The first Affiliate Summit West took place on June 13-14, 2005 at the long-gone Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. But we didn’t call it Affiliate Summit West back then because it was our only event that year.
Before arriving in Las Vegas for this show I’d never been there before, and we were still pretty new to organizing conferences. That plus not a whole lot of money in the bank meant we were handling everything ourselves – the outsourcing of things didn’t happen until later.
So the day before the conference check-in was opening we enlisted the help of a bunch of friends to stuff the bags for the 550 or so attendees. We were in a suite at the Riviera all day with drinks and an assembly line going.
One of my favorite pictures from that conference was Missy laying on the hundreds of bags after we’d finished up.
After the last bag was stuffed, I went on an odyssey in Las Vegas that included taking a nap on the Strip and various versions of how I ended up back in my room at some late hour. You can hear the gory details in my video recap of the conference.
The check-in process was way more primitive back then, but we had smaller crowds and it worked.
Affiliate Summit West 2005 was the first time we had an exhibit hall, but that may be too generous of a term for what was going on there – we had 15 booths in a room. You can see the “exhibit hall” and other entertaining Affiliate Summit relics in the Affiliate Summit West 2005 program, which was lovingly created in Microsoft Word.
While we were at the Riviera there was also a group of rugby fans, and one of the things many people remember from that conference was that a boozer from the rugby crowd threw up in the pool and it had to be closed.
Towards the end of Affiliate Summit West 2005, there was a big scare after a panel on blogging. One of the panelists, Wayne Porter, collapsed and had to be hospitalized shortly after the panel.
Thankfully, Wayne recovered from that fall and was later anointed as the first Affiliate Summit Legend.
It’s hard to believe Affiliate Summit West 2020 will be the 16th year in a row that Affiliate Summit is in Las Vegas. Looking forward to seeing lots of the old-timers who were there at the start, as well as the youngbloods.
Check out the pictures from Affiliate Summit West 2005.