As the final seats are snapped up for next week’s Performance Marketing Awards (PMA) , while some are still busy focusing on outfit tweaks, many are plotting, or at least thinking about, the night’s networking opportunities.

Whether a planned rendezvous, matching a face to email comms, sizing up rivals or simply looking for new opportunities and contacts; one thing’s certain, it all happens at this leading industry event.

Ahead of Tuesday’s event, we spoke to three key employees from the PMA’s co-sponsor, global affiliate marketing network, Commission Junction.

From business impact to personal experiences and the dos and don’ts of networking, here is what they had to say:

Account director, John Coulson:

Q. If you had one networking tip to attendees, what would it be?

A. Find a different introductory line to ‘Where do you work?’ It’s really boring and by the end of the evening people will want to talk about issues and trends, not about the ins and outs of their job role. Networking should be about a time of learning about people and their opinions rather than just talking about how best you can work together – save that conversation for an email discussion the next day.

Q. Why is it important to network within the performance marketing industry?

A. Despite the recent £814 million industry figure the IAB announced, the industry is still small, there are a lot of people you can talk to, and what’s more there are a lot of people you can learn from. Nobody can take for granted how important other people’s opinions are, you never know what someone could say which can turn on your own internal light bulb, or how fruitful relationships can be for your business and career.

Key account manager, Adela Halilovic:

Q. What networking opportunities does the Performance Marketing Awards provide to you specifically?

A. The performance marketing awards is the biggest celebration of excellence within the industry and is a great event for anyone involved in performance marketing. Publishers, advertisers, networks and individuals are all looking for the industry wide recognition for their hard work, and because of this melting pot of attendees it makes a fantastic networking opportunity.

Q. Do you have a networking ‘line’, strategy or ultimate plan for the PMA? Or do you just see where the night takes you?

A. If you’ve attended the awards as many times as I have then I think you’ll come to the same conclusion that you can’t really plan a networking event.

Publisher account director, Emmanuel Ogidan:

Q. Can you highlight any personal experiences of networking at the Performance Marketing Awards?

A. Commission Junction has been attending these awards for several years, we’ve met advertisers, publishers, journalists and friends – it’s safe to say that we don’t come away from any PMA without having met someone who has a profound impact on our business.

Q. What, in your opinion, are the top dos and don’ts of industry networking?

A. There are a few steadfast rules to stick to though, remember where you are, it’s hugely unprofessional to think you’re out and about with mates, and whereby emotions run high during an awards ceremony always remember you have to see most people at work the next day! Do, be humble, no one likes anyone who gloats and you’re around peers who could remember a silly throwaway comment for years to come. Talk to as many people as you can, don’t hone in on one person or focus on who you think the most important person in the room is, everyone has something to speak about so be sociable.

On Tuesday nearly 1,000 attendees, top sponsors and key industry players will fill the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane for an exclusive night of networking, entertainment and of course, the outcome of the esteemed Performance Marketing Awards.