【DE】Convincing restart: DMEXCO 2022 with 40,000 trade visitors

After three years of pandemic-related break, DMEXCO celebrates a convincing restart on the premises of Koelnmesse. Around 40,000 visitors from 91 countries and around 560 partner companies took part in Europe’s most important conference fair for digital marketing & tech on site this year. In total, more than 770 speakers discussed what social progress in the digital age can look like under the motto “We progress together.” DMEXCO 2023 will take place on the 20th and 21st. September 2023 again under the sponsorship of the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V. on the grounds of Koelnmesse.


The digital economy continues to grow, despite the many current challenges. This is the overarching conclusion of DMEXCO, which celebrated a convincing restart with its international community in Cologne after more than two years of the pandemic. Around 40,000 trade visitors, including participants from 91 countries, and 560 partner companies met live on site at Koelnmesse for two days. The more than 770 speakers at DMEXCO also included industry giants such as Google EMEA boss Matt Brittin, RTL Co-CEO Matthias Dang and Dr. Karsten Wildberger, CEO MediaMarktSaturn.


In his keynote at DMEXCO, Google’s European boss once again confirmed that third-party cookies would end in the second half of 2024. Until then, Google wants to test solutions together with the industry in beta tests from the end of 2022. Matt Brittin: “The next two years will be critical – the web that we know is under a threat. We have to rethink the whole system to deliver effective ads. People will voluntarily share their data if they have more control. Managing tools therefore have to be meaningful, memorable and easily accessible.”


Video advertising and retail media are expected to be the main growth drivers in the area of ​​digital advertising in the coming years. The group of online marketers in the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft e.V. (BVDW) forecast growth in online display advertising in Germany of 6.8 percent to around EUR 5.5 billion at DMEXCO in 2022. The sales volume achieved with moving image advertising is said to exceed two billion euros for the first time. “Video has always been the strongest medium,” emphasized Matthias Dang, CEO of the Ad Alliance and Co-CEO of RTL Germany, in his keynote speech. Dang continues: “For us as broadcasters, digital change does not mean playing a digital signal. For us it means becoming a tech and data house. The maxim is: go big or go home. We need consolidation in the market, either through acquisitions or alliances.”


Retail Media as the growth driver of digital advertising

For dr Karsten Wildberger, CEO MediaMarktSaturn, Retail Media will be the biggest growth driver for digital advertising in the coming years. Advertising sales on the online marketplaces of retail companies are expected to double in just three years: from $77 billion in 2021 to $143 billion in 2024. In his keynote, Wildberger also emphasized his company’s responsibility for the environment and society: “60 to 70 percent of a household’s electricity is consumed by appliances that we sell. As a trading company, we have a great deal of responsibility for the devices we sell.”


The expert group for online media agencies (FOMA) in the BVDW also assesses the development of retail media in Germany very positively: According to the current FOMA trend monitor, net spending on advertising within electronic trading platforms will grow by 27 percent this year, that much like no other area. For all digital advertising, the media agencies surveyed in Germany expect net spending to increase by twelve percent in 2022.


Data driven creativity and sustainability as important topics


Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of S4 Capital, emphasized the important coexistence of information and creation in his panel: “Data doesn’t destroy creativity, data improves creativity! Data driven creativity will become even more powerful in the future.” Sorell also took part in a panel of the German Association of Advertising Agencies (GWA) on the subject of emission-free marketing. “Our planet is dying in front of our eyes and we have to act fast. And we as a marketing industry we contribute to all these areas of greenhouse emissions. We all have a responsibility in the marketing chain,” introduced Nina Haller, Managing Director of the Mediamonks agency. The following high-calibre discussion with Christian Hammerschmidt, Senior Brand Manager at Deutsche Telekom, Samuel Rueff, Global Media Director at Bayer, and Matthias Brüll, Global CEO of the Mediaplus Group, showed that both advertisers and agencies are aware of their responsibility. When it comes to implementation in practice, however, progress is much slower than is actually necessary. The reason for this is also the dilemma in companies – between the purchasing departments on the one hand and the pressure from the public and the debate on attitudes on the other hand, which companies are increasingly having to face.


Web3: From theory to practice


The expanded concept of DMEXCO, which in 2022 bundled the subject areas of the Worlds of Agency, Media, E-Commerce and Tech, offered good orientation in the exhibition halls. On the specially created w3.vision/Tech Stage, DMEXCO together with the w3.fund presented many practical insights into the world of NFTs and the Metaverse. Futurist Elena Corchero, Director of Emerging Tech & Innovation at Dow Jones, was convinced that hybrid reality was coming: “We are definitely ready for the cross reality now”. Diego Borgo, expert for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) and Metaverse Ambassador, emphasizes the power of big brands: “NFTs can create communities and bring people closer to the brand.”


On the second day, the “DMEXCO Social Talk by Social Match” brought together around 20 well-known influencers such as Diana zur Löwen, Jonas Ems and Shirli. On the Red Stage, Nindo founder and content creator Rezo warned of the darker sides of the influencer business: “The conspicuous buying of followers is becoming less and less common, instead influencers use subtle botting. In order to recognize these manipulations, as much data as possible must be collected very frequently and across all channels. Otherwise, in the worst case, up to 8 percent of the advertising budget is wasted.”


On a total of 14 stages, DMEXCO 2022 offered the who’s who of the global digital industry the long-awaited stage. Around 40 percent of the speakers on the curated stages of DMEXCO were female this year, more than half of the speakers work outside of Germany.


