First off I want to give a big thanks to Jonathan Volk and Epic Direct (formally known as Azoogle Ads)
I arrived on in LA on Friday afternoon and headed straight to the W Hotel in Westwood. The hotel was very eclectic and modern; somewhere I would never choose to stay, no really my taste, but it was a very nice place. The rooms were a nice size with a living room with a bar area, a separate bedroom and a really nice size bathroom.
I really hadn’t eaten since early that morning so I headed down to the pool area restaurant and ran into Jeremy Schoemaker (aka Shoemoney) and a few others.
After that I decided to head back up to the room and catch some Z’s before the Opening Night Cocktail Party. After a few Z’s I headed downstairs for the cocktail party. I felt kind of odd as I was looking for all my close affiliate friends and unfortunately none were there. So I grabbed some killer food and had a couple drinks and ran into my former affiliate manager at Azoogle, Matt and he introduced me to some guys out of Canada who were freaking smart! Had some great conversation with them and look forward to talking more with them.
Little bit later I ran into Rob Hustle who is just a great guy, we had a great conversation and later we met with some other guys and talk about pretty much everything from offers to Salsa dancing.
After the party I headed back to my hotel room and had some much going on in my head I stayed up late launching some new campaigns.
Saturday (An Epic Night)
I headed down to brunch where I was meeting up with Mike Chiasson, Mike and I were going to head down to The OC and attend the Meetup202 group where Ryan Gray from SuperAffiliateTwins was talking about media buying.
Ryan’s talk was really informative (Blog post coming soon).
Also at the meet-up was Rebecca Madigan from the PMA and talking about the updated California Internet Tax and what affiliates could do about it. Although I don’t live in California, the internet tax at this time really doesn’t affect me, but it was an interesting discussion.
So after wards we headed back to the hotel and maybe catch some sleep prior to the big night. I tried to get some sleep, but was just too damn excited to sleep so I just lay down and tossed and turned most of the time.
The Big Night
I headed downstairs to the lobby where we were to meet to catch the shuttles to the Playboy Mansion and the lobby was just pack with affiliates and lots of “girls” all dressed up. We were laughing as all these girls were standing around in lingerie and other scantly clad clothing as families were walking by.
We finally made it to the Playboy Mansion and were greeted by some playmates and also some woman that had incredible body paint/art by the infamous pool.
We decided to take the tour of the mansion, which was really a tour of the grounds, maybe because rumor has it that Hef was there. Miss July 2000, Neferteri Shepherd took us on the tour; we walk through the “mini zoo”, the “rolling hill”, through the game room and of course the Grotto.
Most of the night I pretty much walked around taking pictures (here) and enjoying the scenery. I ended up talking with a couple of playmates for about half an hour, it was a great conversation that if it wasn’t “closing” time we might have talked a lot longer.
All and all it was a great night and something that I will cherish for a long time. It may be the only time I’ll ever be able attend a party there, so I took it all in.
Maybe because I’m older, I was surprised how many people were getting just flat-out-drunk, so much so that a couple of them pretty much passed out on the shuttle on the way back to the hotel, mine you the drive is less than 10 minutes away. Why, you’re at the mansion, maybe your only time there, why get so wasted that you can’t remember any of it?
On Sunday I had a late checkout since my flight didn’t leave until 8:30PM.
I met up with my great buddy Jasper Pangilinan, he was great seeing him again, I hadn’t seen him since Affiliate Summit West. We headed to lunch in Westwood at California Pizza, which I have never eaten at and it was awesome. We talked about all sorts of affiliate stuff and the industry as a whole. W ended up going to the “Best Kept Secret in Westwood”, Diddy Riese that makes some great ice cream sandwiches and cheap! Only a $1.50! They are so good that the line was out the door the entire time we were there.
Jasper dropped me off at the airport where I grabbed an earlier flight and headed home. I’m exhausted and still trying to catch up on things around here.
Hopefully I will be returning to the mansion in 2011!