When: September 14 & 15 2016

Where: Cologne, Germany

Europe’s largest digital marketing conference, dmexco, returns this September with the world’s leading marketing tech companies descending on Cologne for a jam-packed few days.

AdRoll will be rollin’ in too, and as dmexco veterans, we’ve put together our ultimate survival guide!

Before you get there

Get prepared

What you get from dmexco is what you put into it. The more prepared you are and the earlier you start, the better your experience will be.

Where to Connect 

Before the event, getting up to speed through social channels is one of the best ways to connect.


Many people in Germany use XING rather than LinkedIn, so if you are looking to connect with people in the European market, make sure you sign up and have a current profile before you go.


A few weeks before dmexco, LinkedIn will be swarming with dmexco posts. Be sure to drop in and see what people are discussing. There is an active dmexco group, boasting over 3,000 participants. Introducing yourself and providing your contact information  will allow you to be part of the community and the conversation pre-event..


Get connected by following the @dmexco handle and using the #dmexco hashtag. Looking through the feed a few weeks before, you will see who is talking and what they are talking about. It’s a great way to keep up with what people are excited about this year and what trends will be discussed.

Set up appointments before you go

Setting up appointments before you go to dmexco is highly advisable if you want to make the most of the short time you’ll have there. If you want to meet with a particular company, make sure to secure a time as these meetings book up early. AdRoll still has a few slots left. You can fill in your details here and we will be in touch to set up a time.

What to Bring 

Be practical and remember to bring attire that is suitable for the event. The venue is one of the largest in Europe and the expo is spread across 60,000 square metres! If you have a packed schedule, it is likely you will have meetings throughout the venue, so make sure your shoes are comfortable and be prepared to walk.

Weather in Cologne in mid-September is generally mild, so a light jacket should be enough. Also,remember to bring a small umbrella with you. You don’t want to be caught outside waiting on a cab or train and get stuck in a shower!

Remember that people go to dmexco to network not just during the day. The conference is renowned for the nightlife that accompanies it. Make sure you pack outfits that allow you to transition from day to night easily.


Like any large event where thousands are in attendance, Wi-Fi connections can be a bit hit or miss. Before you leave, make sure you have signed up for 4G roaming or a global plan with your carrier. Plans and networks are usually reasonable within European countries. If you want to guarantee internet connection, you could purchase a portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

Make sure you keep an eye on your settings. Turning on airplane mode when you go into meetings or for briefs spells when you are not using your phone can save battery life and power.

When you get there



When 50,000 people arrive in a city, there is, invariably, some strain on the local transport system.  Give yourself some leeway  to get to where you are going and accept that you might be a bit late sometimes!

This year, the organisers of dmexco have included a public transport pass along with the event ticket. Cologne has very good public transport service, including an underground rail (KVB). You can take  the rail to the Köln Messe/Deutz railroad station, where shuttle buses will be waiting to bring dmexco visitors directly to Entrance Hall 6.

What taxi app to use?

If you are used to uber and Hailo, think again. The most widely used taxi app in Cologne is mytaxi. Keep an eye  out for promo codes when you land and keep them handy so you can get around easily and economically.

What to bring to the conference

Make sure you have all your technology essentials. That includes your phone and laptop. These should be fully charged and you should have power banks as backup.

It’s a long few days, so take care of yourself. Bring energy bars and vitamin C to keep your bandwith strong, painkillers in case you had too much fun the night before. Have a packet of chewing gum on hand, to combat the effects of continually talking. Keep a fresh bottle of water with you and hydrate throughout the day.

Don’t forget to bring lots and lots of business cards. In this era of the ephemeral, there is something to be said for having a tangible reminder of the meetings you had. To avoid having random crumpled cards swimming around the bottom of your bag bring along something to hold them in.

And don’t forget a notebook and pen. It’s hard to think those necessary in this era of technology, but jotting down that person’s name and contact info  ,when your phone has died, or that insightful quote you hear at a speaking session will be invaluable.

Where to party

Online Marketing Rockstar Aftershow

While dmexco is a hotbed of ideas, business, and networking, it’s also a pretty big party. It’s an opportunity to let your hair down with those working in your industry, and who knows, you could make connections that will last a lifetime.

