John Goldie - International PimpinPAP V.I.P Contest Trip Report:

As most of you know, I was lucky enough to win the trip to CAP Euro London courtesy of PokerAffiliatePrograms.com and Chipleader. Let me just say to start off that this was one of the best experiences I have had in my life and that our industry, the people in it and the work they do are truly unique and amazing. First off I would like to thank Warren, Jeremy, Greg and the team from Chipleader for putting on the contest……now on to the good stuff.

Thursday:

After an overnight flight from Toronto with Graham and Kyle, we spent the early portion of the day half asleep drinking in a pub waiting for our hotel room to be ready. By early afternoon, most of the PAP team was there and I met everyone for the first time and finally put some forum usernames to faces. That evening, 16 of us headed out to dinner at Gaucho Grill which is one of London’s best steakhouses. We were set up with a private dining room and a 9-course taster menu a.k.a balling and had a great time getting to know everyone.

After dinner was the HollywoodAffiliates opening party at a famous club called Café De Paris located in Picadilly. The party was awesome and the whole PAP team and affiliates spent the night drinking, socializing and making plans for the conference. I got back to the hotel around 5am (needless to say the party was good) and passed out after the long day.

Friday:

Friday morning was the first day of the conference and I slept a little later than I would have wanted so quickly rushed over to the conference. Going to an Online Gaming conference is a little different (to say the least) than what you would expect. Immediately when I entered the room was buzzing with music, tons of beautiful girls, Ferrari’s (care of Affiliate Speedpay) and hundreds of affiliates. This being my first conference, I hadn’t set up too many meetings so I spent the majority of the day moving booth to booth and meeting affiliate managers from the various programs. I also attended two speaker session including Neil Patel’s Social Networking and Web 2.0 as well as the CEO Panel which included some of the top players in the industry such as Malcolm Graeme (CEO of PKR). Overall the first day of the conference went over very well and was extremely informative.

Friday evening was the CAP Awards which was held at the Chelsea Football Club (an awesome venue). The awards consisted of a reception (featuring live music, topless gold painted women and tons of champagne) followed by a three course dinner and award ceremony. This was definitely a highlight of the trip as not only was it an awesome event but provided a very good chance to network and meet other affiliates/affiliate managers.
After the awards at approximately 2-3 a.m. a large group of us headed out in search of a club to finish the night at. We ended up going to a popular club called Paper and we had an amazing (and blurry) time. This place was super balling and even had girls who came around to give you massages while you were sitting in the VIP booths. The night ended……..while I don’t know when the night ended….nuff said.

Saturday:

Saturday was the last day of the conference and with my large hangover I headed over to watch some presentations and meet a few of the affiliate managers I had met the previous night at their booths. The one session that I unfortunately missed and heard was very excellent was Brent Hoberman’s (LastMinute.com) presentation. After the wrap up of the conference, a bunch of us headed to the local pub where we talked and drank before taking a short rest for the coming party.

Rushmore Casino hosted the Saturday night party at a club called Meza and really threw a great event. The venue was packed and exclusively rented out for conference attendees and I think that everyone really had a great time. Somehow Kyle and I ended up with a few extra gold tickets to get in so we took to the streets “recruiting” people to the party. The night ran very late as expected and was again a great party to network and make connections at.

Sunday:

Most of the crew departed on Sunday however the few of us that were left headed to the Sunday Session at a traditional English pub and chilled out (a.k.a drank) and laughed about the happenings of the weekend.

Myself, Kyle, Graham, Thomas, Jeremy and Mike headed out Sunday night to a college bar in Picadilly where we were close to getting “ruined” by soccer hooligans but escaped in one piece and for the most part enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

Overall Impressions:

I cannot stress enough how essential it is to make it out to these conferences if you are active and interested in affiliate business and part of the affiliate community. You will meet the people you talk to on a daily basis, build a rapport with them and better your business for doing it. Next time you PM someone on the forums it will be as a friend instead of a random forum user. You will also learn so much invaluable information from speaking and listening to your fellow affiliates. It really amazed me just how much everyone is willing to help and share ideas in such a highly competitive industry.

The other major thing that I took away from this conference is an incredible amount of motivation and admiration. Seeing how many successful affiliates there are out there (by successful I mean SERIOUSLY balling) makes you realize that there is a lot of potential in this industry and makes you proud to be a part of that. I feel refreshed after attending CAP Euro and motivated to succeed and put in the work to do so.

Lastly, I just want to thank the PAP and Chipleader team again as well as the fellow affiliates and affiliate managers I met on the trip. I cannot wait to see you all again at the next conference.

Sincere Thanks,

John Goldie