“With this convincing restart, DMEXCO has impressively underpinned its position as the leading business event in the digital marketing and tech industry. The DMEXCO team did a great job. And with 40,000 trade visitors, we have reached the pre-corona level again from the start. I am particularly pleased that the proportion of advertisers and brand managers has again increased significantly,” says Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse.


“I would like to thank all our partners for the great support. The whole industry returned to Cologne with force and fun. DMEXCO 2022 also showed without a doubt that we have to look for overarching solutions. With personalized advertising, with data protection, with industry standards and, above all, with striving for more sustainability in our digital world. This is also what this year’s motto ‘We progress together’ stands for,” sums up Prof. Dominik Matyka, Chief Advisor of DMEXCO.


“This year’s DMEXCO impressively underlined its claim to be the leading trade fair for the entire digital economy. This is reflected in the broad spectrum of industries that were represented in the halls with their decision-makers. In particular, the quality of the contacts was immense. A very positive spirit was noticeable for the upcoming tasks. The DMEXCO stages clearly showed the direction in which things are headed: more digital communication, more marketing via retail media, a growing importance of video formats and the metaverse megatrend. Above all, there was the big topic of data, which will concern us all – also in the next year,” is the conclusion of Dirk Freytag, President of the Federal Association of the Digital Economy (BVDW), who is the non-material and professional sponsor of DMEXCO.


All highlights on demand: DMEXCO x Digiday Online on September 27, 2022


After DMEXCO is before DMEXCO: On September 27th, DMEXCO, together with the leading US trade medium Digiday, is organizing an additional digital-only event with a focus on the US market. In addition to highlight sessions from DMEXCO 2022, participants can also enjoy content specially produced for the event by Digiday on several channels covering the most important challenges for today’s digital marketing and network live. CET) or 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the digital event platform of DMEXCO. The digital event is free for everyone, tickets are available at https://dmexco.com/de/dmexco-digiday-online/


Yahoo supported DMEXCO 2022 as a platinum sponsor. In 2023, DMEXCO will again take place on September 20th and 21st at the Koelnmesse site.


This is what selected partners and speakers say about DMEXCO 2022


Yasmine Atif, Retail Media Specialist, MediaMarktSaturn: “DMEXCO is definitely the key event in the Digital Marketing industry and a great opportunity for us in MediaMarktSaturn Retail Media to introduce ourselves as a key player in the Retail Media business and show our commitment to delivering smart and efficient solutions. But also to be in a space dedicated to innovation and forward-thinking and to celebrate with our peers in the Official DMEXCO VIP Party which we had the pleasure to host this year.”


Jolanta Baboulidis, Country Director, Twitter Germany: “Wow! DMEXCO is back in an impressive way! Finally exchange with customers, partners and interested parties again and make new contacts. The quality of the keynotes, lectures and master classes was above average and full of inspiration and impetus. This is the only way we can constantly improve as an industry and master the challenges of the current time. Congratulations DMEXCO! And see you next year!”


Dr Jannika Bock, Managing Director Retail, Google: “The past two years have confronted us all – people, companies and society – with huge challenges. And more are currently emerging. It takes new collaborations and remarkable innovations to meet these challenges. DMEXCO has once again been a valuable opportunity to partner for new collaborations and be inspired to create meaningful innovations.”


Yannis Dosios, Chief Commercial Officer, Integral Ad Science: “It’s great to be at DMEXCO this year, bringing together the best industry innovations from EMEA and around the world under one roof. We’ve had many interesting conversations with customers, partners, and new prospects about how our media quality solutions can help drive consumer engagement and drive results. DMEXCO is the perfect platform for us to work with advertisers, agencies, platforms and publishers to create greater programmatic efficiency and how we can break new ground in exciting areas like CTV and sustainability.”


Sylwia Iwanejko-Sajewska, Managing Director DACH, TripleLift: “DMEXCO was another big event. It reaffirmed our belief that it is THE platform where publisher, advertiser, agency and AdTech partners come together and talk about business. This is exactly the experience that the market needs.”


Dirk Kraus, CEO, Yoc AG: “For us, DMEXCO works ideally as a platform for qualified discussions with existing and potential partners. It was always clear to us that we would be back after the pandemic. We feel very well looked after here!”


Denise Mancinone, Brand Marketing Manager, Snap Inc (Snapchat): “We had great conversations and finally met partners and customers live again after two years of video meetings. What’s really worth highlighting this year is the content and keynotes, which were very focused around our core theme, digital marketing. For us, the whole Web 3.0 discussion is incredibly exciting, and the topic of augmented reality in particular.”


Nicolas Rieul, Vice President Western Europe, Criteo: “Even after a two-year break, DMEXCO is still one of the most relevant events for the digital economy, for advertisers and the media. This is also reflected in the large number of industry-leading companies on site and the many discussions we had with partners over the two days. Retail Media, a more comprehensive commerce media, was the topic of the hour and reveals its great relevance for the years to come, with the potential to combine e-commerce and online advertising.”


Tobias Schlotter, VP Channel & Alliances EMEA, Akeneo: “DMEXCO’s back all right! We are thrilled that DMEXCO is finally live and in color again, with what feels like no fewer visitors and discussions at our stand than in 2019! And after a two-year break, Ziggy is also the No. 1 swag again. Thanks to the DMEXCO organizational team, we’re already looking forward to DMEXCO23!”


Thomas Wlazik, General Manager DACH/NL, TikTok: “DMEXCO not only offers very good weather, but is also very well attended! A great mixture of exciting lectures, many networking opportunities, good conversations, inside and outside. […] The people and brands that are relevant are not only all there, they are also easier to find and have more time for a personal conversation.”


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