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A strong comeback: DMEXCO 2022 welcomed 40,000 trade visitors

Cologne, September 22, 2022 — Following a three-year break due to the pandemic, DMEXCO celebrated its strong comeback at the Koelnmesse exhibition center. This year, around 40,000 visitors from 91 countries and 560 partner companies took part, live and in person, in Europe’s most important expo and conference for digital marketing & tech. Under the motto “We progress together”, a total of over 770 speakers discussed what social advancement in the digital age could look like. DMEXCO 2023 will take place again at the Koelnmesse exhibition center on September 20 and 21, 2023, again under the sponsorship of the German Association for the Digital Economy e.V. (BVDW).
September 23, 2022

The digital economy continues to grow, despite today’s numerous challenges. That is DMEXCO’s key takeaway after celebrating its strong comeback with its international community in Cologne following two years of the pandemic. Around 40,000 trade visitors, including participants from 91 countries and 560 partner companies, met live and in person for two days at the Koelnmesse exhibition center. The more than 770 speakers at DMEXCO included industry giants such as Google EMEA President Matt Brittin, RTL Co-CEO Matthias Dang, and Dr. Karsten Wildberger, CEO of MediaMarktSaturn.

In his keynote speech at DMEXCO, Google’s European President once again emphasized the end of third-party cookies in the second half of 2024. Until then, in collaboration with the industry, Google wants to trial solutions in beta tests starting in late 2022. Matt Brittin: “The next two years will be critical — the web that we know is under threat. We have to rethink the whole system to deliver effective ads. People will voluntarily share their data if they have more control. Managing tools therefore have to be meaningful, memorable, and easily accessible.”

Video advertisement and retail media in particular are predicted to be growth drivers in the area of digital advertising in the coming years. At DMEXCO, the Online Marketing Group (OVK), part of the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW), predicted that online display advertising in Germany will grow by 6.8% to around 5.5 billion euros in 2022. In the process, the sales volume generated with moving image advertising is expected to exceed two billion euros for the first time. In his keynote, Matthias Dang, CEO of Ad Alliance and Co-CEO of RTL Deutschland, also emphasized that “Video has always been the strongest medium.” Dang continued: “For us as broadcasters, digital transformation doesn’t mean just putting out a digital signal. For us, it means becoming a tech and data company. The maxim is: go big or go home. We need consolidation in the market, either through acquisitions or alliances.”

Retail media as a growth driver of digital advertising

For Dr. Karsten Wildberger, CEO of MediaMarktSaturn, retail media will be the largest growth driver for digital advertising in the years to come. For example, advertising revenues on the online marketplaces of retailers worldwide are expected to double in just three years: from 77 billion dollars in 2021 to 143 billion dollars in 2024. In his keynote speech, Wildberger also underlined his company’s responsibility for the environment and society: “60 to 70% of the electricity used by a household is consumed by devices we sell. As retailers we have a huge responsibility in terms of which devices we sell.”

The Online Media Agencies (FOMA) specialist group, part of the BVDW, assesses the development for retail media in Germany as very positive: According to the current FOMA trend monitor, the net advertising spend on electronic retail platforms will grow by 27% this year, more than in any other segment. For digital advertising as a whole, the media agencies surveyed expect an increase in net spending by 12% for Germany in 2022.

Data-driven creativity and sustainability as important topics

In his panel, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of S4 Capital, stressed the important coexistence of information and creation: “Data doesn’t destroy creativity, data improves creativity! Data-driven creativity will become even more powerful in the future.” Sorrell also participated in a panel hosted by the German General Association of Advertising Agencies (GWA) on zero-emission marketing. “Our planet is dying in front of our eyes and we have to act fast. And we as a marketing industry, we contribute to all these areas of greenhouse emissions. We all have a responsibility in the marketing chain,” said Nina Haller, Managing Director of Media.Monks, kicking off the discussion. The star-studded discussion that followed with Christian Hammerschmidt, Senior Brand Manager of Deutsche Telekom, Samuel Rueff, Global Media Director of Bayer, and Matthias Brüll, Global CEO of the Mediaplus Group, showed that both advertisers and agencies are aware of their responsibility. However, when it comes to implementation in practice, progress is much slower than is actually required. The reason for this is also the predicament within the companies — between the purchasing departments on the one hand and the pressure from the public and the attitude debate on the other, which companies are increasingly being confronted with.

