It was pleasing to see that the numbers of 'casualties' from these disruptions could fit on one hand. With over 750 attendees defying Ash and Air to pass through the doors of the Hilton Munich Park Hotel, from a personal perspective, this was certainly one of, if not THE best a4uexpo we have run since its conception in 2007.
After gracing the venue with the relevant signage, exhibition stands and registration systems we headed to the Ignite party, located in the Centre of Munich. It seems a great night was had by all, I won't go into much detail regarding the parties as there are plenty of blogs detailing the fun that was had here!
Day One Conference Sessions began with 'Voucher Codes: Understanding the Metrics', 'Analysing & Increasing Organic Search Traffic' plus 'Understanding the European Landscape'.
Here's David Naylor talking about his session on Analysing & Increasing Organic Search Traffic:
It was pleasing to see nearly every single conference session packed to the rafters, no more so than the next sessions involving Tom Critchlow on 'Universal Search Optimisation', and Phillip Justus, the new CEO of Zanox, who provided a well structured presentation with an interesting insight into his session 'The Evolution of Online Monetization: Trends and Perspectives'
After a networking session in the exhibition hall, where Ogilvy's Stand with Guitar Hero became a focal point for many, the buses then drove all delegates to the Breakout Party, which was located at a Munich Racecourse. There are many blogs regarding this party, suffice to say I can confidently state that this was better than any previous a4uexpo party!
There were also credible mentions for the Social Media Presentation by Bob Rains (who turned DJ at night for the breakout party), A Product Feed demo from FusePump who actively showed a great tutorial to the delegates, plus more on Improving Conversion Rates.
A main focus for many of the delegates was in the area of payment models, with sessions such as 'Cost Per Engagement (CPE) : The Future?', 'Performance Marketing: Where Next?', 'Post View Tracking – Is Play Time Over?' and 'Customer Journey, a Trip to the Future of CPA' highly attended and discussed at a4uexpo.
I think it's fair to say that many within the Affiliate arena have agreed that the payment model we currently occupy is soon to be 'subject to change'.
Matt Bailey's session on Cost Per Engagement defined how some big brands are already paying affiliates different commissions for viewing banners, videos and aquisition (engagement), whilst Ronald Paul talked about Post View Tracking & why it causes potential friction with Publishers, how it could be beneficial under certain conditions, and how micro management is critical to avoid potential cannibalisation and stretching of the rules.
We have recently seen other payment models put forward, including the payment on influence model that was published on affiliates4u, alongside multi-attribution models that continue to be discussed at IAB Affiliate meetings.
Overall, a4uexpo Europe was certainly a great place for Pan-European networking and to gauge an insight into how the industry is evolving.