Where do I begin, the blue language at a4u HQ courtesy of the ash cloud, the standing room only conference sessions, the fabulous dance moves from Mr Little, or the forming of Pickle and Parsnip!
I will start at the best place, the beginning; in Europe at the Hilton Park Hotel, Munich Germany. A city known for its beer and cosmopolitan lifestyle, Munich certainly delivered on all counts. With over 40 conference sessions, a noisy exhibition hall and three unforgettable networking parties, A4uexpo Europe really was the place to be in 2010.
European highlights have to be the fantastic conference sessions, including Bob Rains standing room only session on Affiliates and Social Media, the very first a4u live feed conference session by Matt Bailey - the one casualty of the Ash Cloud - who managed to present whilst sunning himself in Dubai; and the predictions of Performance Marketing from the heads of five Networks.
We can’t however mention a4uexpo Europe, without mentioning the food – Never have we seen in all our conference organising years, so much amazing food, both courtesy of the Hilton and the fantastic BBQ at the Middle evening party; which leads us nicely to another Highlight. The Munich Racecourse ‘rave’, an a4uexpo networking Party that will never be forgotten! The DJ, the scantily clad dancing ladies, the massive amount of champagne and wheat beer ever consumed and of course the fabulous Mr Little and his very special dance moves.
It was down to a team’s determination, our delegate’s passion and our sponsors and exhibitor’s support that made a4uexpo Europe such a success!
A whirlwind of only three weeks later, and we found ourselves at the most glitziest and glamorous event on the Performance Marketing Calendar, the a4uAwards 2010. Hosted by the fabulous Grosvenor House Hotel, June 9th saw the crème de la crème of Affiliate Marketing step out on the red carpet, or in this case, Affilinet’s orange carpet.
The show was stolen by Vouchercodes.co.uk and Affiliate Window who between them swept the board with Best Lead Generation Campaign, Best Retail Publisher, Best Travel and Leisure Publisher, Best Account Manager and Best Affiliate Network in the Community Choice Awards. The host Kevin Bridges excelled himself in his debut corporate performance and Affiliate Window created the very first Affiliate and Performance Marketing night club; The Cube, which kept everyone showcasing some interesting dance shapes (we have the video as evidence) and drinking into the early hours.
I can’t really mention the awards without mentioning the lovely Miss Pickthall and her amazing table plan skills, supported on occasion by wine..
The autumn saw the last of the a4u events but by no means the least; A4uexpo London. The brand spanking new Capital Suite at the ExCeL London conference centre Canary Wharf, played host to a bigger and bolder a4uexpo London. Supporting a whopping 50+ diverse conference sessions, including the all new Round tables Q&A;, and the very popular Speed Networking, not to be mistaken with Speed Dating. Other highlights include a bigger exhibition hall incorporating a brand new ‘Live Theatre’, the fabulous plasticine modelling competition, the roulette tables, and the fantastic mirage by Mr Joel Cooper.
The London event excelled in more ways than one in 2010, due to the fantastic delegate numbers smashing any previous a4uexpo record to date, and of course the traditional London buses transporting a4uexpo London back to the 1920’s with a fantastic swing party at the Troxy, featuring the iconic Charlie Chaplin, and another of Chief a4u designer’s Mr Coles’s wonderful stings.
All in all a fantastic a4uexpo London, rounding off an awesome a4u 2010. None of which would have been possible without you all, so a HUGE thank you to all of our sponsors from both a4uexpo Munich the a4uAwards and a4uexpo London, our media partners, our exhibitors, delegates and guests who attended. Thank you all for your support and for making 2010 such a successful year!
What will 2011 bring?
So what will 2011 bring for the events calendar at a4u HQ? On May 17th we return to the Grosvenor House Hotel for the 5th annual a4uAwards. Who will sweep the board this year, and be an a4uAward winner in 2011? Make sure you’ve submitted your entry before the 31st January!
We fly back to Munich on the 7th and 8th June 2011 for a4uexpo Europe, hopefully without an Ash cloud(!) for more Bavarian beer, and a look at the European market one year on, not to mention even more food! Finally we head back to the capital for our largest event a4uexpo London.
I for one can not wait to see what occurs in 2011, the winners, the sponsors, the exhibition stands, the competitions, the dance moves..
In the meantime have a Merry Christmas, and if my 12 month knowledge has taught me anything a very boozy New Year.