Affiliate Summit – The Family We Chose

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We just celebrated the 50th Affiliate Summit event over 17 years and I am still trying to process all of this.

Affiliate Summit Friends

Back when we started all of this in 2003, I don’t think Missy and I could have imagined what it would become. We just wanted a place for the industry to get together to learn and network. Also, we thought most of the conferences out there were lame, so we wanted to create something that didn’t suck.

Missy and I were conference friends for a couple of years before Affiliate Summit, but still, we didn’t know each other that well, and we didn’t have any money or knowledge of running events.

But we believed in it and we were sure we could create something useful, fun, and different.

Along the way, we met more and more amazing people in the space. Over time I recognized that these people weren’t just colleagues, they were friends… and family.

Our family, that we discovered at Affiliate Summit, would often remark that attending was like going to a family reunion, but one where we got to pick the family.

I felt the same, but I never had my heart swell up with love as I did at Affiliate Summit West 2020 when so many people came together to recognize Missy and me. Two different events with so many awesome people and drinks and cake and awards and pictures and cards and videos and hugs. I was so overwhelmed that I was speechless.

Wayne Porter Award for Service to the Affiliate Industry

Affiliate Summit is such a family that it’s where my brother came and introduced me to his wife Victoria for the first time and they’ve been to lots of Easts and Wests.

Mike and Victoria notes

It was amazing and I’m still on a high from it.

AS picture collage

Deb Carney, Warren Corpus, Angel Djambazov, Liz Fogg, Bhavik Modi, and everyone else who made those days so special – I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It was amazing and perfect.

And so great to end it all with drinks at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill – something that started small in the days we were doing Affiliate Summit at Bally’s (2006 maybe?) and grew to a grand goodbye party for all of us.

Poet Rod McKuen once wrote…

We come into the world alone. We go away the same. We’re meant to spend the interlude between in closeness or so we tell ourselves. But it’s a long way from the morning to the evening.

That reminds me of all of us – so many of us were living in places where other people didn’t get us. Then we’d get together and all speak the same language. We made sense to each other and we liked being with one another. We didn’t just share the latest tips and tricks. We shared our lives.

This was supposed to be a business thing, but yet I would always be so excited to see everybody and I had this sad feeling in my heart when it would end each time.

That closeness we all shared was just a couple of times a year, but when it happened it sure was awesome. Thanks to all y’all for all of these years, and cheers to the times ahead.

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