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Corona pandemic accelerates digital transformation and will strengthen digital economy

DMEXCO Survey 1-2020: The coronavirus pandemic is occupying politicians, the business community and society at large. But what impact is it having on the digital sector? As a recent DMEXCO Trend Survey of more than 800 digital decision-makers shows, although many companies are currently suffering economically, the digital economy might actually benefit following the end of the pandemic. According to the assessment, the COVID-19 crisis will accelerate the pace of the digital transformation. Nearly the entire digital sector is currently working from home.
April 2, 2020

All over the world, there is only one topic of importance to the business community and society at large: The coronavirus pandemic. With the number of people who have been infected and the number of victims still on the rise, it is difficult to predict what impact this will have on our social life and on the economy. Working from home, collaboration tools and video calls may now be everywhere, but the digital economy is also currently suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Nearly two-thirds of marketing decision-makers surveyed in the German-speaking region (62 percent) described the impact on their own business at the moment as “rather negative” or “negative.” The comparable figure internationally is 60 percent. Just 14 (national) and 13 percent (international) are currently generating a profit.

For the long term, however, an optimistic picture emerges. For instance, most respondents (70 percent nationally, 66 percent internationally) expect the digital economy to benefit from the pandemic, with the digital transformation accelerating as a result. This is the conclusion of the current DMEXCO Trend Survey with 527 national and 305 international respondents from the DMEXCO community.

Although the economic situation of these enterprises is impaired, just 19 percent of respondents from the DMEXCO community in Germany are worried about their jobs at the moment (25 percent internationally).


The coronavirus will accelerate the pace of the digital transformation

94 percent of the international respondents and 78 percent of survey participants in the digital sector in Germany are currently working entirely from home. The DMEXCO community expects this to remain the case in the future. The majority of respondents assume that working from home will retain much greater acceptance in the future (nationally: 85 percent, internationally: 78 percent). The communication and collaboration tools now increasingly used in the crisis are also gaining in lasting importance (nationally: 71 percent, internationally: 59 percent). The DMEXCO community is agreed on another central point as well: The coronavirus pandemic will accelerate the pace of the digital transformation, according to 70 percent of German and 66 percent of international respondents.


Event cancellations are having a particular impact on the digital sector: 56 percent of German respondents identified “strong or very strong effects”, compared to 64 percent internationally.

Dr. Dominik Matyka, Chief Advisor at DMEXCO, sums it up: “As our current Trend Survey shows, the current situation is having different impacts on the digital sector: Budgets will be cut in the short term, and the economy will suffer. On the other hand, companies in the digital sector are becoming increasingly important to the effort to provide the necessary tools and technologies for remote collaboration. The current constraints forcing us to work from home, with video calls and collaboration tools, are also an opportunity to gain in-depth insights into the benefits of digitalization. This is going to significantly accelerate the pace of the digital transformation in the post-coronavirus era.”

Christoph Menke, Director Sales & Operations DMEXCO, adds: “Trade fairs rank among the main drivers of the digital economy. As we can already see, canceling key events is having a profound impact on our industry’s business. We are therefore continuing the preparations for DMEXCO in September with great optimism. Nevertheless, we constantly assess the situation, because the safety and health of our visitors and exhibitors is of course our top priority. We will inform our community about any developments as early as possible.”

About the survey:

The non-representative DMEXCO Trend Survey was conducted by DMEXCO as an online survey in March 2020. Responses from 527 national and 305 international participants from the DMEXCO community were evaluated. This group is composed of visitors, exhibitors, speakers and journalists.

Image material for DMEXCO is available online at



DMEXCO is the meeting place and a community for key players in digital business, marketing and innovation. We bring together industry leaders, marketing and media professionals as well as technology and innovation drivers at a central location to jointly define the digital agenda. DMEXCO offers an entire ecosystem of lectures by international speakers, exhibitions of top brands and practical seminars – all with a view toward digital trends and future business potentials.

Around 38,000 visitors, almost 1,000 exhibitors and more than 700 speakers from all over the world make DMEXCO the top event for the industry. In Cologne, we set the benchmark as the network and business platform for the digital economy. Decision-makers come for further training and are inspired, establish contacts and conclude deals. DMEXCO — where tomorrow’s digital business happens today.

Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V. – with the special participation of the Circle of Online Marketers (OVK) – is the ideational and professional partner of DMEXCO and the owner of the DMEXCO brand. DMEXCO is organized by Koelnmesse.

DMEXCO 2020 will take place in Cologne on September 23 and 24, 2020. All information, along with photos, videos and the original sounds of DMEXCO 2019, can be found at,, and