Web3: from theory to practice

The broadened concept of DMEXCO, which combined the thematic areas into the Worlds of Agencies, Media, E-Commerce, and Tech in 2022, offered sound guidance in the exhibition halls. On the specially created Stage, DMEXCO, together with the, presented many practical insights into the world of NFTs and the metaverse. Hybrid reality is coming, and futurist Elena Corchero, Director of Emerging Tech & Innovation at Dow Jones, is convinced of it: “We are definitely ready for the cross reality now”. Diego Borgo, expert on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and metaverse ambassador, particularly underscores the impact and power for large markets: “NFTs can create communities and bring people closer to the brand.”

On the second day, the “DMEXCO Social Talk by Social Match” gathered around 20 notable influencers, such as Diana zur Löwen, Jonas Ems, and Shirli. On the Red Stage, Nindo founder and content creator Rezo cautioned the audience about the dark side of the influencer business: “Blatantly buying followers is now becoming increasingly rare; instead, influencers are using subtle bot providers. To detect these manipulations, as much data as possible must be collected, very frequently and across all channels. In the worst case, this will otherwise lead to up to 8% of the advertising budget being wasted.”

Across a total of 14 stages, DMEXCO 2022 offered the long-awaited spotlight to the who’s who of the world’s digital industry. Around 40 percent of the speakers on the curated stages at DMEXCO this year were women, and more than half of the speakers work outside Germany.

“With this strong comeback, DMEXCO has impressively underpinned its position as the leading business event for the digital marketing and tech industry. The DMEXCO team has done a great job. And with 40,000 trade visitors, we once again achieved pre-COVID levels right off the bat. I’m particularly pleased that the share of advertisers and brand executives has once again increased significantly,” said Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse.

“I would like to thank all our partners for their great support. The whole industry returned to Cologne with vigor and fun. DMEXCO 2022 has also shown without a doubt that we need to look for cross-sector solutions. In personalized advertising, in data protection, in industry standards, and, above all, in pursuing more sustainability in our digital world. Our motto for this year, ‘We progress together,’ also embodies this,” sums up Professor Dominik Matyka, Chief Advisor of DMEXCO.

“This year’s DMEXCO has impressively highlighted its claim to be the leading expo for the entire digital economy. This is reflected in the broad spectrum of industries that were represented in the halls by their decision-makers. In particular, the quality of contacts was immense. There was a very positive spirit for the tasks ahead. The direction in which things are heading was clearly evident on DMEXCO’s stages: more digital communication, more marketing via retail media, a growing importance of video formats, as well as the metaverse megatrend. The major issue hovering over everything was data, which will keep us all busy — next year as well,” concluded Dirk Freytag, President of the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW), the ideational and professional sponsor of DMEXCO.

All the highlights on demand: DMEXCO x Digiday Online on September 27, 2022

DMEXCO is the gift that keeps on giving: On September 27, DMEXCO is teaming up with leading U.S. trade magazine Digiday to host an additional digital-only event focusing on the U.S. market. Alongside highlight sessions from DMEXCO 2022, attendees will be able to enjoy multiple channels with content exploring the main challenges in today’s digital marketing — produced by Digiday especially for the event. There will also be plenty of opportunities to network live. “DMEXCO x Digiday Online” will take place from 4 to 9 pm (CET)/10 am to 3 pm (Eastern Time) on the DMEXCO Digital Event Platform. The digital event is free for everyone, and tickets are available at

Yahoo supported DMEXCO 2022 as a Platinum Sponsor. DMEXCO will return to the Koelnmesse exhibition center for next year’s event on September 20 and 21, 2023.

