Autumn comes early in Germany. By the second week of September there was a palpable sense of excitement in the air as the AAX team assembled in Cologne. It may have had something to do with the golden light or the newly crisp weather.
Or maybe it was the fact that, less than two years after founding, AAX was attending our first DMEXCO.
During DMEXCO 2019, the city of Cologne was electric. Its normally relaxed atmosphere was bustling, infused with the 41,000 visitors from over 95 countries all headed to the Kölnmesse. This charged environment helped inspire us to get up for an early commute—mainly by train, although VP of Sales Tim Cronin and Director of U.S. Sales Hart Gliedman preferred to ride in style via e-scooter—to the Messe. We arrived at our Hall 8 stand prepared for two packed days of inspiring discussions, interactions, and meetings of the mind.
Crafting a dynamic stand, explains AAX Head of Commercialization Rotem Dar, is one of the most dependable ways to ensure a dynamic DMEXCO experience. "You can't just exchange business cards," he says. "You need a good sized stand, in order to create an area with separate meeting rooms. This is what facilitates longer, more productive conversations."
Hart Gliedman agrees. For him, the meeting rooms served as a conduit to better communication. "It was great to talk to publishers and really have a solution for them. And their response was extraordinary. I've been in sales for a long time and it was wonderful to hear that there were very, very few objections."
He urges any new exhibitor at DMEXCO to aim to find the right hall and position for their stand, but not to get caught up in the extras. "Don't worry about providing food," he says. "There's more than enough around."
Otilia Otacan, AAX Head of Operations, chimes in: there might be enough food, but there's never enough coffee. She advises first-timers to "walk around and spot the professional coffee machines...because that's where the good coffee is!"
To help expo-weary visitors in their quest for caffeine, AAX provided XL travel mugs—specifically, these mugs are 15% larger than average. This number was chosen as a reflection of what AAX provides to publishers: an opportunity to frictionlessly, respectfully monetize 15% of their audience. This 15% constitutes a young, highly engaged demographic who’ve consented to seeing advertising deemed acceptable by the Acceptable Ads standard.
AAX is restoring the value exchange between publishers and ad blockers, explains AAX CEO Fredrick Leuschner. And he sees this mission reflected in the slogan of DMEXCO 2019, "Trust in you."
"Trust is invaluable," Leuschner states. "And restoring this value exchange works to restore an overall sense of trust."
The double meaning of "Trust In You" wasn't lost on the AAX team—and it served as an especially inspiring slogan to keep in mind for our first DMEXCO. "It was a reminder to believe in yourself and what you stand for," says Otlacan. "That was easy to do in the thoughtful environment of DMEXCO. "
VP of Sales Tim Cronin agrees. "I was deeply impressed with the quality of the conversations at DMEXCO," he says. "You could sense a palpable shift towards building a fairer web that rewards all three participants in the value exchange: publishers, advertisers, and users."