November 13th, 2013 by Karen
This post was inspired by a Facebook thread by a friend of mine, Sarah Bundy. Thanks!
Everyone has a story of how they got started in affiliate marketing and most of them begin with “Well, I was actually doing this other thing at the time…” My story is no different and involves physics, chocolate and a whole lot of strawberries, but I’ll save that for another day.
This post is actually about six people, a whole lot of shenanigans, and a photo booth.
In November of 2003, I had been in the affiliate industry for about five years, and courtesy of several Yahoo groups, regular monthly calls of various managers and hosted by Shawn Collins, and a few early groups like USAMC and iAfma, I had some preliminary acquaintances in the industry, but I had yet to meet anyone in person. Then I managed to convince my boss at the time to let me go to this brand new conference all the way across the country in New York City.
Still not sure exactly how I managed that one!
I attended the very first Affiliate Summit at Baruch College in November of 2003. I learned quite a bit, had some validation on some new things I was doing, and even taught a few others a couple of things. I took a ridiculous amount of notes and I still have the little conference tote bag. After a long day of education and networking, we headed to the rooftop bar for some refreshments and more networking.
Now, anyone who knows me well knows that I’m actually an incredibly shy person. So when I found the number of people in the bar to be a bit overwhelming, I escaped outside and sat down on some sort of bench thing.
That’s when I met Kim.
Kim is my exact opposite…she is boisterous and extroverted and gregarious. I was in awe and a little shell shocked, but in moments we were talking about kids and life and Nebraska and other non-affiliate stuff.
And then we gained Marifer. She sat down with us and within minutes the three of us were giggling like mad and having a blast.
And then “Bob” joined us. We later found out his name was actually Chris, but during one of the sessions earlier that day, the name placards on the speakers table were reversed. We called him Bob for hours and hours before he finally corrected us.
And “the guy whose name I can never remember because he left affiliate marketing to join a band”. Matt? Mike?*
And finally, Scott. I’ve lost when in the evening I actually met Scott, but I’m pretty certain that he’s the only reason that we’re all still alive today.
The party on the rooftop eventually broke up, but the six of us made a night of it. Needless to say, there’s no need to dredge up the specifics of where we went, what we drank, and what we may or may not have done, but we capped off the night with the photobooth memento that lives on a shelf above my monitor. I had an amazing time and even with the discomfort of the early flight I had booked home the next morning, I’ve never regretted it.
…and Kim and I? Well we still like photobooths.
*His name is Mike! Thanks Scott for remembering that!!