Read Time: Approx. 4 Minutes 56 Seconds 
Author: Cerie Waudby 
Dave, Suzanne, and Cerie participated in the Rakuten Advertising Dealmaker event held at The Brewery, London, on March 13th, 2024. With over 700 publishers and advertisers in attendance, the event provided abundant opportunities for networking and deal-making. 

What is Rakuten Advertising Dealmaker? 

Rakuten Advertising Dealmaker Europe serves as an annual gathering organised by Rakuten Advertising, facilitating interactions among agencies, advertisers, and publishers. This event offers a valuable platform for brands (advertisers) to engage with agencies for business support and explore collaboration opportunities with publishers to enhance product promotion. Publishers leverage these gatherings to expand their clientele and showcase new campaigns or technologies aimed at enhancing performance. In addition to networking at huddle tables, the day features product demos and various scheduled sessions. Similar Dealmaker events are held globally, spanning locations like the USA and Australia. 

Why did we attend? 

Dealmaker stands out as a highlight in our calendar! It's an invaluable opportunity to connect in person with the Rakuten Advertising team and publishers, both familiar faces and new contacts. Our primary aim at the event is to represent our clients and their affiliate programs. We engage with publishers to provide comprehensive reviews of our clients, highlighting any new products and campaigns. Together, we strategise on how they can support and enhance brand awareness and performance through various activities and placements. 
Moreover, Dealmaker offers us a platform to engage with other brands, exploring potential collaborations and opportunities to support each other's journeys. As part of our commitment to Rakuten clients, we offer a complimentary Affiliate Audit service, where we delve into their accounts, identify areas for growth, conduct gap analysis, and optimise program efficiency for scalability. 
Additionally, we leverage the event to discuss our free brand partnership service, which plays a vital role in expanding our Brand Partnership community. Overall, Dealmaker provides a dynamic environment for fostering collaborations, sharing insights, and driving mutual growth. 

Who had we spoke to? 

Dave kicked off his day bright and early to join the European Agency and Publisher Mixer, marking our inaugural participation in this segment of the event. 
Our primary focus this year was engaging with editorial and rewards-type publishers, aligning with our clients' current emphasis on the mid to upper funnel. We seized the opportunity to reconnect with familiar partners, including Bravo Voucher, Gocertify,, My Voucher Codes, Top CashBack, and LTK, scheduling a total of 16 meetings among us. Additionally, we delved into discussions about our ongoing relationship and future prospects with esteemed publications such as The Independent and Hello
We connected with Coupon Follow, a prominent voucher code site with a strong presence in the US, who expressed interest in expanding into the UK market. Additionally, we engaged with Tenerity. a versatile reward and loyalty platform offering cashback incentives. Our discussions also included Adstrong, a leading provider of comparison-shopping sites, Tracdelight, a premium publishing access provider primarily focused in Germany and Airtime Rewards
In our discussions with new affiliates, we engaged with Treeapp, an eco-conscious application that promotes tree planting through user activity. With 180k downloads over its two-year lifespan, Treeapp demonstrated significant traction. Additionally, we had an informative conversation with Zilch, a third-party payment service provider. Exploring the onboarding procedures with Editorialist and Stylink proved particularly beneficial. We presented each partner we met with a premium goodie bag packed with exceptional skin and haircare products from our esteemed partners. Additionally, the bags included an exclusive offer tailored specifically for attendees of Dealmaker Europe. If you're interested in learning more about the deal, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We'd be happy to provide further information. 
Furthermore, we enjoyed insightful meetings and enriching conversations with our esteemed client Threadbare and their sister brand, Another Sunday. Wrapping up our session, we had the pleasure of engaging with LoyalBe, an innovative loyalty and rewards platform. 

Golden Link Awards 

The Rakuten Advertising Golden Link Awards brought together advertisers, publishers, and agencies to celebrate excellence and innovation in affiliate marketing. This year marked the fourth edition of the European Golden Link Awards, featuring over 50 exceptional entries across 10 categories, including the brand new 'Agency of the Year' category, highlighting agencies that excel in elevating brands in affiliate marketing. We were thrilled to be nominated for three awards: The Outthink & Outperform Award with Threadbare, Best Managed Affiliate Programme: Self-Managed Clients with Just Wears, and Agency of the Year. The anticipation was palpable as the awards ceremony commenced, with an abundance of canapés, sweets, and drinks adding to the excitement. The atmosphere was electric, and with each winner announced, our team's enthusiasm soared. While we were highly commended for the Best Managed Affiliate Programme: Self-Managed Clients with Just Wears, the pinnacle of the evening was undoubtedly winning the prestigious Agency of the Year award—an honour we deeply cherish. Dave, Suzanne, and Cerie graciously accepted the award, presented by Carey Pierce, Director of Agency Services at Rakuten. Dave's speech, infused with humour, added an extra touch of delight to our victory celebration. 
Despite the allure of an afterparty, our team regrettably had to forgo the festivities and promptly catch a train home after the conclusion of the awards ceremony. 
A heartfelt thank you to everyone for dedicating their time and sharing invaluable insights. While we regret not being able to connect with everyone, please feel free to reach out to the Customer First Digital team. We're always available for a call or to chat via email at your convenience. 
A huge thank you goes out to Rakuten Advertising and their sponsors for orchestrating yet another immensely successful event. We eagerly anticipate the possibility of reconnecting with all of you at the Rakuten Advertising Dealmaker Europe 2025. 
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