Exclusive Interview with A4U on New Performance Marketing Insights Conference


Performance Marketing Insights Conference New York 2013


With Europe's largest and most powerful affiliate community coming to North America next week with the premier of their new Performance Marketing Insights Conference, I wanted to find out more about their move to the US. Below is a Q&A they generously allowed me in an exclusive interview.


Q: Please tell me a about A4u’s move to North America. Why have you decided to come now and what do you hope to gain from your presence here?

A4u has successfully programmed and executed over 15 international conferences, six Performance Marketing Awards Ceremonies, 20+ Networking Events, an Affiliate Forum and Performance Marketing News & Resource Portal. Our events have taken us across Europe including London, Amsterdam, Munich and Barcelona. It was therefore a natural step to come to the U.S. The opportunity to put on a stateside event in an exciting city like New York, complements our innovative mentality and allows us to focus on offering the most forward-looking global content in a performance marketing conference with both a local and international focus.

Our aim in launching Performance Marketing Insights is to grow the presence and professionalism of the industry we have been passionate about throughout our 14 year history. We wanted to offer a platform in which leaders in the digital marketing space could share the latest strategies, technologies and innovation taking place within the rapidly evolving performance marketing industry, as well as meet and develop the opportunity for new partnerships and generate new revenue streams, not only in the U.S. but across the globe.


Q: How do you see your conference different from other affiliate marketing and performance marketing events in the US and Canada?

Performance Marketing Insights is an antitheses of the tradeshow model that is rapidly becoming more prevalent across not only the U.S., but in the U.K. as well. Whilst tradeshows have a place in our industry we want to offer something more; a conference in which education and content is at the very core of the event.

Of course, the opportunity in which to nurture existing relationships, identify new strategic partnerships, and create new business opportunities at Performance Marketing Insights is vast. However, it is very much aligned with the opportunity for senior delegates serious about doing business and shaping the future of our industry, to not only be educated, but to educate their peers on the strategies, technologies, trends, and best practices that are creating the future of the performance marketing industry. The exclusive positioning of Performance Marketing Insights, reflects our primary aim; Quality over Quantity.


Q: Please tell us about the founders of the Performance Marketing Insights conference and what they are most known for in the space.

A4u, founded by Matthew Wood, has been in the affiliate space for over 14 years providing an online forum and news portal designed specifically for the affiliate marketing industry. Now headed up by Content Director Chris Johnson, affiliates4u.com has over 50,000 members, a plethora of research pieces, and a constant feed of performance marketing news, and insights from across the globe.

I joined the organization three years ago and have since led the direction of the event space to continue to innovate and grow our conferences very much in line with the high standard of content we produce. Alongside our annual black tie awards ceremony, a4uexpo Europe and London have grown to become the largest European Performance Marketing conferences. Therefore, we are very excited about our first U.S. show.


Q: Please tell us about the speakers and presenters of the Performance Marketing Insights Conference and why these people were chosen to speak.

The two-day agenda programmed by Chris and the team at A4u, offers over 25 presentations and panel debates from leading experts not only within the performance marketing industry, but also across the many media and marketing channels that are utilized by those involved in performance marketing.

Delegates will hear from speakers, such as yourself, who have first-hand experience on the evolution and dramatic advancements of the industry. Featuring presence from Networks, Advertisers, Publishers and Agencies across every discipline, each session will offer insights into what works and what doesn’t, identifying new opportunities, harnessing new technologies, and the development of performance marketing as part of the ecommerce ecosystem, not only for a U.S. perspective, but for those with international goals.


Q: Where do you see A4U and the Performance Marketing Insights Conference going in the next 2-3 years?

A4u’s focus has always been the growth, advancement, and professionalism of the performance marketing industry. This will continue to be our intention in the years to come as the performance marketing industry develops, via both the continued research and news produced by the team, and the growth and innovation of all of our events, whether it is across new territories or new demographics.

You can find more information about Performance Marketing Insights here, or to register with an exclusive code just for my readers use SBundy15% to get 15% off conference tickets.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Affiliate Summit West 2013 Recap

Affiliate Summit West 2013 was by far the best Affiliate Summit to date. A fabulous crowd of affiliate marketing enthusiasts and newbies gathered together to network, learn, grow and create new opportunities for each other like no other event I've ever been to. All 5200+ attendees were buzzing with excitement, and I was no exception.

This was my first year attending with three of my team members: Carolyn Kmet, our VP of Performance Marketing, Greg White and Frank Ravanelli, two of our fantastic account managers. We sponsored a room for AIM to represent our clients, our team and meet with anyone who wanted to spend time with us, which turned out to be a fabulous experience for us. We look forward to sponsoring a room again next year.

I also had the opportunity to speak at this show for the first time (thanks again to Shawn and Missy) with my friend Kush A from VMInnovations. We spoke about Affiliate Strategies for a Post Penguin World, which highlighted the importance of building communities, owning your audience to extend the lifetime value of your users, embracing social media, having authentic content, staying relevant and diversifying marketing efforts (such as introducing video) - as well as diversifying your anchor text and back linking campaigns to thrive in a post  penguin world. We had a great turnout (about 100 people in the room) and I thank everyone who came to listen to us speak and learn with us.

