Eleanor Pickering, head of advertiser development at Commission Junction, shares her views on our agenda, the importance of continued education and her must-see session at a4uexpo Europe.

What’s Surprised You Most About This Year’s Agenda?

Eleanor Pickering: I think that the entire affiliate marketing landscape is changing, we’re becoming a more close-knit society and marketing is crossing physical borders – I suppose that applies with both the move to drive in-store traffic as well as crossing country borders too.  This year’s agenda reflects that, with more of a focus on industry trends that we can see throughout Europe as well as looking at some of the specific markets where we’re seeing affiliate industry growth.

There’s a big focus on SEO as it continues to affect the publisher landscape and of course, the obligatory big data discussion is there too – not that that’s an issue, it’s one of the sessions I’m most interested in!

As Head of Advertiser Development, What Sessions Would You Recommend to Your Employees That Are Attending?

EP: To get the most out of the show, I’m keen for there to be Commission Junction employees at as many sessions as possible so that we can share learning across the board with the wider team. That said, we’re a business dedicated to our staff and we try to nurture things they’re interested in rather than dictating what we think is important. As a rule, I normally advise colleagues to attend sessions in pairs. Different people take different things from each conference and discussing what’s been talked about afterwards often throws new light on a topic.

What is it About the Event’s Educational side that Persuaded Commission Junction to Become Involved?

EPa4uexpo Europe is one of the biggest events in the affiliate industry’s social calendar. It’s a great opportunity for anyone in the industry to get more from their business, be it advertisers, publishers, networks or agencies.

It’s not just about the attendees though, PerformanceIn goes above and beyond expectations to develop a cutting edge agenda.  What I think is really interesting is that slots are graded so there is something for everyone, whatever their level of knowledge of the intricacies of the affiliate industry. There are a lot of complex issues within the affiliate market but it’s a young industry. This grading offers an easy way for delegates to select sessions that are best suited to their experience of affiliates; allowing those of us who’ve been in to the industry for years to continue to be inspired and informed alongside new recruits who are still learning the ropes

Why Are The Educational Aspects of a4uexpo Europe So Important?

EP: In a world where it’s increasingly important to justify time spent away from the desk, it’s vital to come away from trade events feeling that you’ve achieved a good return on investment. Whilst networking will always be an important part of what a4uexpo Europe stands for, it’s the knowledge and insight that the speaker sessions offer that can generate the most value. 

What Sessions Are You Looking Forward to On a Personal Level and Why?

EP: I’m keen to listen to Harry Hurst from Qubit discuss the impact of Big Data. As part of ValueClick Inc. Commission Junction is at the forefront of the online advertising landscape so I’m interested to hear someone from outside of the business throw new light on a topic that we discuss a lot internally. I’m also intrigued by SEO and I’m looking forward to hearing the latest debate on how changes in search engine algorithms are affecting affiliates across Europe.


You can see Eleanor Pickering speak on “Maximising the Publisher / Network Relationship” on Day 2 at 15:30