After the success of the Global Performance Marketing Awards 2023 from the night before, the scene was set for day one of PI LIVE Europe, as many happy faces filled Old Billingsgate in the City of London.

Although the day started with a drizzle of the typical and expected British rain, attendees refused to be dampened by the weather as they made their way into the venue. Things only got better once the sun came around and shined through the clouds onto The Terrace, where attendees tucked into their breakfast and lunch whilst making new connections.

Our three stages, sponsored by Webgains and Rokt, quickly became the places to be for some insightful and thought-provoking discussions on the hottest topics within the partnership industry. Bursting with inspiring speakers and industry thought leaders from across the globe, we learned about how to survive in a recession, how to drive engagement through personalisation, how to understand AI in Practice, and the dark side of affiliate marketing.

You can expect to see deeper dives into our sessions’ content in the coming weeks, as we clue you in on the lessons you want to revisit, or might have missed – so keep your eyes peeled for these! However, we’ve got some of the day’s top highlights for you below.

KEYNOTE: Uber - Driving Performance Media in a Shifting Consumer Landscape

Among the numerous engaging sessions, the keynote presentation from Paul Wright, Head of Advertising UK & Ireland at Uber, was a definite highlight from the day. 

As Wright took center stage, he focused on how the consumer landscape continues to shift at pace. Discussing the new technologies and the changing ways in which consumers live, work, and shop, he explored how brands are increasingly looking for ways to reach shoppers at the point of purchase. Delving into Uber’s global audience of valuable purchase-minded consumers, Wright shared the power of first-party data on consumer habits and how Uber and other brands and advertisers can best utilise this data.

“Transparency, having an open dialogue, it’s all stuff we know, but putting that on a stage and being really public about how we’re having that conversation is great!”

Matthew Higgins, Managing Partner at Dentsu, caught up with us to reflect on his highlights from the day. Sharing how the keynote was an impressive standout, he said, “I was really thankful that he (Paul Wright) kicked the day off with a bit of a debate on the main stage, looking at the publisher vs the brand in affiliate marketing.”

Safeguarding Strategies for the Dark Side of Affiliate Marketing

Moderated by our very own journalist Sol Wilkinson, the Rokt Pyramid stage was the place to be as David Iglesias, Paula Oyinkan, and Ben Helyar joined together to discuss the dark side of affiliate marketing.

The session provided a thought-provoking examination of the potential pitfalls within the affiliate marketing industry and offered practical guidance on how brands can protect their interests and uphold the integrity of their marketing efforts. 

Wilkinson shared his take on the panel after stepping off the stage: "Affiliate fraud has always been a problem in the industry and has never really gone away. Communication is crucial between brands and publishers to best prevent affiliate fraud. However, one controversial takeaway was that brands and publishers may be able to healthily leverage "dark strategies" when consent, communication, and best practices are involved.”

As day one drew to a close, attendees were putting on their best dancing shoes for the Official After Party. However, the fun, festivities, networking, and learning continue today as we head into day two, so stay tuned for more highlights and in-depth interviews coming your way!

In the meantime, watch our interview with Tina Judic, our chair for day one on the Webgains Main Stage, to hear her highlights and key takeaways. Full interview below.

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