Gain some insight into some of the preparation that goes on behind the scenes during the lead-up to a4uexpo Europe in this interview with PerformanceIN’s very own events manager, Sarah Pickthall. 

When did you begin your events career in the performance marketing industry?

Sarah Pickthall: I’d started to delve into performance marketing when working for a digital marketing agency 6 years ago. 

My Events background was earlier in my career and originally in charity fundraising events, so to be given a fantastic opportunity with PerformanceIN to mix the account management with events management skills I had gained was a really exciting prospect. Four years on with PerformanceIN, and I’ve never looked back!

What difficulties have you encountered whilst planning this year’s a4uexpo Europe?

SP: It is the second time we’ve taken the event to Amsterdam and the city has so much to offer – choosing the best way to entertain and engage with delegates is hard – doing it under budget is harder! 

Why Amsterdam?

SP: Amsterdam is a bustling hub of commerce that welcomes other cultures with open arms. From the PerformanceIN European Affiliate Landscape Report 2012, it was found that the Dutch performance marketing industry is booming with E-Commerce taking poll position and the Dutch market being ripe for expansion. The UK, in 2012, lead France, Germany and Spain as regions targeting the Netherlands, backed up by publishers such as vouchercloud moving into the market.

It seemed like a fantastic opportunity for a4uexpo Europe to revisit this eclectic city, and take advantage of the rapidly evolving Dutch performance marketing industry.

Off the record, the real reason we’re heading to Amsterdam is, pancakes.

What’s the best thing about your job?

SP: Diversity – no day is ever the same!

Why is this event important for those in the performance marketing industry to attend?

SP: Amsterdam is a well connected location which will host some of the biggest names in international performance marketing, and offer all delegates forward thinking, and actionable techniques that can be actively applied to their businesses. The a4uexpo event is the largest performance marketing conference and exhibition on European shores, boasting an unrivalled agenda of the latest thought leadership, techniques and more, from those at the forefront of the industry. The event is a buzzing hub of education, with a strong focus on maximising learning and ROI and giving all who attend a host of new business relationships, alongside structured networking with the best in this ever evolving industry, all this and on a truly global platform. 

In a nutshell, miss it and miss out!

What are your top three tips for planning a global event?

SP: My top three tips? Okay, they are:

  1. Always research the city you’re hosting in, get an idea of hotspots and ‘not-spots’ so you can offer the delegate the best experience.
  2. Know the rules and regulations – restrictions and regulations differ widely across the globe; it’s hugely important for the event to have a good understanding of what you can and can’t do.
  3. Always be super friendly to your suppliers – you just never know what favours you might need to ask of them!

Do you have plans to expand PerformanceIN’s conferences further afield? 

SP: That would be telling! 

We are constantly looking at ways we can improve, shape and evolve the PerformanceIN event series based around the constant evolution of the performance marketing industry, so as they always say, ‘never say never!’