Other highlights for me personally included:

  • Attending the Miss America Finally with Liz Fogg, Shannon Weidemann, and Deb Carney on Sunday night
  • Enjoying the ShareaSale Masquerade Ball with great people I haven't seen in a year
  • Meeting great friends of mine for the first time in person - especially Pat Grady, Jennifer Ward and Kevin Wetherby
  • Watching my friends and people I admire win awards for their hard work and contribution to this industry
  • Spend a hilarious fun filled night out with my team at the CSI Experience, a delicious dinner and bonding till 3:30am
  • Meeting with some fabulous prospective clients and affiliates
  • The incredible excitement, interest and contributor response rate with Affiligate.org 
  • Hanging with the entire ShareASale team for some belgium beers before my flight home
  • Catching up with old friends and respected colleagues every day
  • Getting tackle hugged by Jennifer Ward and Tim Ash in the Meet Market on Sunday
  • Representing All Inclusive Marketing in a way that made me so proud. In the words of Carolyn Kmet "We exhibited knowledge and class, kindness and cohesiveness.  These are qualities that were very apparent to our clients, our affiliates and our competitors.  I cannot express how proud I am to be working alongside you to grow this company."
To Shawn and Missy, thanks for giving us something that allows us all to enjoy our industry so much. We look forward to many more Affiliate Summits to come.
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Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Conferences of 2013

Affiliate Marketing Conferences Events Expos and ShowsWith Affiliate Summit West just around the corner, I was inspired to write a post about some of the top affiliate and internet marketing conferences to attend this year. There are more than the list below, such as LeadsGen, the Performance Marketing Summit, LinkShare Symposium, and so on, however here are the Top 10 "must attend" conferences on my list for this year:


1. Affiliate Summit

Affiliate Summit West, East and Central are THE hottest affiliate marketing conferences in North America. With over 5000 attendees at both the East and West shows, with the latter next weekend in Las Vegas, attendees will get an incredible taste of the excitement of affiliate marketing through educational sessions, meet markets, networking events, an exhibitor hall, new comers program and more. I will be speaking at Affiliate Summit West at 12:30 Sunday about Affiliate Strategies for a Post Penguin World.


2. ShareASale Think Tank

One of my favorite affiliate networks holds their annual Shareasale Think Tank once a year and although in the past this has been an invitation only event for top tier affiliates and merchants to meet (very exclusive with about 100-200 attendees), last year this event opened to the public and was a great success. We will absolutely be attending this show this year.


3. Pubcon

One of North America's largest Digital, Search and Social conference with several thousand attendees, Pubcon also boasts a strong affiliate presence. I haven't personally attended a Pubcon event, however it is on my list for this year as I've always heard positive reviews about it. This conferences is supposed to be especially good for those interested in both affiliate marketing and other channels, as the caliber of speakers on various digital topics is great.


4. A4U

Europe's largest affiliate event, A4U is like the European version of Affiliate Summit. This year they will make their debut in North America.


5. AdTech

One of the largest digital marketing shows of the year, AdTech will be hosted in New Delhi in February, San Francisco in April, Sydney in March, Singapore in June, London in September and New York in November. Be sure to check out their website for a full list of dates and locations.


6. Internet Retailer

Host of the Internet Marketing Top 500 Guide and all Internet Retailer Conferences, Internet Retailer is the largest e-commerce show in the world. If you're going to attend this event, but sure to pack some solid walking shoes and some Halls, because you will be walking for days and speaking non stop.


7. Affiliate Management Days

One of the new kids on the block,  Affiliate Management Days debuted last year to help affiliate managers and merchants interested in the performance marketing space to be trained by some of the top affiliate marketing experts in the world. Having several shows per year, merchants and affiliate managers alike can travel to the destination closest to them for easy access to experts and high level learning opportunities.


8. CJU

Commission Junction University is an affiliate marketing website and event designed to help affiliates and merchants involved in Commission Junction (and the affiliate marketing space in general) succeed. It has been running since 1998 and showcases useful networking , educational and growth opportunities.


9. Online Marketing Summit

One of the fastest growing shows in North America is the Online Marketing Summit. This three day event showcases in depth educational workshops, speaking sessions and networking opportunities with leaders in the digital marketing space. Though mainly focused on mobile, social and search marketing, in 2012 they introduced an affiliate marketing workshop (taught by yours truly) and have now expended to welcome several speakers in the affiliate marketing space. I will be speaking at their show in San Diego next month.


10. BlogHer

From their site "In 2005, BlogHer Co-founders Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone held a conference to answer the question, "where are all the women who blog?" Today, BlogHer conferences bring together thousands of these women from around the world to discuss, inspire and connect with each other." BlogHer has become a must attend phenomenon that cannot be overlooked.

Which are your favorite and "must attend" events of 2013?



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