During the week, there will be plenty of evening events to enjoy, with the main event happening on Wednesday. Even before you leave the venue on Wednesday, many of the booths will be breaking out into spontaneous parties starting at around 17:00, with  drinks, food, and music. Beyond the venue, the city is brimming with lots of official and unofficial dmexco after-parties. Here are the top three we would recommend:

The official dmexco party

Price: 119 €
Date and Time: 14 September 2016, 20:30 to late
Venue: Wolkenburg

The official dmexco after-party takes place in the beautiful surroundings of a former monastery with outdoor bars in lovely courtyards. This old school building is brought into the 21st century with a dance floor and DJ.

The unofficial after-party

Price:Free if you are on the guest list
Date and Time: 14 September 2016,20:30 to late
Venue: Die Halle Tor 2

Cologne’s ice hockey stadium becomes a digital marketing Ibiza at the unofficial dmexco after-party. Four thousand guests descend on the venue for dancing, drinking, and bumper cars.

Rockstars Aftershow

Price: 99  €
Date and Time: 14 September 2016, 9pm to late
Venue: Bootshaus.Köln

Online Marketing Rockstars Aftershow is the hottest ticket in town, usually selling out weeks before the conference. Located in a boathouse on the Rhine with an impressive lineup of Germany’s top DJ acts, it is a must do. AdRoll likes it so much, we are a sponsor this year, giving away 50 tickets to those who set up appointments with us. We have a few appointments left at dmexco, so make sure to book in quick!

Where to Eat 

Bei Oma Kleinmann
A truly epic place, Bei Oma Kleinmann is a family-owned restaurant with a crazy atmosphere and an eye for small scale events, from carnivals to high school meetings. But the greatest thing about this place isn’t just the name and the events calendar, because the menu actually feels like a journey to grandma’s house. Traditional Viennese schnitzels come in gigantic proportions and oodles of other classic, hearty staples abound.

Price: Budget
Opening hours: Mon to Sat 11am – 11.30pm, Sun 11am – 10.30pm
Address & telephone: Bei Oma Kleinmann, Zülpicher Str. 9, Köln, Germany, +49 0221 232346

Die Fette Kuh
Bursting with burgers, hot dogs and more burgers, Fette Kuh, which is the literary translation of “fat cow”, is like the king of the grill in Cologne. The 200-gram juicy meat classic is roasted until it reaches that perfect rose color, and the natural vegetarian counterpart makes this place even more awesome. One special option here is the Philly steak burger, a massive, heavenly steak covered with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and Cheddar cheese.

Price: Budget
Opening hours: Mon to Sat 11am – 11.30pm, Sun 11am – 10.30pm
Address & telephone: Die Fette Kuh, Bonner Str. 43, Köln, Germany, +49 0221 37627775


For client and team dinners nothing beats Daitokai. This Japanese restaurant is autentic with a slight european twist and is brimming with atmosphere as the chefs cook your selection of food in front of you.  

Opening hours:Closed Mon, Tues to Thurs 6-10pm, Fri to Sun 12pm-2pm // 6pm-10pm
Address & telephone: Kattenbug 2, 50667 Köln,  +49(0)221.120048


When you get back to the office

After all the partying is over, the booths taken down, and the copious amount of swag either binned or saved, comes the most important step….follow-up!

All those important conversations, random meetings, and networking opportunities start to become just a memory if they are not acted on promptly. When you get back to the office on Monday, connect on XING, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email, and follow up. Set a call to action and make sure you get value from the two days.


Want to Catch Up With AdRoll at dmexco?

Heres how you can connect with us

Swing by the AdRoll booth: Hall 6 E019-F018. We’ll be serving fresh espressos and providing one-to-one marketing strategy consultations. Sign up for an appointment here.

Our CMO and co-founder Adam Berke will be demystifying attribution in a multi-device world on the first day of dmexco. Visit Seminar 3 at 14.00 for the full presentation

If you want to party with AdRoll, we will be sponsoring the Online Marketing Rockstars Aftershow. We have a limited supply of tickets, so sign up for an appointment during dmexco and you might win a coveted ticket!

Come visit us at dmexco

About AdRoll: We’re a full-funnel performance marketing platform working with over 25,000 clients worldwide. Every day, we crunch 20 times more data than the New York Stock Exchange and help our clients Attract | Convert | Grow their customer base.