Big industry players like Facebook, Microsoft and Spotify descended onto the German city of Cologne to set up camp – well, glamping – for two days on 11th and 12th September.

Whilst on first glimpse the event appears to be a rite of passage to those looking to invest in adtech – it’s the biggest calendar event of the year in the sector attracting over 1,000 exhibitors and over 40,000 delegates to digest 400 talks – it is a vast opportunity to meet and hear from the best and brightest in the business on the global stage.

At this year’s event, I was blown away by the energy, size and scale of it. More importantly, there were two topics in particular that the attendees were talking about.

Trust. Not just around consumer data but also employee trust and empowering teams to give their best work wherever they are – something that Hotwire values greatly with its Thoughtful Working initiative, to encourage staff to declare when and where they'll be most productive. 

Dave King, CMO at Asana commented, “With ‘Trust in You’ as the motto for DMEXCO 2019, a prominent discussion on the ground was the 'interconnectedness' of brand trust and storytelling. Storytelling is central to building an emotional connection and trust. We may be in the era of data, but a fact sheet isn’t going to convince people to trust in a brand. As marketers, we need to create compelling stories that resonate with our customers.”

Cookies was another hot topic fresh out the oven. The recent decline as consumers become more aware of tracking, shaping the role of privacy in a post-GDPR world, is a major issue for brands who rely on techniques for online advertising. 

David Clark, regional vice president, EMEA, Nielsen Marketing Effectiveness commented, “The marketing industry is facing the challenges of a breaking measurement system. Consumers prefer ads that are tailored to their interests, their use of services, and their viewing and shopping habits, yet the use of cookies is sinking into decline. It’s not an option to stand by and watch as cookies gradually disappear – taking access to valuable user interaction data with them.”

But where there’s a problem, a solution is not far behind as many vendors who gathered at DMEXCO talked about how they’re developing ways around this.

A side bar, DMEXCO’s mobile app was a really useful tool in helping navigate the five function halls, the speaker schedule, where vendors were located, as well as an innovative feature to scan and store fellow delegate’s contacts to better connect with them.

Overall, attendees were keen to discuss how their business was pushing boundaries and helping tackle the main issues our industry is facing. And as our industry hits an interesting crossroads, it really shows the scale of where we are that everyone is at this adtech celebration.