Gary Vaynerchuk delivered the keynote address to a packed room at Affiliate Summit West 2009 in Las Vegas on Monday, January 12, 2009.
At the time of this keynote, Gary was still very involved with his family wine business, which he grew from a $3M to a $60M business in just five years.
I used to live in walking distance of his family liquor store, and I’d go there regularly. Years later I saw billboards on I-78 in New Jersey for WineLibrary.tv when I’d go to the airport. I didn’t even like wine, but I checked it out and I was hooked.
My partner Missy Ward and I are both New York Jets fans, and so is Gary, so we gave him a custom Jets jersey with his name and the number (73) for Jets legend Joe Klecko.
It just so happened that a year or so later I got to meet Joe Klecko at Wine Library when he was there signing bottles of a Jets wine.
Anyhow, shortly after this keynote, he started VaynerMedia, one of the world’s hottest digital agencies.
He is also a prolific angel investor and venture capitalist, and he has invested in companies like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, and Birchbox before eventually co-founding VaynerRSE, a $25M angel fund.
Attending keynote speeches can be valuable because you can gain and implement some knowledge right away or act on inspiration from the talk, as well as have the unique opportunity to get face time with the speaker.