Here’s what just some of our partners and speakers had to say about DMEXCO 2022

Yasmine Atif, Retail Media Specialist, MediaMarktSaturn: “DMEXCO is definitely the key event in the Digital Marketing industry, and a great opportunity for us at MediaMarktSaturn Retail Media to introduce ourselves as a key player in the retail media business and show our commitment to delivering smart and efficient solutions. But also to be in a space dedicated to innovation and forward thinking and to celebrate with our peers at the official DMEXCO VIP Party, which we had the pleasure of hosting this year.”

Jolanta Baboulidis, Country Director, Twitter Germany: “Wow! DMEXCO is back with a bang! Finally, we could get together again with clients, partners, prospective customers and interested parties, and make new contacts. The quality of the keynotes, presentations, and masterclasses was extremely high and they were packed with ideas and inspiration. Events like this are the only way for our industry to continuously improve so that we can meet today’s challenges. Congratulations DMEXCO! And see you next year!”

Dr. Jannika Bock, Managing Director Retail, Google: “All of us — people, businesses, and society in general – have had to face enormous challenges over the past two years. And more are arising right now. Tackling these challenges requires new ways of working together, along with outstanding innovations. Once again, DMEXCO was a hugely valuable opportunity to build partnerships for new collaborations and get inspiration, creating a climate where significant innovations can emerge.”

Yannis Dosios, Chief Commercial Officer, Integral Ad Science: “It has been wonderful to attend DMEXCO this year, where the best industry innovations from EMEA and across the world are brought together under one roof. We have had a lot of interesting conversations with clients, partners, prospective customers, and new interested parties about how our media quality solutions can help achieve results by boosting consumer attention. DMEXCO is the ideal platform for us to work with advertisers, agencies, platforms, and publishers when it comes to creating greater programmatic efficiency and working out how we can break new ground in exciting areas such as CTV and sustainability.”

Sylwia Iwanejko-Sajewska, Managing Director DACH, TripleLift: “Once again, DMEXCO was a huge event. It has affirmed our belief that it is THE platform where partners representing publishers, advertisers, agencies, and adtech can come together and talk business. That kind of experience is exactly what the market needs.”

Dirk Kraus, CEO, YOC AG: “For us, DMEXCO is the ideal platform for expert conversations with existing and potential partners. For us, there was never any doubt that we’d be back again when the pandemic was over. We feel that we’re in very good hands here!”

Denise Mancinone, Brand Marketing Manager, Snapchat DACH: “We’ve had great discussions and, after two years of video meetings, we’ve finally been able to see our partners and customers live and in person again. What really needs to be highlighted this year is the content and keynotes, which were tightly focused on our key topic of digital marketing. We are incredibly excited about the whole Web 3.0 discussion, particularly the topic of augmented reality.”

Nicolas Rieul, Vice President Western Europe, Criteo: “After a two-year hiatus, DMEXCO is still one of the most relevant events for digital business, advertisers, and media. That is also demonstrated by the large numbers of industry-leading companies who attended, as well as the many conversations we had with partners over the two days. Retail media, a more extensive commerce media, was the topic of the hour and showed how relevant it is for the coming years, with the potential to link e-commerce and online advertising.”

Tobias Schlotter, VP Channel & Alliances EMEA, Akeneo: “DMEXCO’s back all right! We are delighted to finally be back at DMEXCO again, live and in color — and it definitely feels like we’ve had just as many visitors to and conversations at our booth as we did back in 2019! And after a two-year break, Ziggy is still number one when it comes to swag. A big thank-you to the DMEXCO organizing team, we’re already looking forward to DMEXCO23!”

Thomas Wlazik, General Manager DACH/NL, TikTok: “DMEXCO doesn’t just have excellent weather, the standout is that it has an incredible attendance! It’s been a great mix of exciting presentations, plenty of networking opportunities, and good conversations, both inside and out. […] The people and brands that are relevant are not only all there, they are also easier to find, and there’s more time for face-to-face talks.”

Image material for DMEXCO is available online at