The Digital Marketing Exposition & Conference (Dmexco) kicks off Wednesday in Cologne, Germany, the first event since its main organizer parted ways with the conference’s co-founders.
That led some marketers to question the future of the conference and if it would remain a “must-attend” among the ranks of CES and Cannes Lions. But it seems many attendees are ready to let the drama die out.
“This is the first year for Dmexco under the new ownership so it will be interesting to see whether the event continues on its path of becoming more international,” Vittoro Bonori, global brand president at Zenith, told AdExchanger. “With technology at the heart of many business transformation plans, Dmexco fulfills an important role of bringing together the international marketing and ad tech communities.”
With 570 speakers, the two-day conference will undoubtedly be as frenzied as ever. While Dmexco’s main ethos remains the same, attendees expect to see some minor changes, especially under new management.
“What’s interesting is that the DMEXCO organizers don’t just want this to live as a live event, but to evolve into a larger, year-round digital platform,” Katja Brandt, DACH CEO at Mindshare, told AdExchanger. “Their aim is to have attendees experience it as two days in Cologne and then the rest of the year online.”
Lewis Rothkopf, MediaMath’s GM of media and growth channels, predicts the tone at Dmexco to be even more serious than in years’ past.
“Ad tech is growing up – and that’s a good thing,” Rothkopf said. “Amidst privacy and measurement scandals, programmatic auction games and the persistence of fraud in the ecosystem, it’s become crystal clear that marketers deserve better.”
This year’s event will probably have a heavier focus on blockchain and AI-based solutions, Brandt said. GDPR and ePrivacy regulation in the European Union will also likely inspire some debate.
“[Blockchain and AI] are both exciting new ideas that could have a profound impact on our industry and also because they’re seen as possible solutions to challenges facing the industry around trust, transparency, quality, and personalization,” Brandt said.
The only way to know is to go. We’ll see you in Cologne.