If you've heard a lot about Dmexco—and you've probably heard more every year—but haven't been yet yourself, we've got your cheat sheet right here.
Dmexco. What does that stand for? Digital Marketing Expo and Conference. It's a two-day event that takes place Sept. 13 and 14 at Kolenmesse, a giant exhibition site just outside Cologne in Germany. (No, it's not in Mexico).
How long has that been going on? Nine years.
Is it Cannes for techies? Not exactly, although Dmexco is becoming more and more international. But you're clearly in Germany. Some sessions are in German, and Germans make up 50% of exhibitors, up from 29% in 2014, and beer isstill the preferred tipple for delegates.
What, no rosé? Instead of the overpriced wine and world-class restaurants you get at the Cannes Lions festival, Dmexco is all about the free beer and bratwurst. At 5 p.m., the music is turned up and the drink begins to flow, often distributed by young women in heavily-branded Lycra suits. That's when the real conversations happen, away from all the devices.
Where's the glamour? Erm … German airline Lufthansa is wooing U.S. delegates with the "Flying Lab," a mile-high ad-tech panel that takes place on a flight from JFK airport to Cologne. And Stewart Copeland, the drummer in 1980s new wave band The Police, is a speaker.
A cut-price Cannes? Kind of. Dmexco delegates only have to cough up €99 ($120) for two days; a basic-level pass at Cannes costs €3,115 ($3,743) for eight days. And don't bring your yacht to Dmexco. There's no €25,000 ($30,000) Yacht Pass to moor next to the Palais like at Cannes. But you can still spend a lot at Dmexco. It's €50,000 ($60,000) to rent a modest booth, and hotel rooms that cost €45 ($54) a night in August soar to €450 ($540) during the conference. That's pricier than staying on the Croisette, where rooms at the Majestic and Carlton hotels start at €300 ($360), with a minimum five-night stay during the Cannes Lions.