Recap of DMEXCO 2023 day 1: Big challenges, big crowds

Every exhibition hall, every booth, every session, and every audience on day 1 of DMEXCO 2023 demonstrated that our industry is bursting with innovative power and tackling these challenging times by focusing on business interaction and networking.

Numerous digital professionals came to DMEXCO in Cologne in 2023.
Image: ©Koelnmesse

The digital industry really shows its stuff

Despite – or possibly because of – the current economic situation that is challenging on many fronts, tens of thousands of visitors attended the opening day of DMEXCO. As well as enjoying DMEXCO 2023’s excellent networking opportunities, both in the specially designed networking areas and at the booths of the approximately 650 exhibitors and their partners, the audience of experts was also attracted by yet another top-quality program. Let’s take a look at just a few of the conference highlights from day one.

Empowering Digital Creativity – words to live by

It’s no surprise that this year’s motto, “Empowering Digital Creativity”, was a common thread through many of the sessions on the first day of DMEXCO 2023. For example, the question asked on the Center Stage was: How does new technology and data impact on creativity?

In her keynote “A new era of creativity”, Aude Gandon (Nestlé) highlighted the extensive and exciting opportunities that are part and parcel of digital transformation. She emphasized that getting the most out of these opportunities requires us to combine proven marketing fundamentals with new tools to produce a new kind of creativity. In the words of Nestlé’s Global Chief Marketing Officer: “Marketing is a blend of science and art. The science of the new digital tools, the science of the new data, is in service of the thing we’ve always known and we’ve always done, which is the art of creativity”.

Mascha Driessen from Microsoft Advertising and Saurabh Tiwary from Microsoft argued that AI is the defining technology of our time – and one that is capable of optimizing our creative advertising output: “AI is about creativity and discovery. […] With AI, we no longer have to know how to do everything. We simply ask the computer and it tells us how to do it. AI is the ultimate multiplier of skills”, said Driessen.

Marketing without the hot air

On the Media Stage, Sarah Mooslechner (Head of Strategy & Social Media at The&Partnership Germany) turned the spotlight on attitude and mindset. Consumers expect companies to meet their social responsibilities, and that goes beyond merely taking a public position on issues like sustainability and diversity. These days, digital natives are incredibly good at spotting all the “empty talk” that is doing the rounds, she added. Her advice to companies? Practice what you preach! “These days, it isn’t enough for companies to do things right; they have to do the right things. Rather than the result, what matters is the impact of what they do.”

Agencies radiate self-confidence

On the Agency Stage, a high-profile panel discussed the current status of the advertising industry under the title “Zwischen Krise und Aufbruch: Wie steht es um die Werbewelt im Jahr 2023?” [“Caught between crisis and a fresh start: How are things in the advertising industry in 2023?”]. Led by moderator Verena Gründel (W&V), Katja Brandt (Mindshare), Neil Heinisch (PlayTheHype), Kristian Meinken (pilot agenturgruppe), Franziska von Lewinski (SYZYGY GROUP) and Anke Herbener (Digital Changers, Vice President of the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW)) shared their thoughts and experiences. During the session, Anke Herbener called for more self-confidence: Digital agencies play a very important role and should communicate this more clearly to a range of stakeholders, including their customers. This also covers things like being careful about offering free services. After all, agencies have to invest upfront – including professional training for staff, for example – and their prices need to reflect this.

More highlights to come on day 2

As you can see from our recap, day 1 of DMEXCO has already spoiled us with some enthralling sessions, but there are still plenty of highlights to look forward to on day 2. As on day 1, you can also interact with exhibitors, discover innovative solutions, and network with your fellow digital professionals. If you’re feeling spontaneous, you can still get your tickets for the second day of DMEXC0 2023!