Global brands and leading digital marketing experts rock out in Hamburg

“Wow! I think Philipp and the team are setting a new bar for what it means to have an industry conference.” Patrick Harris, Vice President Global Agency Development at Facebook and one of the speakers at OMR Festival, explains how the annual digital marketing event sets the standard for innovative and disruptive experiences.

Part networking, part conference and part rock concert, OMR (Online Marketing Rockstars) is one of the world’s largest events for the digital marketing and tech sectors. It has taken place in Hamburg every year since it was launched in 2011 by founders Philipp Westermeyer, Tobias Schlottke, Christian Müller and Christian Byza.

The 2019 edition was held on May 7 & 8, attracting over 50,000 marketing and digital professionals, 400+ exhibitors and 600+ speakers to Germany’s second largest city.

Expanded edition welcomes world-leading exhibitors
OMR, a compelling combination of inspiring speakers and live music, attracted a few hundred delegates in its inaugural year and has since grown rapidly. 52,000 participants from around the world attended this year’s event – 12,000 more than in 2018 – gathering across the 7 halls of Hamburg Messe to present and discuss the latest products, trends and developments. Google, Facebook, Instagram, Unilever, Adobe, YouTube, Snapchat, IBM, Salesforce and Oracle were among the 400 exhibitors.

Philipp Westermeyer, CEO of OMR, says: “Ultimately, we alone will never be able to expand an international event. You need many partners and to have the city behind you. Hamburg is one of the world’s most attractive cities.”

Google to Goulding: A-list speakers
The extensive learning programme had also expanded, featuring more stages than ever before: in-depth analysis of relevant digital marketing trends took place on the Expo Stages alongside Masterclasses, Guided Tours of the show floor and fringe events across the city.

The Conference Stage hosted the biggest names, combining a roll call of global marketing innovators with a touch of rock and roll. The industry A-listers, CEOs, movers and shakers from the world’s biggest companies included: Andy Puddicombe, Founder of Headspace; Kevin Allocca, Global Head of Culture & Trends at YouTube; singer Ellie Goulding, Philipp Justus, Google Vice President Central Europe; Bozoma Saint John, CMO Endeavor; Matt Lieber, Co-Founder Gimlet Media; Yuval Noah Harari, historian and bestselling author; Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute.

Speaker and historian Yuval Noah Harari said: “It’s a very lively and exciting place to be – this is where the world of tomorrow is being shaped.”

Visitors could take part in more than 150 interactive masterclasses covering all aspects of digital marketing – social media, search, content and influencer marketing, e-commerce, sports, podcasts and brand building – as well as enjoying live music from the likes of Marteria, Scooter, Casper, Dendemann and Trettmann.

Upcoming talent was recognised by the Future Hamburg Awards – new international start-up awards launched this year by Hamburg Invest’s Start-up Unit and Hamburg Marketing. Lisbon-based Heptasense Lda won in recognition of its new software for surveillance cameras that can detect suspicious and criminal behaviour and alert security teams. Hamburg-based LignoPure took second place, offering natural, biodegradable lignin-based alternatives to oil-based industrial products such as plastic micro beads for the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.

Hamburg’s creative credentials
OMR has been supported by Hamburg’s cluster of creative companies since its launch in the maritime city 8 years ago. Google and Facebook both have headquarters in Hamburg as do Germany’s biggest media companies. Renowned publishing houses, advertising agencies, film and television businesses, music and digital industries all located in the city help to cement Hamburg’s international reputation as a hotbed for media and creative talent. Hamburg is Germany’s third largest creative hub, and its creative industries benefit hugely from participating in OMR and engaging with the change-makers the event attracts into the city.

Nele Aumann, head of the Hamburg Convention Bureau’s (HCB) Conventions unit, explains: “The OMR Festival attracts young and creative talent from all over the world and brings them together in our city. So for Hamburg as a meetings destination, the OMR is a really powerful event, as the conference pays off directly to the creative industries cluster, where many experts exchange ideas, make contacts and initiate projects. It´s amazing to see how rapidly OMR has grown in the last years and we’re lucky to have such a forward-thinking congress and exhibition in our city.”

OMR is one of a series of creative events held in Hamburg. Since its debut in 2006, the Reeperbahn Festival has grown to become Europe’s largest club festival and one of the most important meeting places for the music industry worldwide. Held in September each year, it boasts a broad spectrum of emerging and established artists. In addition to some 600 concerts by international artists held in a wide variety of venues, the festival programme includes events in the fields of fine art, film, literature, and education.

Alexander Schulz, Managing director of the Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg, explains: “The Reeperbahn Festival –like the OMR- brings together music and creative minds every year in Hamburg. These types of events are important drivers of good ideas and leave room for thinking outside the box as well as enabling networking in a relaxed atmosphere. This is where the impact and the dynamics of this particular sector can be experienced at first hand.”

OMR returns to Hamburg 12-13 May 2020.

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The Hamburg Convention Bureau (HCB): A direct subsidiary of Hamburg Marketing GmbH, the mission of Hamburg Convention Bureau GmbH (HCB) is to deliver locational expertise in combination with major know-how in the area of B2B events such as conventions and conferences including large events in public spaces. The Bureau is in charge of global marketing for Hamburg as a congress and convention site, and tasked in parallel with heightening the Hanseatic city’s international profile by hosting public events with powerful visual impact.

For further information contact:

Emma Blake

Hamburg Convention Bureau UK
T: +44 207 736 4022

Michel Molenda

Michel Molenda

Head of Corporate Communications
T +49 (0)40 / 30051-653
M: +49 (0)173 / 900 65 86


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