5 DMEXCO tips - advice of how to make the most of your time at DMEXCO this year
If you work in media in Europe, then DMEXCO, the Cologne-based conference, is a must visit for you this coming September (14th / 15th). Started in 2009 as a event for the German media market, this year the conference expects 50,000+ visitors, attracting advertisers and media owners from around the world. According to official DMEXCO statistics, 45% of visitors are international - giving you a sense of the conference's importance, along with the impressive roster of speakers:
- Jack Dorsey, CEO Twitter
- Shane Smith, Founder VICE
- Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO WPP
- Paul Bulcke, CEO Nestle
- Meredith Kopit Levien, CRO New York Times
The scale of the DMEXCO can be overwhelming for most newbies, with 950+ exhibitors across 85,000 sqm of exhibition space, so we’ve put together some top tips on how to make the most of your two days:
- Pre-book your meetings: DMEXCO is all about face time. Attendees operate in 30 minute windows, and most pack their days - 9 til 5. Diaries start to get busy in the last couple of weeks in the run up to the event, so make sure you get your meetings booked in early. And given that most of the big players, especially the German media companies, will have their own booths, arguably it’s really not necessary to pay for your own booth - especially as most senior people prefer to meet in their own space.
- Hit the floor hard: if you haven’t booked out your diary, then just hit the floor. Most other media industry conferences are about the talks, however DMEXCO is more about meetings. If you haven't managed to pack your diary out, then it's still possible to set up meetings on the day by visiting company's booths.
- Don’t miss out on after-hour booth parties: at the end of the day, the biggest media owners (with the biggest stands) put on raucous booth parties. The biggest evening is always the first night - Wednesday 14th - when companies go all out to beat each other. Past favourites include SevenOne's and RTL / IP's parties - SevenOne are a TV company based in Bavaria (near Munich) so there's plenty of lederhosen on show ;-) Beyond the booth parties comes the *after parties* - taking place late into the evening. Probably the biggest and craziest is the Rockstars Aftershow party - again taking place on Wednesday night.
- Kolsch is key: every region in Germany has a different beer tradition, and in Cologne it's all about Kolsch. Unexpectedly for most newbies, you'll discover that Kolsch is served in small test-tube sized glasses.
- Don’t book too late: if you book early enough, before August 16th, tickets to DMEXCO are free, rising to €399 if you book the week before. The same goes for booking accommodation. It’s not unusual for companies to book 12 months in advance for the best hotels like the Radisson Blu across the road from the conference centre.