Florian Schültke and Daniel Könnecke on DMEXCO 2019

Deloitte Digital partners Florian Schültke and Daniel Könnecke talk about their expectations for DMXCO 2019 and give an outlook on the topics Deloitte Digital will present at this year's fair in Cologne.

What is special to you about DMEXCO, compared to similar trade fairs?

FS: You can definitely say that DMEXCO is one of the leading digital trade fairs. All big agencies, all important consultancies, large and small tech companies as well as a lot of international customers – they are all here. Our global colleagues will also join - at least ten from the USA alone. DMEXCO is still the most international digital trade fair we have in Europe.


What are your expectations for Cologne, and what are your most important goals?

DK: On one hand, I expect to be inspired, to discover what new trends are popping up on the market and also to evaluate our own standing. On the other hand, to meet an incredible number of people - and that doesn’t only mean colleagues, but also people with whom we want to work in the future - customers and talents. In the end, the main goal is and remains human connection - in spite of digitalization and technology, the most important thing, true to our motto "Elevating the Human Experience", is to be in contact with people and to cultivate and grow existing contacts.

FS: In recent years, we walked away from DMEXCO with a significant number of new business initiatives. This means that we invited potential customers to our stand, and held the first goal-oriented discussions there. So it is definitely worthwhile for us to go to Cologne.

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Do you have a motto, a mission statement or a tagline for your appearance at DMEXCO?

FS: We will be introducing our new global slogan, "Elevating the Human Experience" for the first time on a big scale. We are not only interested in "customer experiences", but also in those of our employees, stakeholders, and so on.

DK: We are also talking about "Business Creativity". It's about how we combine industry know-how from consulting with our technological expertise and creative methods and ways of thinking. Our goal is to make companies successful, future-proof and to rethink business models in a new and digital way.


What are your most important trade fair topics and messages, and what activities are you planning for them in Cologne?

FS: Of course we want to promote our portfolio. Deloitte Digital itself has already achieved significant visibility in the market, but we now have new products, for example NeuroBranding, a neuroscientific brand management approach that allows us to measure and optimize all touchpoints of a brand. We also work with partners like Google, Facebook, Adobe and Salesforce to develop new approaches to better support our customers. These are exactly the topics we will be discussing in bar talks, panels and keynotes.


Deloitte Digital is positioned at DMEXCO as a Creative Digital Consultancy - what makes you different from other consultancies in this area?

DK: Deloitte presents itself as a company that lives and offers Business Creativity. We holistically rethink brands, products, services, business models, marketing, everything that can sustainably improve the business of the future. We combine and scale different skills and team players as flexibly as needed. Everything from a single source.


What exactly does the new theme 'Elevating the Human Experience' mean in connection with Business Creativity and Deloitte Digital as a Creative Digital Consultancy?

DK: The point of our theme is getting to the heart of our approach: it's about all the different experiences a company can offer, and making these experiences more relevant for people.

FS: Everyone talks about customer experience. That's not wrong, but to be truly customer-centric, you also have to consider the employee experience. How do we achieve this? Through "Business Creativity".


What are you looking forward to most at DMEXCO - apart from the parties?

FS: Well obviously to the parties, then to the parties, and to the... No, it's quite simple: the most interesting thing for us is that this is an industry get-together. An international one. Being inspired by tech companies and market companions. Using the event to promote our own themes like Heat AI, a predictive marketing tool developed by our US colleagues. To sum it up, we are most looking forward to the idea exchange, the inspiration - and the parties!


What other formats and events do you use to address and win customers?

DK: We take part in lots of events, as speakers, in panel discussions, or as guest contributors and lecturers at universities. We are partners of major events. We also organise great recruitment events. So it's never only about our customers, but also about talent and our own employees.


Trade fairs like these are extremely costly for companies. How do you define a successful event for yourself and your company?

FS: That’s a good question! At the end of the day it's all about new contacts, concrete business opportunities and the marketing of our main topics. The easiest way to measure success is by the follow-up appointments that result from the trade fair. Our goals are set beforehand, and results are closely monitored afterwards, simply because the investment for such a trade fair are significant. So far, the effort has always paid off for us.


Looking to the future - will there still be trade fairs like this in ten or twenty years' time, or do you see alternatives?

FS: Look at what it was like 20 years ago: there was CEBIT, it had an international format, and it doesn't exist anymore. But now, for example, we have the OMR. That's why I think there will always be big events like this - but what they’ll be called, we don’t know yet. I think these events have to reinvent themselves over and over again and constantly work on renewing their concepts. As long as that happens, I believe that in ten or twenty years we will still have events like this – but they will probably look completely different.

DK: I totally agree! I really believe that, and I think that there will always be events where people meet. The question is, how big will fairs like this still be? And how thematically extensive? For example, I find a 'Digital Kindergarden' worth mentioning, which is much smaller, but not less interesting, due to its thematic focus. I also can't imagine that in ten or twenty years as many people will be flying around the world to take part in trade fairs. So I think they might become smaller, more focused and more local.


Do you think there will ever be purely digital fairs? Technology would already allow that today.

FS: For me, there are two answers: I wish that we would still meet people, even in ten or twenty years, because I still have the firm belief that direct human contact is incredibly valuable. But I also believe that contrary to this, issues such as sustainability, ecological and economic aspects are completely justified. It is also a question of technology and how we can use AI, holography and virtual spaces to make such events more tangible – and then, I imagine that there could be very specific trade fairs that take a purely digital form.

More about Daniel Könnecke