DMEXCO 2023: The Ultimate Event Guide



DMEXCO Returns For its 2023 Edition 

DMEXCO 2023 is almost here – are you ready?

Europe’s leading digital marketing and tech trade fair, DMEXCO (Digital Marketing Exposition and Conference), is back for its 15th edition and promises to pack in a punch. 

More than 17,000 attendees and 1,700 exhibitors can be found on Vendelux, which is renowned for setting the future agenda of the digital marketing industry. The two-day trade fair and conference brings together industry stalwarts, SMEs, and tech leaders under one roof for networking, masterclasses, seminars, and much more. The annual martech gala provides a unique platform for decision-makers from the digital marketing space to build connections, discover innovative solutions, and make stellar deals.  

Over the years, DMEXCO has successfully set trends in the MarTech industry and can be credited with facilitating top-class networking opportunities. 

If you plan to attend the event, here is everything you need to know about DMEXCO 2023. 

What is DMEXCO 2023? 

It is the ultimate business expo for stakeholders from the digital marketing and tech industries to come together and build the future of MarTech. This pioneering expo-con is the place to be if you want to learn, explore, and grow your digital business. With SMEs, marketing and media professionals, tech experts, and other stakeholders in tow, it is one of the most comprehensive and exhaustive events of recent times. 

The two-day trade fair attracts some of the biggest names in the industry that have the power and potential to disrupt the digital marketing landscape to make it future-proof. It enables decision-makers to share their experience and expertise with aspiring digital marketers. The event also provides a worthy space for tech experts to showcase their one-of-a-kind solutions that could revolutionize the digital marketing industry. 

DMEXCO is globally relevant and locally aware — therefore, the expo cum conference brings forth exceptional synergy that can holistically empower digital businesses.

The event also offers something for everyone. DMEXCO is something you cannot miss, whether you’re a thought leader, investor, or seller. 

When and Where is DMEXCO 2023 Taking Place? 

The 2023 edition of DMEXCO is slated to take place on the 20th and 21st of September in Cologne, Germany. Like every year, this year’s event will be held at the world-class Messe Cologne (native: Koelnmesse) — the third-best conference venue in Germany, with 400,000 square meters of indoor and outdoor exhibition space, Messe Cologne boasts 11 fair trade halls and can seat 19,500 attendees in its dedicated conference space.

It hosts roughly 80 trade fairs, events, and conferences every year. 

Messe Cologne also boasts 10,000 parking lots at the venue and 7,500 parking spaces in adjacent areas. The venue also provides digital showrooms for its hosts and excellent infrastructural support. In addition, it is also environmentally conscious and aims to reduce carbon emissions from the events it hosts to net zero by 2050. 

The Cologne Exhibition Center is conveniently located near various luxury hotels and local attractions, including eateries and watering holes. 

Who’s Coming to DMEXCO 2023? 

Individuals and companies in the event marketing strategy realm will be in Cologne for one of the world’s most prominent digital marketing and technology trade fairs. Marketing experts and professionals, and media practitioners will be there to network and discover new trends in their industries. 

Who are the Speakers of DMEXCO 2023?

The event will have a diverse lineup of speakers who will impart their experience and lessons that led them to successful careers in the industry. Hundreds–yes, hundreds–of speakers are expected to be at one of the most sought-after in-person events in 2023

Do you want to become a speaker? There is still time to apply to be among the esteemed speakers of DMEXCO 2023. You need solid and unique talking points about the online marketing industry to be chosen as a speaker. 

To know more about how to be a speaker at the event, click here.

Speakers will be announced in the next few months. But just to give you an idea of how diverse and distinct the speakers are, check out some of the lineup of speakers during the 2022 DMEXCO:

Matt Brittin – Google EMEA

Matt Brittin is the president of EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) business and operations for Google. He leads European announcements for various Google pursuits regarding digital skills, tech activities, and updates. Brittin’s goal for Google is to harness technology for the greater good. 

Sir Martin Sorrell (S4 Capital and WPP)

As the founder of WPP plc, the world’s largest advertising and PR group, Sir Martin Sorrell is known for his tenacity. He was responsible for some of the most significant acquisitions in the business world. While he has since resigned from WPP, Sorrell will always be part of the company’s history. He is now with S4 Capital, a marketing company he founded.

Gail Arnon – Fiverr

Gail Arnon is the chief marketing officer of Fiverr, one of the largest and most popular online marketplaces for freelance services. Arnon is passionate about championing women’s leadership roles in technology, which she said is a rarity. You will often find Arnon in women’s conferences, talking about how women’s presence in tech industries is changing. 

