The Online Marketing Rockstars (OMR) festival is no longer a niche event. Philip Westermeyer, founder and organizer of the event, attracted almost 300 visitors at the first OMR event in 2011 (link). This year more than 52,000 visitors came to the Hanseatic city on 7th and 8th May 2019. An increase of 30 percent compared to the previous year (40,000 visitors in 2018). Thus, in terms of visitor numbers, the event was an absolute success. But what did the OMR offer in terms of content? We were on-site both days and take a close look at the much-praised event in our field report.
The program had a lot to offer, as the range of topics was significantly expanded this year (link). International top speakers from politics and business, including Katarina Barley, Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection in Germany, Bozoma Saint John from Endeavor and bestselling author Yuval Noah Harari as well as founders of successful start-ups, shared their experiences in the digital world with over 600 speakers on several large stages. From YouTube lawyer Christian Solmecke to the founder of Invisibobble, the OMR event featured a wide variety of topics and industries.
The mixture of visitors appeared as colorful as the digital world itself. Regarding the age range, everyone was represented, from young students with an affinity for digital topics to marketing executives of well-established companies. Overall, we perceived the diversity as well as the offered content as positive. It’s just a pity that some of the top speakers’ presentations were absolutely overcrowded and that some really exciting presentations took place simultaneously. Therefore our recommendation to future OMR visitors: it is useful to create a rough time schedule in advance. Of course, certain flexibility and possibly a plan B for one or the other program point would do no harm.
OMR visitors were also able to network within seven exhibition halls with more than 400 exhibitors. Selected visitors had the opportunity to participate in one of 150 Masterclasses to gain inspiration for their daily marketing tasks. Further highlights were numerous side events and concerts with national but also international celebrities within the music scene. During the evenings, the musicians swept away the crowds in the exhibition halls with their music acts.
Apart from regular OMR guest Oli P., Scooter, Materia, and pop star Ellie Goulding were on stage amongst others. Masterclasses were fully booked very quickly so that the chance to get hold of one of the popular places was low. But the music acts have increased enormously from a moderate introduction by Dendemann and Trettmann on the first evening to top artists. Undoubtedly this is personal taste, but it will be difficult to hold a candle to Oli P. right away.
The OMR is increasingly developing into a mixture of a classic trade fair and a modern festival. No matter if it’s about networking or dancing from the ranks: the inhibitions of visitors and artists in their interaction with each other and in their self-representation have often been reduced. Finally, everyone should decide for themselves how they want to organize their OMR visit and what opportunities they want to take advantage of. The selection of program points is huge so that there is enough choice for every taste.
Altogether, we liked the diverse mix of the event because it offered great inspiration beyond the publishing industry. We are curious whether the dimension of the event can be increased even further next year. In 2020, the OMR Festival will take place in Hamburg’s exhibition halls on 12 and 13 May once again.
In cooperation with the OMR, the BCM (Best of Content Marketing) Awards were presented at the Hamburg Cruise Center Altona. With approximately 700 submissions, this is the largest competition for content-driven corporate communications in Europe. The prize has been awarded by the CMF (Content Marketing Forum), together with its media partners Horizont, CP Wissen, and CP Monitor, since 2003. We are particularly pleased that many of our customers were among the award winners this year. Congratulations on your outstanding achievements!
Update 2020: The OMR festival 2020 was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.