On September 12 and 13, numerous decision-makers from the international digital scene came together for the 10th Digital Marketing Expo & Conference (DMEXCO) in Cologne. This year’s motto “Take C.A.R.E.” (Curiosity-Action-Responsibility-Experience) was aimed at developing and managing change. A total of around 41,000 visitors and over 1,000 exhibitors from 40 countries came together and more than 550 speakers filled enormous 250 hours of inspiring lectures full of insights into best practice cases and innovations.
The general expectations in reference to the jubilee conference were high. In advance, the new management board promised better orientation, stronger networking, and more dialog (DMEXCO Journal Vol. 3).
One of the reasons why we visited DMEXCO is because we wanted to get a live impression of the event in Cologne. Our visit provided us the opportunity to exchange ideas with our service providers, make interesting contacts, and listen to a series of exciting lectures at the Congress Stage.
Among the dominant topics at the conference were the changes in the world of employment caused by artificial intelligence (AI) and the influence of smart assistants on search behavior and brand management. Besides, a first intermediate conclusion was drawn with regard to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
AI is the hype topic in the advertising industry in 2018. This topic was also very present at DMEXCO. Exhibitors, also in B2B, increasingly rely on AI, programmatic advertising as well as virtual and augmented reality to offer customers a special experience.
The topic of AI was taken up in lectures like “Why diversity in Artificial Intelligence” on Congress Stage, as well. You can find further interesting forecasts on the development of AI here.
The topic of smart assistants has already kept us busy at the beginning of the year. At DMEXCO, there was no way of overlooking smart assistants in the exhibitor area as well as in the conference program. Digital experts talked about “Voice First – How Voice Affects your Future Brand” at the Experience Stage. Moreover, interested visitors had the opportunity to inform themselves about the conference program and food stands on the fairground by talking to Alexa for the first time.
Influencers have firmly established themselves in recent years, especially in B2C communication. But they can also play a significant role in B2B. Although influencers in B2B are not the classic influencers as in B2C, their importance should not be underestimated. But who are the typical B2B influencers? Answers to this question can be found in this article and in this review of DMEXCO 2018.
Overall, the intermediate conclusion on the GDPR was rather sober. Although digital advertising continues to grow, the GDPR is slowing this growth in some areas. Furthermore, experts warn of the consequences of a hard ePrivacy regulation.
Both, the executive board and the exhibitors themselves have succeeded in creating new space for communication. Apart from classic exhibition booths, there were several very innovative exhibitors that caused a stir with creative booths. In addition, targeted networking was possible in various lounges, such as the Agency Lounge. Further, large companies such as Google and Adobe created a pleasant atmosphere for personal discussions with their XXL exhibition stands. According to the Expo slogan “Presenting the Future”, DMEXCO was able to offer exciting impulses with innovative technologies and digital topics such as AR, VR, AI, or big data. The conference topics were clearly at the forefront of progress and offered sufficient starting points for in-depth discussions. The mix of an open concept and appropriate content leads to the fact that we enjoyed this year’s DMEXCO.
The organizer has set the right course for a DMEXCO that promotes visitor orientation and communication. The exhibitors and lecturers, as well as the visitors themselves, have filled the space for communication with their dialog, which was possible due to the right choice of topics. All in all, DMEXCO did not only convince us with its concept but also with its topics. Next year, we will very likely hit the road for Cologne again. We are already looking forward to the motto of DMEXCO in 2019.