The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: A Product Manager at Dmexco

By Annick Ourdi, Senior Product Manager for BrandEngage


Most of the people you meet at dmexco are there to do business. They talk business and breathe business. VP Sales, Executive Sales Managers, Sales Directors from digital agencies, media companies, ad technology companies — name them, and they were there. 

So what on earth was a Product Owner like me doing there?

Well, being a Product Owner is not only about specifying new features, managing backlogs, prioritizing stories during sprint meetings, and building cool products. The role is also about understanding the market and customer needs, anticipating market trends, and analyzing competition. What better place to do that than dmexco?

To recap the event, let’s get started on a traditional “Good, Bad and Ugly” session, the exercise that Fyber’s (formerly SponsorPay) scrum team undertakes at the end of each sprint to evaluate our work. (The “Bad” and the “Ugly” aren’t bad or ugly, per se, but they are aspects of the conference to be aware of if you decide to go next year!)

The Good

  • Being in the mecca of ad industry alongside industry leaders. Dmexco is the biggest European event in the advertising space, and it shows.
  • Having all the top advertising players in the same spot. At dmexco, you can talk to execs from Facebook, Google, YouTube, Millennial Media, Havas Media, and beyond.
  • Easily accessing information about ad tech companies and their products. 
  • Observing what the competition is doing in terms of rich media ad formats, targeting solutions, exchange platforms, and real-time bidding.
  • Meeting key customers and prospects to talk about our products and gather their direct feedback.

The Bad 

  • There aren’t enough fellow Product folks at dmexco! It would be great to talk to more Product people about their visions and products.
  • Only 2 days for meetings, booth visits, and networking?! There’s so much to see in so little time!
  • Trade-offs can be hard. Do you talk directly to key connections or listen to amazing industry leaders during their keynote speeches?

The Ugly

  • The conference venue is huge. I wished I had a segway to help me move around!
  • Trying to access popular spaces (like the Google/YouTube area) is like queuing at Berghain (Berlin’s hottest club).

Overall, if a Product Owner working in the advertising space asked me if they should go to dmexco, my answer would definitely be yes. If you want to understand your market and talk to your customers, dmexco is the place to be.


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