Interview with Dr. Dominik Matyka, Chief Advisor DMEXCO, and Philipp Hilbig, Director Expo & Operations DMEXCO

What distinguishes the DMEXCO 2018 from the dmexco 2017?

Dominik Matyka: DMEXCO is still the most transactional digital marketing event world wide. It remains the leading meeting place for key players in digital business, marketing and innovation, with an impressive line-up of more than 550 speakers, 1000+ exhibitors and 40.000+ visitors. Furthermore, it includes over 120 seminars and workshops, a large number of side-events and all relevant topics, that are currently discussed in the global digital industry. What’s new is that we are moving away from being a pure trade fair to a platform-approach with personalized content and services 365 days a year. We have just started our “content marketing offensive” with new pieces of content nearly every day, published through our http://dmexco.com/stories and social channels. From August 18 onwards, we will publish our own biweekly DMEXCO podcast. For us, the podcast is an additional medium for more interaction with exhibitors and visitors and perfectly complements our range of products and services. If you are interested in what’s going on in the digital market, www.dmexco.com is an important source of information for the digital community. The two-day trade fair in Cologne in September will be the highlight of all our efforts. Nevertheless, further events will continue immediately after DMEXCO 2018 and throughout the year.

DMEXCO has also changed its corporate identity. Why?

Philipp Hilbig: DMEXCO celebrates its tenth birthday this year. Since the start in 2009, we have tripled the number of our visitors and exhibitors. That was a huge success. The launch of a new corporate identity and a new responsive website in June has been a reaction due to the growth of DMEXCO but also a way to underline our positioning as the leading hot spot for the digital industry. Another important reason for us to implement the new CI was to provide visitors and exhibitors a tool for better navigation and orientation. The new CI and website also support our transformation from being a trade fair to being a medium.

Our new Corporate Identity represents an intuitive, cross-platform navigation, both online (on the new responsive website) and offline (at the conference and expo in Cologne). The central elements of the CI and the new logo are a dual color and shape code: the blue color and the square symbolize the expo, the red color and the circle represent the conference. This will improve the navigation on site in the six  exhibition halls. We will make it easier for visitors to find the conference AND expo topics that interest them, through a new topic framework that better links these two areas. Better orientation, stronger connections and more engagement are the three main goals of all our efforts. Our goal furthermore is to uplift relevancy by understanding our visitors’ interested and individually recommend exhibitors and conference sessions of interest.

What are the main trends @ DMEXCO 2018?

Dominik Matyka: The programme of the DMEXCO Conference 2018 covers five tracks: marketing, media, technology, business and future. One of the most important trends will certainly be Artificial Intelligence (AI). Machine learning and AI are trending topics for already some time. What is unique, however, is the growing importance of artificial intelligence in an increasingly technological and thus also (partially) automated marketing world. According to which criteria do algorithms decide? How exactly can AI be integrated into the media and marketing businesses? How will it affect our lives? These are just a few of the questions that we are looking for answers to.

Another trend topic – as can be seen in media coverage – is Blockchain. With a similar disruptive potential as artificial intelligence, this distributed ledger technology will have major consequences for the economy and society.

At DMEXCO 2018 we will also take a look at the markets in China – the Silicon Dragon – and Europe. When talking about digital locations, Europeans usually look to the West (USA). But there are also digital companies and start-ups in Europe that have huge potential. We want to highlight these hot spots on the digital world map – and of course track their growth in the future.

Finally, and this is very relevant for our business in Europe today: ePrivacy and GDPR – two new legal regulations that will continue to keep both the European market and the international market busy for some time.

What speaker highlights can we look forward to in 2018?

