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Heading to Dmexco 2014? My top tips for getting the most out of the conference

A blog from The Drum's editor, Stephen Lepitak, covering reaction to events in media, social media, marketing, advertising and communications in general.

One thing you should be aware of if you’ve never been to Dmexco before is that the Cologne ad tech conference is absolutely massive. With 800 companies exhibiting and an estimated record of 30,000 thousand marketing professionals set to descend on the German town on 10 and 11 September, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here's a few tips to help you get the most out of it.

The new Start-up Village

New for this year, the conference is set to introduce its Start-Up Village, where start-ups from across Europe can apply for space during the two day event, with successful applicants given a timeslot to present their company ideas to potential investors.

The organisers are genuinely excited by the prospect of featuring some of the hottest start-ups around and are clearly expecting some of those involved to profit from being in front of some of Europe’s most prominent venture capitalists and digital entrepreneurs.

Jonah Peretti, CEO of Buzzfeed

Jonah Peretti, CEO of Buzzfeed, will be speaking in two sessions at the conference, the first a discussion with Criteo president Greg Coleman on programmatic and native advertising from a marketer and publishing perspective.

Peretti will also be the closing keynote speaker in the Congress Hall on Thursday evening, discussing ‘The Big Shift in Media’, where he will talk about how he sees publishing and advertising progressing. And, having just raised £30m in investment for Buzzfeed, he is clearly someone worth listening to on this subject.

The Exhibition Halls

Make sure you take some time to walk around the exhibition halls and see which companies are there. Facebook took a stand last year, as did eBay, and the three halls are always full of well known marketing networks and technology companies. If you hang around at the end of each day you’ll find that many host party sessions – so free beer and hot dogs. Some companies do have a penchant for banging techno tunes though, making meaningful discussions in the vicinity nigh on impossible.

The Opening Night Party

There is a VIP opening night party on the Tuesday night, but if you’re not lucky enough to receive an invite then Wednesday evening sees the official party take place – although it does require pre-registration. It’s a great event to bump into new contacts and, it’s Germany, so the beer is fantastic as well.

The Final Panel Session

The final panel session of the event, taking place in the Debate Hall, features a stellar

line up of names, from Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement for Mondelez International, to Vice Media’s president Andrew Creighton, Mozilla’s Denelle Dixon-Thayer, IPG Media Lab’s Chad Stoller and Kiip co-founder Brian


The group will be making some advertising predictions with a five-minute time slot each. Trust me, you want to hear what these guys have to say in order to future proof your business or marketing strategy. Do not miss.

This piece was originally published in The Drum Magazine, available to purchase on The Drum Store.

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