Maurine Alma – Just Eat

Just Eat (JET) is a Dutch multinational online food ordering and delivery company born out of the merger of London-based Just Eat and Amsterdam-based at the peak of the pandemic in 2020. Maurine Alma is the company’s chief marketing officer and is responsible for ensuring that brand strategy is aligned wherever JET is in the world. 

Karsten Wildberger – MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group

Dr. Karsten Wildberger is the chief executive officer of MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group. He provided a unique perspective in the convention with his background in physics, supported by his experience in strategy and digitization in various industries. 

Sven Hasselmann – DB Vertrieb GmbH

Digital marketing has always been a passion for Dr. Sven Hasselmann. Even in the 1990s, when digital marketing was a niche rather than a norm, Hasselmann was actively studying and developing strategies. He successfully founded two startups while also doing digital marketing consultancy. Hasselman is the chief marketing officer of DB Vertrieb GmbH. 

Clemens Bauer – REWE Markt GmbH

Clemens Bauer took over as marketing director at REWE when the company heavily integrated online and offline resources. He rose from the ranks in REWE and is known for his innovative and forward-thinking marketing efforts.

Johannes Kliesch – SNOCKS

It started as a company selling socks but evolved into a fashion powerhouse in Germany. That’s what determination will get you, so believed Johannes Kliesch, who co-founded SNOCKS with his cousin. It used to sell exclusively on Amazon but now has its online store. 

That was just the tip of the iceberg, as over 770 speakers, each with expertise in digital marketing and technological innovation, attended last year’s event. 

You can apply to be a DMEXCO speaker or suggest a speaker for the event here.


Applications to be a DMEXCO 2023 exhibitor are still open. Hundreds of exhibitors have already signified their interest in joining because B2B Events like these provide a great opportunity for exchange, engagement, education, and inspiration. 

The expo is also the perfect venue for some event intelligence so marketers can make data-driven decisions. 

Do you want to be an exhibitor? There are at least four packages to choose from:

Individual Booth

Companies wanting to splash at the expo will need an individual booth. The smallest booth starts at 20 square meters, enough to do something fun and entertaining to entice people. There is also plenty of space for branding and advertising. 

Plug and Play

Starting at 16 square meters, the Plug and Play booth lets you showcase your physical and digital products to DMEXCO participants. There is enough space for your products, branding materials, and digital presence. DMEXCO teams are around to help with booth construction and provide insightful advice. 

Networking Space

The package is perfect for B2B lead generation. There will be enough space for some tables and chairs where participants can be more comfortable talking to each other about innovations and new trends in digital marketing and media and communications. 

Special Area – DMEXCO Worlds

For optimum exposure, the DMEXCO Worlds special areas provide centrally located booths that attract a large audience. It comes with an integrated conference stage and some networking space. 

Register to be an exhibitor here.


It wouldn’t be one of the most successful fintech events in the world without special sponsors. The German Association owns DMEXCO for the Digital Economy (BVDW). The following are its partners:

  • Agof
  • GWA
  • IAB Europe
  • MMA
  • OWM
  • WOW Dinner

DMEXCO has dozens of sponsors, including Yahoo!, Rev.Amp, Adswizz, MediaMarkSaturn Retail MEdia, T3N Digital Pioneers, and Admanagerforum. 

What Kind of Sessions Are There at DMEXCO 2023?

DMEXCO 2023 is only for two days, but there are more than 200 hours of programs available. There are 14 stages, and participants can choose which sessions are more applicable to their profession and industry. 

Most of the sessions will be released following the announcement of speakers, which is expected to be in June. 

Just to give you an idea, the following were the sessions for the 2022 leg of DMEXCO:

  • From Views to Sales: The Short Path of Social Commerce on YouTube
  • How to Future-proof Your Marketing
  • Talent Acquisition in Tough Times: How Employers and Gen Z Progress Together
  • 5 Most Common Mistakes that Can Lead to Greenwashing Accusation
  • The Importance and Future of Community Relations for Sustainably Thriving NFT/Web3 Projects

What else can you expect at DMEXCO 2023?

  • Various Masterclasses from experts in different fields
  • Media summit
  • E-commerce presentation, lecture, and panel
  • Agency discussions–the new model, marketing, etc.
  • Workshop on startup pitches

What to Expect From DMEXCO 2023. Is it Worth it?