Dominik Matyka: In 2018 we will be presenting top-class speakers on all 18 DMEXCO Stages. We welcome among others Alex Tze- Pin Cheng, General Manager & VP US Baidu, Philipp Schindler, SVP & Chief Business Officer Google and Max Conze, CEO Pro7Sat1. Neil Mohan, Chief Product Officer YouTube, explains, for example, how consumer choice has changed the video landscape and Jim Squires, Head of Business & Media Instagram, talks about what it’s like to live in a vertical world. More specifically, his presentation will illustrate the storytelling and growth opportunities for brands and agencies. Another highlight will certainly be the presentation by Melanie Cook, Managing Director Singapore Campus. Abiding to one of the major

trends at DMEXCO, it will show best practice examples from the field of Augmented Intelligence. Last but not least, visitors can look forward to Rus Yusupov, Founder HQ Trivia & Vine, talking about how HQ Trivia Television reinvented itself, and Debora Koyama, CMO Europe Mondelez, talking about future skills in brand building.

What are your personal highlights @ DMEXCO 2018?

Dominik Matyka: There are so many highlights. But I am especially proud that we have succeeded in organising two major start-up competitions at DMEXCO. Our own start-up pitch “The Hatch” together with Unilever Foundry and the SevenVentures Pitch Day, one of the most important awards for entrepreneurs worldwide. This way, the DMEXCO is at the core of the digital business helping founders actively to turn their ideas into reality. Means: we are truly taking C.A.R.E. of the future of our industry.

Philipp Hilbig: I am looking forward to our new Expo format “World of Agencies”, to see how the industry has developed again, to new players on the market and to a reunion with “old acquaintances” and to an enlarged start up village with guided tours and open hours. New cooperations with companies such as Usercentrics, Rebrandly or Linkfluence and our art project with Albrecht Behmel show completely new facets of DMEXCO.

Why did you choose the motto Take C.A.R.E. for this year’s DMEXCO?

Dominik Matyka: „Take C.A.R.E.” is more than a motto. It’s an attitude. We are all familiar with the #metoo-debate, various data scandals that have been uncovered almost on a weekly basis, the discussions about the dominance of the GAFAs or the debate about jobs in the age of artificial intelligence. “Take C.A.R.E.” stands for Curiosity, Action, Responsibility, and Experience. In the sense of: Stay curious! Act consciously! Take responsibility! Create experiences! With DMEXCO we want to contribute to this attitude. Customer centricity is more than selling goods to consumers.It is also about offering the best user experience to humans. We have to take care of ourselves and of our market!

Some articles this year claimed that the dmexco would reorient itself nationally. Is that true?

Philipp Hilbig: We are an international event and will remain international. DMEXCO is the global meeting place for all important decision makers from digital business, marketing and innovation. Even if the markets and countries have and will retain their peculiarities, the global aspect plays a very important role in digitization. Therefore, an event that wants to be internationally relevant and successful must always think globally – without neglecting the national aspects of the host’s market.

What is the proportion of international exhibitors and visitors at dmexco? Philipp Hilbig: We expect an international share of about 50 % again in 2018.

About #dmexco DMEXCO is the meeting place and a community for key players in digital business, marketing, and innovation. We bring together industry leaders, marketing and media professionals, and tech pioneers to set the digital agenda. Both globally informed and locally focused, DMEXCO offers an ecosystem with seminars, debates, and expositions outlining the future of the digital economy and driving market value.

Bringing together 40,000 visitors, 1,000+ exhibitors, and 550 speakers from around the world for a one-of-a-kind event each year in Cologne, DMEXCO has set the standard as the place for business minds to learn and inspire, build connections, and for ideas to become actions. DMEXCO — where tomorrow’s digital business happens today.

The German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW e.V.) — with special participation from the Circle of Online Marketers (OVK) — is the ideational and professional partner of DMEXCO and the owner of the DMEXCO brand. DMEXCO is organized by Koelnmesse.

DMEXCO 2018 will be held in Cologne on September 12 & 13, 2018. You can find all the information about DMEXCO 2017, as well as photos, videos, and original audio material, at http://dmexco.com, www.facebook.com/dmexco, http://twitter.com/dmexco, and www.youtube.com/dmexcovideo.