Performance Marketing Insights returns to London in less than 24 hours, bringing with it ‘Capture, Cultivate and Create’ – the new and comprehensive overview of strategic insight, thought leadership, technology and product innovation across the event track.  

A leading agenda of international speakers and thought-leaders from the digital and performance marketing space will span a wealth of topics from attribution to multichannel; personalisation to customer journey, and device marketing to display.

With an abundance on offer, for both the new and seasoned marketer, it is no easy task to plan how to maximise your time at PMI, so we’re here to help with some advice from our reporters on the ground.

Just to get up to speed, tell us about your main roles at PMI this year?

Rich Towey: You’ll find me splitting my time between our media booth and the conference room floor, mixing in with the delegates, interviewing attendees and writing up some of the excellent sessions we’ve got planned. This year is set to be our biggest London conference to date and I’m expecting a hectic couple of days. It will be worth it in the end, though!

Simon Holland: I will be pacing between conference rooms and the PerformanceIN mobile content HQ, covering as many sessions as I can get to. Keep an eye on the site because with the breadth of speaking talent on offer there is sure to be some excellent news to come out of this year’s agenda.

First time covering a Performance Marketing Insights event in London?

RT: It is indeed. I was on reporting duties for my very first company event at Performance Marketing Insights: Europe, held at the Estrel in Berlin, which was a huge learning curve for me personally. London I’ve been told it is a slightly different crowd as the bulk of our industry is based in the capital. Many don’t have long to travel and it will be good to see some familiar faces.

SH: Absolutely not! I have covered every single one since the inaugural Performance Marketing Insights event last year and of course a number of A4u conferences and exhibitions before then. I am looking forward to seeing the new-look Capture, Cultivate and Create tracks in action.

For companies new to PMI, what would be your advice to making the most of the two days ahead?

RT: Two words: plan ahead. Get to know the agenda, the exhibitors, the networking opportunities and see where your time is best spent. There’s always plenty of discussion about the future of performance and digital marketing in general at our events, which should be of interest to anyone turning up. You don’t want to miss a session which handed out tips that may not be obtainable afterwards.

As always, we’re immensely proud about the standard of speakers and exhibitors we’ve managed to attract for this year. Head to our agenda page for a full rundown on what’s going on and where.  

SH: Make use of the app. It is a bit of a Godsend when it comes to planning your day. I wish I had it in my early stages at the company when I covered the A4u events. Use the pop-out menu to bring up the agenda and select your favourite sessions. You then have a thorough itinerary for each day of Performance Marketing Insights: London.

Ahead of us is a stellar agenda of speakers, panel sessions, and for the first time, two keynote presentations. What are your unmissable events here in London?

RT: It depends entirely on what you’re after but the publisher-based sessions are always a big hit with me. I spend a huge chunk of my working and personal life browsing through various publications and it’s always good to see how those guys are evolving. Steven Brown and Jamie Harwood’s fireside chat on ‘Becoming a True Online Publisher’ is an absolute must-see from my end.

From an unbiased angle I’m going to suggest Jeremy Waite’s session on ‘There is No Such Thing as Big Data’, ‘The Evolution of the UK Communications Market’ and ‘How to Establish True ROI’. But, like I said, everyone should have their own views on the content.   

SH: I am particularly liking the look of the whole ‘Publisher Innovation’ feature. It is good to see startups cropping up with some cutting edge ideas and approaches to the whole performance marketing ethos. I will be making a beeline to this area of the exhibition floor as soon as I get a chance.

Besides speaker sessions, one of PMI’s key attractions is the networking opportunities. How can ticket-holders reap the benefits of these?

RT: *Clears throat to prepare plug*, well, you could use our official event app to communicate and set up meetings with attendees, or just head to the agenda page for an overview of the opportunities taking place over the event. We’ve already teed up chances to meet some of the industry’s leading tech companies and agencies and appointments can be booked via the site.

Aside from that, just make a note of the breaks and see who you can find hovering around.

SH: There is more to networking than simply striking up a conversation with a potential business partner. You have to adopt a certain mindset when initiating these mini-meetings otherwise it could be an opportunity wasted. One of the best articles I read on the subject was written for PerformanceIN by Heather White on the psychology of networking. It is worth checking out before you dive into one of the event’s opportunities.

What have been your key take aways in the past, and is there anything new you are looking to gain from it this year?

RT: Planning is essential as you’d be surprised how quickly the two days go. I learned as much on my first time out. As for the new experiences, my own PMI is partly about the people I meet and it should be good to chat with those I’m yet to touch base with.

SH: Well, how long of you got? I have been to so many of these events now that the takeaways are far too plentiful to list here, which is a testament to their organisation and agenda programming.

In each of the sessions I am going to this year, I am hoping to hear about the next big thing so that I can share it with PerformanceIN’s audience.

Make sure you’re following @RichToweyPI and @simonnholland for live tweets throughout #PMILDN!