About 40,000 people from 91 countries attended DMEXCO 2022, making it one of last year’s biggest marketing events. The number of participants alone will tell you that the event is an excellent opportunity to do the following:

  • Network
  • Generate business leads
  • Showcase/launch products and services
  • Introduce your business to prospects
  • Increase awareness of your business and industry
  • Explore partnership and sponsorship opportunities
  • Check out the competition
  • Learn from industry titans

DMEXCO is not just about one thing–it provides a holistic experience to professionals and companies. While you market your brand, products, and services, you also get to learn and explore opportunities presented by other companies. 

It is an event that is getting bigger every year too. The first DMEXCO in 2009, held at the Cologne Exhibition Centre, was attended by 14,200 individuals. There were only 290 exhibitors from 11 countries. 

Even when the event turned digital in 2020 due to the pandemic, some 20,000 people attended the online DMEXCO. It is considered a must-attend event for every marketer because of its top-notch speakers, interesting exhibits, and high-quality participants. 

Attendee Data: Who is Attending DMEXCO 2023 and How to Prepare For It

Data is essential in marketing because it allows businesses to understand what clients want and prefer and what the future holds for the industry. DMEXCO 2023 will provide critical information for data-driven event marketing

42,000 people are expected to attend the event. More than 17,000 of them are available on Vendelux. There will be around 1,750 exhibitors and sponsors too. 

A plurality of attendees, or about 38%, come from the software industry. About 14% are from marketing and advertising, and 5% come from management consulting. Further, distribution based on job function is 48% professional, 25% sales and marketing, and 14% founders and management. 

Regarding job seniority, 17% of the expected attendees are C-suite executives, 19% are vice presidents and directors, and the majority are professionals. 

Navigating Your Target Audience

Now that you know who you will meet at DMEXCO 2023, you will better understand how to prepare your booth and talking points. C-suite-level professionals have different interests than middle and lower managers, so you must customize your conversation topics. 

If your company plans to get a booth, you must make it a memorable experience for attendees. Since most of them are not decision-makers, the experience is more about coaxing them to become your company’s partners than offering them something unique they could return to their company. 

Middle managers and other professionals who attend events will report to senior managers, directors, and executives what they learned from the event. The attendees will only report the most memorable parts, so it’s best that you create a booth offering unique content. 

You also need to remember that many attendees are in the software industry, so you have to amp up the tech aspect of the booth. 

Engage middle managers in conversations and ask for their opinions and input. They rarely get to do that in their company, so it will be a welcome change. They are also the best people to build relationships with. Make sure you have business cards and giveaways for them to take home. 

Make sure to do follow-ups after the event. 

Things to Consider When Registering For DMEXCO 2023

It can be overwhelming to attend expos and conferences, especially when it is as big as DMEXCO 2023. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend, and there are only two days to maximize your professional experience. 

Here are essential things to consider for the event:


If you are from somewhere other than Germany, you may not be familiar with Messe Cologne and its surroundings. Research what you can about the place and culture to prevent being overwhelmed. Many Germans speak English, but learning a few common German words and phrases may be wise. 

Research about DMEXCO. You must know the event, the theme, the participants, and your part in the experience. DMEXCO aims to set the digital agenda for marketing and media professionals, industry leaders, and tech experts. What is your company’s goal in attending the event? When you figure that out, you can easily plan how to navigate your two-day event at Messe Cologne. 

Speaking of navigation, you also need to research how to go around the area. It’s best to book a hotel near Messe Cologne. Still, if you’re looking to save money and book accommodation in the outskirts, you must check out the best transportation alternatives to Cologne. 

Register and Book Early

Register for the event as early as you can. Hopefully, that will get you prime exhibition space. If not, at least when you confirm early, you can also plan your activities early. You can confirm your exhibit space soon and plan activities, such as knowing the companies exhibiting near you and which booths you should visit. It will also allow you to prepare better if you want to attend conferences with speakers relevant to your industry. 

When you register early, you can also book your hotel early. You want to be near the event venue or as near as your budget allows. Book the hotel for the 19th (or 18th if budget allows), so you can have time to navigate the event space before the actual DMEXCO 2023. Stay an extra day or two (or the entire weekend) to get a few tourist activities in if you’re not from North Rhine-Westphalia or Germany. 


When you research the event exhaustively, you can prepare a sensible budget acceptable to the company. Always include miscellaneous or emergency funds in your budget in case of any eventualities.

Materials to Bring

Include the entire company in preparing the materials you should bring to DMEXCO 2023. There are the booth essentials, marketing giveaways, pamphlets, and fliers–hard and digital copies, and business cards–physical and digital. 

You also need to have a diverse team with you– individuals from different divisions who know the brand in and out and have the confidence to market the company. 

