PI LIVE Europe 2023 is under a week away, so we caught up with one of our headline sponsors, Partnerize. George Gray, Global VP of Strategic Accounts at Partnerize, told us what the team are looking forward to at the event, how the past year has gone, plans for the future, and much more.

What are you most excited about for PI LIVE Europe this year?

For me, and I think the rest of the team as well, it's just the best opportunity of the year to be together with all of our clients and partners. There's not really any other event in the calendar where everyone that we work with is under one roof for two days. That's always really exciting.  This year, the sessions look like they've stepped up another level yet again; there are some really exciting ones that I'm looking forward to attending.  

Also, of course, coupled with that is the Global Performance Marketing Awards, which we're sponsoring and shortlisted for. We're looking forward to being part of that, and seeing what comes from some of the awards that we're shortlisted for. 

What sessions are you looking forward to?

Aside from my own on Wednesday with Expedia, I'm obviously looking forward to your session, Sol (Safeguarding Strategies for the Dark Side of Affiliate Marketing). 

I think there are a lot of conversations right now around the darker side of affiliate marketing, compliance, and fraud. It's a growing conversation, somewhat concerningly. But there's a lot that's being done to support brands in this area. I know that David from BrandVerity has lots to say on the topic. So, I'm definitely looking forward to hearing his session. 

There's a lot going on within retail media that's coupling into the performance marketing space and I know there are a few sessions that are touching on that. So, I'm keen to hear from people talking around this subject, and how that's becoming a bigger part of the performance marketing space. 

Why did you sponsor PI LIVE Europe this year?

I think it's clear from the number of years that we've partaken in this event that it really is the industry event of the year within Europe. It's the one event where almost everyone we work with – from clients to partners to agencies – is all in attendance. So, it's really important that we have a large presence there. 

This is probably one of the largest presences that we are set to have. Over 30 of our team members in London and from abroad are going to be there. It's nonstop all day. We get so much value out of this event that it makes sense for us to make sure we've got a strong presence. 

Whether it be advertisers, new or old publishers, wanting to just learn more about Partnerize, or just catching up on current priorities and roadmaps, there's so much that can be taken from the opportunity of being all together under one roof for a couple of days. It's a really important event for us on the calendar. 

How has performance been for Partnerize this year and what will your focus be for 2024?

I think in this challenging economy, any form of growth for any company in this space is positive. But it's been a really great year for Partnerize. 

We've seen positive growth throughout the year. I think this has been a testament to the position that we've created for ourselves in the last couple of years around market-leading technology, coupled with services for those advertisers that need it. 

We continue to gain market share in a few sectors, thanks to this model. Retail, particularly in fashion and luxury, has been a significant sector for us this year and an area where we've gained market share. 

The growth we've seen in travel has been really significant. I think that's something that we're going to look to double down on next year. We'll talk more about it in our session. We've been a partner of Expedia for a number of years. Alongside them, there are a number of advertisers who were early adopters of Partnerize within the travel space.

This year, we've been able to build on that as travel has really made a big comeback. We've brought on the likes of EasyJet holidays, loveholidays, and P1 Travel. So it's seen a big expansion for us in the travel sector. I think that's something we want to focus on next year as well, and hopefully the sector continues to grow.

You touched on Expedia, who you’re hosting a fireside chat with on Wednesday. Can you give us any sneak peeks at what you’re going to be discussing? 

I'm really looking forward to this session with Nick. It's his first time actually speaking at PI LIVE in over seven years, as he's now back from living in Seattle for a period of time. So, if nothing else getting to see Nick back on stage, it's a great opportunity to hear from him.   

I've had the good fortune of working with Expedia for three and a half years now. They are really one of the most progressive advertisers within the space. There's so much that they're doing to elevate this industry, working hand in hand with partners. 

I think it's going to be a great opportunity for advertisers to hear more about what they're doing to grow their partnerships programme globally; and how that differs in various markets. Whilst it is already a mature and significant programme, they're really at the start of a new journey now to elevate this even further. So, there's a lot to be taken from that session.

I hear you’ve recently expanded your role to Global VP of Strategic Accounts. Can you tell me a little bit about your new role? 

Sure! This role is expanding on what we've been doing with Expedia, for example, over the last few years – where we have maybe a smaller selection of customers who are truly global and strategic in their approach to how they work as an advertiser with a technology partner, like Partnerize. 

It's those strategically focused customers who are shifting the dial slightly within this industry. It's my role to work closely with them and make sure they're getting the most out of the overall Partnerize offering, whether that be technology services, or our compliance tools with BrandVerity as well. 

I'm excited to work with some really interesting advertisers, and continue the work we've done with Expedia.

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