Last week, Cologne, Germany became a hub of advertising news, discussions and deals when roughly 26,000 marketers and vendors descended on Germany’s fourth largest city for the 5th annual Dmexco conference. In many respects, Dmexco is like any other large ad tech conference with breakout sessions and an exhibit hall, but done on a much grander scale. Many of the booths included reception desks, couches and catering.
More than 740 agencies and vendors, including Amazon, AOL, Havas Media, eBay, Facebook, Google, Rakuten and Universal McCann GmbH held court in the exhibit halls. Several companies unveiled new products and announcements at the conference. For those who missed it, here’s AdExchanger’s rundown of what transpired last week.
This year’s theme was “turning visions into reality.” In terms of ad targeting, Facebook engineering director and keynote speaker Andrew Bosworth noted, “Advertisers used to have tools that were so poor we would talk about the number of people we reached in a month. Now we talk about targeting individuals every day with tremendous precision.”
Many panels touched on urgency around mobile advertising. Chris Schaumann, global VP of digital and social marketing at Nokia, commented, “mobile is still lagging behind the Internet and that is not necessarily the fault of the channel. Being agile enough to handle mobile is probably one of the biggest challenges that marketers are facing.”
At the same time, John Mellor, VP of strategy and business development at Adobe, noted, “There are a few adjectives that we won’t be using in five years, and one of those is ‘mobile.’ When everything is becoming ‘mobile’ do you need to define it?”
Other themes that were addressed during the sessions included native advertising, data transparency, multiscreen advertising, the intersection of ecommerce and marketing, and more. And while most of the sessions were in English, a handful were delivered only in German.
There was also a good-natured rapport between the speakers, some of whom had never shared the same stage before. During a panel discussion on the rise of real-time bidding, ad exchanges and trading desks, panelist Frederick Joseph, CEO of EMEA at Performics, said, “We are a performance agency, just like Criteo.” At which point Greg Coleman, president of Criteo, quickly retorted, “Don’t you dare call me an agency!”
The exhibitors came from 26 countries including Austria, France, the US, India, Israel, Malaysia, Uruguay and Russia and spread their booths over more than 600,000 square feet of space. For some companies, such as the Chinese search engine Baidu, this was its first time attending Dmexco.
Notably, Criteo filed an IPO on the first day of the conference and AppNexus and Millennial Media unveiled their joint mobile ad exchange while both companies were at Dmexco. “We wanted to wait for Dmexco before we shared the news,” Mollie Spilman, EVP of global sales and marketing at Millennial Media told AdExchanger. “I got to the booth early this morning and there was already a line of people waiting to talk to us and AppNexus about it, so we’re having a great time. ”