right access.

Networking Pass aka LobbyCon (formerly Silver)  – God alone knows why anyone would subject themselves to this torture unless you were headed to Las Vegas for a day trip, you live local or just slightly curious about affiliate marketing. With this pass you get to literally see everything you want to do and learn about, but can’t because you can’t get in.  Additionally for the fourth conference in a row I’ve seen a growing number of people participating in what I call “LobbyCon”, the people that can’t get into any of the sessions or do anything other than attend Keynotes, the Meet Market on Sunday and the Exhibit Hall on Monday and Tuesday.

They hangout in the hallways and lobby flagging down top tier affiliates and network managers trying to score a 30 second one on one between the end of one session and the next or on the way to the rest room.  It’s hard to solve for the rationale of budgeting for travel to Las Vegas,  getting a hotel room for three days, airport transportation and over priced food for three days just to attend LobbyCon and not throwing down another measly $300 for a pass that will actually do something.

Networking Plus (formerly Gold) – Now you’re finally getting somewhere but after the first session of the morning you’re in LobbyCon mode for the day. Networking Plus gets you everything the Networking Pass does plus being able to attend the first session of the morning and access to all session videos a couple weeks after #ASW13 ends..  This is a huge improvement over the LobbyCon pass but will still leave you feeling like you’re missing something due to not being able to attend the later sessions.  I don’t think it’s any accident the better sessions delving into the critical areas are latter in the day.  If you’re willing to spend $500+ for this pass then you must be serious about affiliate marketing. So do yourself a huge favor and if needed skip a night in the casino and get access to these critical sessions you need to take off in affiliate marketing.  I cannot emphasize the incredible boost in my drive from getting the information in real time and the charge that comes from the live sessions. This pass is better than the LobbyCon Pass but is still LobbyCon Deluxe.

VIP – Now you’re running with the big dogs and more importantly you get access to all those killer sessions with people like James Martel, Stephanie Lichtenstein, Kush Abdulloev and Sarah Bundy to name a few. Almost like a bonus on top of a bonus you get access to snacks, breakfast and lunch with some of the more experienced affiliates in the industry with VIP Passes.  Most VIP affiliates are not newbies and it’s a general characteristic of successful affiliates to be people persons. In addition to everything so far, you also can participate in the Newcomer Program which gets a veteran assigned to you for a one on one session.

There’s a good reason that the description of this pass is back grounded in blue on the Affiliate Summit homepage. It’s because this is where the real value is. You will get real measurable ROI on this pass. If you really want to jump start your career in affiliate marketing, this pass is  critical.

All Access Pass – If you just want to throw down the money and be at the top of the pass holder food chain, this is your pass. You get everything the VIP Pass does plus you get a DVD of all session videos, a dedicated check in line for your pass, your company logo on your badge and the total coolness of walking around with an ALL ACCESS in bold on your badge. Maybe I’m not looking real hard but I’ve only see 5 or 6 these at any particular conference. I’m going to get this pass for my next Affiliate Summit conference.

Who am I and what’s my level of expertise?

Great question.  I’m not a super affiliate by any stretch but I have managed to earn as much as my full time job pays except only working part time  since 2008 on my affiliate sites.  At my full time job I am the Director of Online Marketing for Interactive Solutions Inc managing a PPC spend greater than a $100,000 per month and overseeing a very successful and profitable affiliate program department with more than 3500 affiliates across Commission Junction, ShareASale, Pepperjam and our own In House Affiliate program that all combined produces a multimillion dollar revenue stream.  I live this stuff every day and totally love it.

***Finally I just want to let you know I am in no way associated with Affiliate Summit, nor do I know any of the management personally and in no way get any compensation in any form from them.  This is just my personal take on the best way to attend Affiliate Summit and that’s with a VIP Pass.

If this were a Yelp Review I would give Affiliate Summit 4 stars and not 5 only due to them not thoroughly making it clear of the limitations of the LobbyCon and LobbyCon Deluxe Passes.   I think the video below produced by Affiliate Summit in October 2012 that only has 93 views as of this posting in comparison to a sold out show of 5300 underscores my point.

In all seriousness it’s great you’re attending Affiliate Summit so make the best of it and if possible at  get a VIP Pass for maximum benefit and ROI.


  • Angela says:

    Wow I wished I would have found this a few weeks ago. You’re right, clarification could be better. I found this looking for the hashtag #asw13 while killing time waiting for a session to start earlier today. The show was fantastic and I totally loved every minute of it. About the pass situation I just upgraded once I found out, no big deal as I was given bad info that the only difference was meals. I’ll definitely be back.

  • John Wisemann says:

    The reason I went to the conference with a Networking Pass was because it was a freebie from work and I got two paid days off plus free airfare and a room in Vegas. Can’t beat that.

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