Dmexco co-founders depart as concern mounts that international participation will be lost

Dmexco conference hall

The organiser of Dmexco, the global event for the adtech industry held in Cologne, has split with co-founders Christian Muche and Frank Schneider and their consulting group KM Digital Marketing Events leading to concern that the event will regress to focus on German companies.

Koelnmesse, the organiser of the event, confirmed in a statement that it had extended its work with the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW) for ‘several years’ but its agreement with Muche and Schneider had come to an end.

It also stated that next year’s event, scheduled to take place on 12 and 13 September, would not be altered and that the themes would be revealed in the first quarter of next year.

The BVDW owns both the Dmexco brand and all of its business contracts, The Drum understands.

The statement added that the duties of Muche and Schneider would be reassigned in the near future.

As a result of the move, fears have been expressed to The Drum that the international participation in Dmexco that has only come in recent years may be lost, with some worrying the event will return to its original focus of showcasing German companies.

This year, the event saw over 40,000 trade visitors, 1,100 exhibitors and 570 speakers participate in its largest year since it began.

However, one insider said: "Many in the industry are saying that Dmexco will shift focus to Germany because Christian and Frank were the international face of the event."

Koelnmesse did not respond when asked about the future focus on the conference.

However, it was touched upon in the initial statement with the following: “In future, the strategic direction of the exposition and conference will be discussed in greater depth by the Advisory Board, where the Conference Council will be represented and will have a vote. This will ensure a unified overall strategy for Dmexco, which consists of the EXPO and the conference.”

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Stephen Lepitak

Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze, Richard Curtis and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.

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