Dmexco 2017 is set to begin in two weeks as more than 30,000 advertising and marketing professionals from across the globe descend upon Cologne, Germany for a packed two days of presentations, exhibitor showcases, partnership building and networking. I’ve attended the event with MediaMath for the last several years and have learned the ins and outs of getting the most of your short time there. We hope this short guide can serve as a blueprint for a rewarding time at this year’s event.
Getting there and around
Get the train to the exhibition center, not the taxis which take twice as long, and aim to arrive early on the first day—there are massive queues as people activate their passes for the first time. And make time to enjoy Cologne! Some of my favorite spots: the Lindt chocolate experience, the Kolumba museum, the Cologne Cathedral and the Hausbrauerei Päffgen beer house.
Going in with an agenda
Dmexco is an innovation hub in our industry, and you should think of the event as a follow-up to Cannes. In Cannes, you work out which strategic priorities you want to pursue with partners. At Dmexco, make sure there are actions from these discussions that both parties are following up on to reach joint success before end of the year.
Also, choose ahead of time the topics you want to learn about and pre-arrange meetings with the suppliers with whom you really want to talk. Try to speak with five new suppliers each day so you can learn about what other people in the industry are doing.
Refueling and recharging
Note that the layout for Dmexco has changed this year. They’ve swapped stands in halls 6 and 7, so plan ahead for the exhibitors you want to visit and where they will be. Also, keep in mind where you can get refreshments and recharge your laptop or phone throughout the day. There are cafes and kiosks in the boulevard and food carts outside between halls 6 and 7. Or, pre-pack a lunch and snacks to avoid the queues for food, which are often quite long. Don’t forget to sneak out for some sunshine in the gaps in between the halls—it’ll help reenergize you and improve jetlag.
Networking how you’re most comfortable
Dmexco attracts such a large number of attendees that it can be quite intimidating to approach some of the larger booths. If you prefer to network in a more casual setting, attend the parties on the first night so you can have more of a relaxed conversation.
It might sound simple, but with such a short two-day time window, many people wind up hanging out in the exhibitor hall (or sleeping in after a night out) and miss out on some rich, informative content sessions. Aim to go to at least two sessions a day, and if you can’t get into the main content sessions, try to catch some booth sessions which are free (and don’t forget to visit MediaMath at D041 in Hall 6). Two presentations that are worth checking out are:
- Cognitive and Creativity: Using AI to Transform Industries, an opening keynote with IBM Chief Digital Officer Bob Lord
- Psychographic Targeting: The Trump Effect in Marketing, a panel being moderated by our CMO Joanna O’Connell
Planning for next year
Pre-book your hotel room for next year’s Dmexco while at this year’s event to get accommodation near the exhibition center. The dates will be announced to exhibitors on Day 2, so ask around.