Some time ago I remember reading about the decline of trade shows, that visitor numbers were falling, companies were investing less on their stands and their validity was being questioned.
One exception to this must be dmexco in Cologne which I (and 19,000+ other people) attended last week.
Having visited the event for the last four years (the first two when it was called OMD and took place in Dusseldorf) what has been interesting to me is to see the event evolve from being very much a German show into a more European, even international, event in terms of speaker, exhibitors and attendees.
Every major player in the digital space was there and investing a considerable sum based on the size of their stands. The number of British visitors who made the journey to Cologne is a testament to the fact people are still willing to travel and will find the budget to do so if they think there is real value in being there. The facilities, the exhibition space, the quality of the conference sessions (all free) and the level of people who were in attendance really show that when it comes to events, the Germans really know what they are doing.
In the past Europe seems to have lacked a ‘must-attend’ event for the digital industry, most being simply country specific affairs. However, it does seem that dmexco may have all the right ingredients to become this. I know that my American colleagues were very impressed with the whole event and more and more people outside Europe are becoming aware of it. I’m already looking forward to an even bigger and better event next year.
M&M has set up a dedicated page with highlights from the Dmexco 2011.
Stuart Colman is managing director, Europe at AudienceScience and chairman of the IAB UK’s Behavioural Targeting Council.