As Performance Marketing Insights: London 2014 draws to a close we can proclaim the conference to be a huge success, thanks to a diverse agenda offering a rich variety of knowledge, opinion and debate.

From omnichannel to iBeacons, big data to social commerce, PMI’s Capture, Cultivate, Create event tracks left out little in the way of ongoing industry dialogue, leaving us with more than a few pressing talking points as a new business year looms ahead.

Apart from the expert-led sessions, this year’s event owes its success to the support from key sponsors – Affiliate Window and Convertr to name just two – and a delegate crowd that exceeded the 1,000 barrier, comprising senior figures from big-name brands including Facebook, British Airways, Vodafone and countless others.

View from the floor

Exhibitors occupied the floors of the Westminster Park Plaza with over 500msq of stands, opening up immense networking and business opportunities to an industry which thrives on horizontal growth.

The exhibition hall was also home to ‘Meet the Agencies’ and the new ‘Meet the Tech’ feature, giving ticket holders a valuable window to present and pitch ideas to one another, crucially in a stress-free environment. PMI mixes business and pleasure in equal measures, and the end of Day One saw attendees gather on the exhibition floor for drinks and sushi, before departing for the nearby Soho.

Following on from ex-poker pro Caspar Berry and his talk on risk-taking for big rewards, the day two’s keynote was delivered by branding expert, investor and ex-Virgin Group marketer Alex Hunter, who called on his experience to discuss how technology has transformed brand loyalty – leaving the audience with some fuel for reimagining their customer base.

Attendee highlights

“I really enjoyed the Create, Cultivate and Capture tracks this year”, said Affiliate Window’s Lisa Chaikin, who praised PMI’s revitalised agenda for its diversity of speaker sessions and reworked schedule.

Chaikin added: “It was a great way to segment the sessions and tailor the content for what everyone felt was most relevant to them.

“The sessions have been insightful, and more case study-led which has helped put the key take-aways into perspective and provide more value. There’s been lots of focus on data which has been a theme throughout the past few years but again a lot more perspective this year as the data has more context and transparency than in previous years.”

While the content of presentations varied, there were certainly a few concurrent points of discussion throughout the two-day event in London. Jeremy Waite, who led a presentation questioning the existence of big data, noticed that agility was a continuous theme throughout.

“My takeaway was quite simple; Technology is changing faster than brands can react and it’s up to marketers to lead the change and support our clients along this messy journey of digital transformation.

“Brands are starting to realise that they are no longer competing against each other anymore. They are competing against speed, and in a fight for brand leadership it is no longer the fittest and strongest brands that survive, but the fastest”.

PerformanceIN’s content director Chris Johnson noted consumer centricity had been the “holy grail of discussion” but agreed that the unquestionable focus was rapidity.

“Without a doubt I think it’s reacting quicker to everything, segmenting and understanding their users a lot more is definitely key: not putting the business and product first, but putting their users at the heart of what they’re doing. Potentially every session we’ve had has had some discussion around that.”

Catch up on the run-down and photos from Day One here.