My 9 Best Takeaways From DMEXCO 2016

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend DMEXCO 2016 in Germany. DMEXCO, which stands for Digital Marketing Exposition and Conference, bills itself as a meeting place for “makers and shakers, visionaries, marketing and media professionals, techies, and creative thinkers,” and boy, did it deliver!

While there, I was able to take a good look at the disruptive trends now making their presence felt in the marketing world, and also to meet and mingle with a lot of great people. Here are just a few of the things I learned and the stuff I saw while there:

1) The SevenOne Media Group out of Germany spared nothing when it came to their presence. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the booth launched into space. The LED display on its roof was over the top (literally). Check out the video below to see what it looks like in action.

2) While native advertising had a presence at the show (with Taboola, Outbrain, RevContent, and Plista represented – as well as our very own Native Ads, Inc. of course), it certainly has yet to reach its full potential. We were very excited to be part of this rising tide and are eager to see what native advertising can do for the various sectors in the future. 

3) Ambarish Mitra, co-founder and CEO of London-based Blippar (seen selfie-ing with me above) is taking native advertising to a whole new level. His augmented-reality solution makes literally anything in the physical world media (this is his philosophy), allowing for new and unique O2O-style (online-to-offline) campaigns. Expect to see a lot of brands launching “blippable campaigns” in the future.

4) Facebook Germany knows how to throw a party! They started their open bar halfway through the first day and were not shy about offering endless Prosecco. As the owners of the famous Oculus Rift, you know Facebook is deeply committed to pushing the concept of experiential marketing to its fullest potential.

5) Here’s a tip: book your meetings in the same area, if you can. The floor plan is very misleading. Booking a meeting in Hall 6, after a meeting in Hall 8, will guarantee you will be late.

6) And don’t be shy about your fashion sense. Tell the people you’re meeting with what you’re wearing on the day of the meeting. You can save a lot of time if they know what you look like ahead of time. I can’t count how many times I was on a call with the person I was meeting with, trying to describe where I was standing and what I was wearing, and saw hundreds of people on their phones doing the same thing. Snap a selfie on the way out the door and attach it to your appointments in your calendar.

7) And, on that note, leave the jacket/blazer behind. It’s pretty stuffy in the building, and you will be running around sharing the same air as 51,000 others. By the second day, I had noticed that everyone had adjusted their outfits to be more comfortable. A basic collared shirt with comfortable slacks will do just fine, even if you are meeting with CEOs.

8) Don’t go alone! It’s physically impossible to see everything by yourself, so bring a team. Assign each member to one of the halls. If there are lectures you wish to see, bring an extra team member purely to cover it. You want to ensure you get the most out of those lectures.

9) Finally, and most importantly: assume nothing. Your best conversations will happen out of the blue. Your best partnerships may be with a company you thought did not do anything in your space. Keep an open mind and talk to everyone you make eye contact with (time permitting, of course.) After all, they are there for the same reason you are.

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