A4U London Expo 2012 – Interview With Chris Johnson
October 2012 is just round the corner and on the 17th of the month, the next A4U Expo in London begins. State of Search are Media Partners at the event and will be bringing you updates on both days so keep a close eye on the blog between 16th and 17th October.
A4U have offered State of Search readers a 10% discount when you register to attend the event. All you need to do is use the following code upon registering – SOS10%
In the lead up to the event, State of Search put together some questions for Chris Johnson, Content Director at A4u – Affiliates4u.com to get their views on the show.
a4uexpo London is coming up again. Time flies! Are you ready for a new show?
“I really don’t know where the time goes these days, Bas! 18 weeks after the success of a4uexpo Europe in Barcelona we’ll be congregating on London for our 6th a4uexpo London.
“The industry is certainly ready for a4uexpo London – that much I can tell you! The pace of change and the development within the industry over the past 12 months is still rapidly increasing, and with Christmas firmly on the radar by then it’s a perfect time to get involved to hear the latest topics, debate and networking that we’ll be offering as per usual at the show.
“We have a fantastic team in-house and after completing 16 events over the past few years, we’re all looking forward to bringing it all together for our delegates on the 16th and 17th October.”
What makes this show different from others before? Why should we attend?
“Cementing a4uexpo’s as THE performance marketing event in everyone’s event calendars was always a goal for us – yet nowadays the onus is always on how to differentiate our offering each year to keep it fresh, exciting and a must-attend event for those involved within Performance Marketing.
“I think one look at this years’ agenda when comparing to 2011 will show just how much the industry has progressed within the space of 12 months. We constantly strive to ensure the agenda content is challenging and educates our audience to a new level of PM. I’m really pleased that there’s a good balance of subjects that encompass all the facets of Performance Marketing (which has and will always include Search) – it’s something that stays at the forefront of strategy planning over the course of the next 12 months too – so that’s another reason to attend!
“We’ve also catered for all levels of industry knowledge and demographic, we’re running more advertiser-focused sessions, plus we’ve got a ‘panel’s only’ room and an interactive theatre, which will ensure every delegate can mix up their session format throughout the day.
“New for 2012 features include the introduction of our Knowledge Zone, which will feature new Digital Clinics –which in a nutshell offer our delegates one-to-one advice on more generic business topics including business strategy clinics, funding & investment clinics, affiliate programme clinics and more, something that is becoming more and more important in today’s industry. Speed Networking has been drilled down into verticals of fashion / retail, travel, telecoms & technology and finance – ensuring we’re continuing to enhance delegate networking opportunities. Then there’s the ‘Meet the Agencies’ section – where delegates can have the chance to meet face-to-face with those responsible for up to 100 brands.”
“Let’s not forget the legendary a4uexpo official party too – just do a few searches and you’ll see what I mean! How’s that for reasons to attend this year!?”
What main questions do you think affiliates will have for the speakers? What are the ‘hot topics’?
“A quick roll-out of hot topics for this year will without doubt focus around Data, Mobile, Engagement, Social Media, Affiliate Marketing, Analytics, User Experience, Search Marketing and Conversion.
“That’s a quick ‘topic drop’, but actually many of the 40+ sessions will amalgamate a number of these topics together; whether it’s mobile & social, data and personalisation, search and engagement etc – it’s a growing trend for our agenda and reinforces the ‘umbrella’ offering of Performance Marketing.”
How quickly is the affiliate business changing? What do you think are the ‘new’ topics that are rising at the moment?
“It’s something we continue to ‘bang on’ about at A4u, but with so much innovation happening within Performance Marketing, less prominent affiliates can become quickly overlooked as new multi-channel ways of driving revenue become more desirable.
“I think it’s important for SME affiliates to professionalise what they’re doing (where possible – as they will no doubt work LONG hours!) and look at working with more CPX models and new traffic sources, decreasing the reliance on Google as the only traffic source for them, and instead enhancing what they’re doing across social, mobile and personalisation.”
What advice would you give first time attendees?
“Get some business cards, don’t be shy, or feel overwhelmed, speak to as many people as you can – you can learn so much by talking to people especially those that have been in this industry for a long time. enhance your networking with vertical speed networking and take advantage of our networking receptions and session breaks to meet those on the exhibition floor who are wanting to meet you.”
“My tip is always to think about which sessions you really want to attend beforehand, and make use of the note pages in the back of the brochure. Don’t be scared to ask questions – there’s specific twitter hashtags for each session that you can use to ask too!”
What is the one session you will not be missing this time?
“In keeping with the above discussion on growing the SME affiliate / publisher base, I think it’s something that we need to discuss more frequently within the industry over the coming year – Where are our next publishers going to come from? How are we going to grow the industry? How can we encourage the growth of smaller affiliates / publishers?
“That’s why I think the session I’m personally looking forward to the most is ‘Are Performance KPI’s Causing an Industry Monopoly?’ (Day One – 17.15) – it’s a panel-based session looking at whether we’re seeing the dawn of an industry monopoly that is stifling SME affiliate / publisher growth. I’m sure it’ll be a popular session – one i’m looking forward to!”
“Fancy joining us? I’ve set you up with a State of Search Discount Code – use code SOS10% when you register today for 10% off the ticket price!”