Talking Points

Don’t just wing it. Always prepare a pitch and customize it based on who you speak to. Most of the DMEXCO 2023 attendees are middle management and other professionals. However, you must still prepare pitches and talking points for the 17% of C-suite executives and 19% of vice presidents and directors expected to attend. All team members must internalize the pitches for consistency. 

How Do I Plan For DMEXCO 2023? 

For exhibitors, Messe Cologne is open from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on September 20th and until 6:30 p.m. on the 21st. Be at the venue at least 30 minutes before it opens to be safe. You can’t be late for your exhibit. 

The event is open to visitors from 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on the first and 5:30 p.m. on the second. Maximize the experience by being at the venue early. There are hundreds of speakers to learn from and hundreds of exhibits to see. 

What to Bring

Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes at the DMEXCO 2023 since you will do a lot of standing when manning the booth and walking when navigating Messe Cologne to network and attend conferences. 

Since you will be networking, don’t forget your business cards. Always carry physical cards while having a digital one on your phone- for those who prefer exchanging digital information. 

Bring a power bank (or more) because your smartphone will be an essential tool during DMEXCO 2023. You can use it to take down notes, record speakers, and take videos of the event activities. 

What to Do After the Event

Just because the event closes at night doesn’t mean networking should also stop. You don’t always get to meet the participants of DMEXCO, particularly those from other countries. Build relationships with people you can partner with for business in a more social and less professional setting. 

Invite some of your new business acquaintances to dinner, coffee, or drinks after the event. It’s an excellent way to develop camaraderie as you get to know them personally. This way, you can remove the awkwardness when you get in touch weeks after the event for possible business collaborations and partnerships in the next e-commerce events

You can also discover Cologne together after DMEXCO closes for the day. 

Tips When Traveling to DMEXCO 2023

Cologne is the largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia, but it’s still relatively small for an event expected to host around 40,000 people. So, here are some tips that could help make your DMEXCO 2023 experience more comfortable. 

Know Your Way Around

As mentioned, you must book your accommodations as early as possible because hotels and Airbnb near Messe Cologne will be full-up closer to the event schedule. Plus, Messe Cologne is one of Germany’s most popular event spaces, so you will compete with other event participants. 

Click here to check out Messe Cologne’s partner hotels. In case nearby hotels are booked, consider finding accommodations in nearby cities, such as Aachen, Bonn, Düsseldorf, and Leverkusen. 

Cologne has good transportation systems. If you are booked near the venue, the best way to go around the city is by bicycle. Many companies offer bikes for rent while in the city. Public transportation includes trams, buses, and subways. It is also a walkable city, so that’s one option to think about. You can also download the MyTaxi app, the most popular taxi app on Germany’s major thoroughfares. 

Dress Comfortably

Mid-September in Germany is quite chilly, so consider using a light jacket. Bring an umbrella because the country is also known for sudden rain. 

Have an Early or Late Lunch

There are many restaurants in Cologne as it is a major city. However, these will be quite packed during peak hours when tens of thousands of DMEXCO attendees are in the city. Schedule an early or late lunch near Messe Cologne and get a reservation if possible. 

Prepare a Checklist

Whether manning a booth or merely attending the expo and conference, you must prepare a checklist of everything you need to do during the two-day event. Maximizing your professional experience in marketing and tech events is difficult, especially in something as big as DMEXCO. It’s best to make a list of things to do, i.e., exhibits to visit and conferences to attend and put them in order of priority. 

Don’t Forget to Post on Social Media

Remember, this is still a business event. While you can post beautiful views and buildings of Cologne, don’t forget to post about the event on your personal and company social media accounts. It’s another way to connect with other DMEXCO participants and link up through your social media accounts.

Attend DMEXCO Afterparties

DMEXCO is known for its great afterparties. Make sure to attend some official events to bond with other participants. There are also unofficial parties that many DMEXCO participants attend after a whole day of networking and other professional activities. 

Update yourself with DMEXCO events here. The parties and other social events will be posted on the page as the event draws closer. 

Careful Planning Can Make a Big Difference When You Go to DMEXCO 2023

As Benjamin Franklin said: By Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Planning how to participate in DMEXCO 2023 will make a massive difference for you and your company. There are many individuals and companies to network with, many exhibits to check out, and hundreds of conferences worth attending. You can’t listen to all speakers or see all exhibits, but when you have a plan, you can arrange to only check out those that would be most important for your company. 

With just two days to navigate the event, planning your activities will help you maximize the experience by building relationships only with professionals you can have a business relationship with in the future. 

Discover the Attendees & Sponsors Who Will be at DMEXCO 2023


Stefan Deeran

Co-founder and COO of Vendelux, the leading AI platform for event marketers and conference organizers.

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