Yesterday, the curtain fell not only on this year’s a4uexpo Europe, but the brand under its current guise. As reported on PerformanceIN, the conference will be taking on the Performance Marketing Insights name, with the first taking place in London later this year.

The revolving door at the entrance to the Okura, where this year’s Amsterdam-based event was held, didn’t stop spinning as more than 800 delegates, hungry for a solid mixture of knowledge, networking and general business-building, meandered into the vibrant exhibition space.

Attendees were of a higher calibre than ever before. Registration figures reveal that 27% were CEO level and almost 20% were directors, showing how a4uexpo’s many features attract the cream of the performance marketing crop.

Evidence of the attendee’s stature was reflected in the line-up of speakers sharing their knowledge on one of the three stages. Network chief executive officers, Thomas Joosten and Dorothea von Wichert-Nick, both provided industry insight, a fact not lost on content director, Chris Johnson.

“It was great to see delegates engaging with one of our most diverse conference agendas to date,” Johnson said. “Performance marketing and its stakeholders are aligned much more as a mainstream digital marketing channel in today’s climate, and this was reflected through the content, conversations and attendees at this year’s show.”

European Influence

The Netherlands was shown to have a keen industry interest. Close to 200 delegates hailed from the host country. There were also 140 Germans in attendance, but one of the biggest talking points was the breadth of nations busying themselves at a4uexpo Europe.

Representation from 80% of Europe’s countries wasn’t the only headline. The pre-event expectation for a global audience became fact as attendees from the likes of Australia, Canada, Israel and the USA networked with each other on the exhibition floor.

Managing director of PerformanceIN, Sarah Parsonage commented on the global presence: “Once again the panel sessions have not only been as insightful into the European market as ever, but into the entire performance marketing landscape.”

Continuous Learning

Back in the seated conference room, the learning curve continued throughout both days of a4uexpo. The much-anticipated keynote focused on how performance marketing players could make the most of today’s multi-screen world.

PerformanceIN chatted to keynote speaker Deann Harvey before her session. The results of which you’ll be able to see in the coming days, but her talk also yielded some fascinating talking points.

Who said TV ads have had their day? Harvey disclosed that 25% of consumers go online after seeing one. Companies are already taking advantage of this. When TV and online combine, 47% higher performance can be achieved.

No doubt display will have a part to play in future cross-platform marketing campaigns. In the morning of day two, Click District’s, Markus Kloots, touted the benefits of programmatic buying when coupled with real-time bidding.

Email Still Innovating

Innovations in email marketing were all brought to the fore too as Freemax Media showed off some of unique techniques it’s using to improve open rates and conversion. One particular favourite was the cool use of image slicing to add marketing to the message pre-load.

There were far too many great takeaways from day one and two to list here. You’ll be able to read more about the sessions as we cover some of them on PerformanceIN over the coming days, but if you can’t wait, the slides are also available online.

Tradedoubler’s chief executive officer, Rob Wilson; and a4uexpo platinum sponsor, said: “The value of events like a4uexpo Europe, (soon to be renamed Performance Marketing Insights (PMI) Europe) is the professionalisation of the industry and the importance of bringing new brands into the market to expand globally. The level of conversations have so far been impressive.”

Only 24 hours may have passed since the event ended, but Parsonage spoke of the positive comments already flying back from all the delegates, speakers and sponsors who were in the Dutch capital this week.

“We have received some fantastic feedback already and I am excited about what the future holds as we fade out a4uexpo, and introduce our new global event series; Performance Marketing Insights, starting with London on October 29,” Parsonage said.