26 Oct 2017

Hamburg Provides Magnetic Stage for the 2017 OMR Festival


The full name of the event kind of says it all -- Online Marketing Rock Stars Festival Hamburg -- or OMR as it’s known by people in the digital marketing “know”, is just cool.

What wouldn’t be “wow” about a meeting that gathers some of the most creative, wired global minds to jam on ideas about what’s hot and what’s not in online and social media marketing?  Oh yeah and then there’s the fact that it’s a festival. Now add in the media-company-rich and hip host city of Hamburg and involvement from local business forces like nextMedia.Hamburg-- an organization that helps start-ups and innovators in the digital and media space -- and you’ve got a winner!

Part networking, part rock concert, part conference, side events, master classes & expo, and part “holy Aftershow Party,” OMR has been held in Hamburg for six years. Over those years it has featured a mash up of headliners the likes of legendary skater Tony Hawk, Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti, Pinterest founder Evan Sharp, and Wired founder John Battelle.

In March 2017, 27, 000 attendees gathered at the Hamburg Messe for OMR to groove with self-made internet mogul Gary Vaynerchuk, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth a famed Facebook developer, and Bruce Dickinson of heavy metal band Iron Maiden … all “backed-up” by the largest video wall in Europe. You could even belly up to a real tattoo artist’s booth and get a lasting momento from the event.

To get a first-hand feel for the buzz of OMR we caught up with OMR organizer and business development manager Ove Niemann and nextMedia.Hamburg’s Veronika Reichboth, project manager and executive interim manager.  Here’s what they had to say:


 Q. How is OMR different than other conferences?

OVE OMR A. OMR is a festival. It mixes marketing stars with musicians, and know-how with networking. At OMR you can meet digital leaders that have never spoken in Germany before, and acts that sell out arenas. OMR is still, however, a “family” event -- it’s from marketing people for marketing people.

Q. In what ways are Hamburg and OMR made for each other?

Ove, OMR A. Hamburg is a marketing and media city. Most of the leading companies are here. Agencies, advertisers, and platform leaders such as Google and Facebook. The exhibition halls are right in the middle of the city directly next to bars and restaurants. The whole festival integrates perfectly into the city with up to 100 side events happening all around Hamburg. Many people from different corners of Hamburg actively support OMR …  from companies and artists, to city organizations.

Q. Why is Hamburg known as such a media city?

Veronika, nextMedia.Hamburg A.  Hamburg has a really rich media and digital industry city –  the strongest in Germany actually. Besides long-established publishing houses such as Gruner+Jahr, Axel Springer, Spiegel, Die Zeit and dpa, Hamburg is also a major hub in the digital media space. In addition to Google and Facebook, Twitter and Yelp are also some of the global enterprises that call Hamburg home. Many highly successful startups such as Xing, Jimdo, myTaxi, and Stuffle also live in Hamburg. We even have the nickname of Gamecity due to our hot gaming company scene.


Q. What is the vibe at OMR?

Ove, OMR  A.We can’t exactly explain the vibe. It’s probably not like anything else you have ever experienced at an exhibition or conference before. Come and find out!

Q. Can you provide a few examples of how OMR has broken away from more traditional meeting formats, settings or content?

Ove, OMR A. When you come to Hamburg by plane you can check into OMR at the airport. When you walk into the halls in the morning you are greeted by a Sea Shanty choir. Instead of a coffee break, we have music breaks with the most successful German rap artists. Many of our guests are driven home or to their hotels in the latest Audi models. In between all this, you listen to global icons that you have never met before. We also discover up and comers that you’ll hear from in the future.

Q. What’s next for OMR?

Ove, OMR A. We do new things with the OMR brand every day. We bet big on podcasting. We’re working to establish a digital directory for all the companies involved in the digital marketing industry. We started OMR moving images and publish on You Tube every other week.

Q. We heard you could get a tattoo at this year’s festival did you get one? 

Veronika, nextMedia.Hamburg A. No I didn’t get a tattoo but I think OMR is truly fantastic and very exciting … and the after party was amazing!


For more information on planning your own memorable meeting in Hamburg contact florian.gerdes@hamburg-convention.com or nina.alswede@hamburg-convention.com.

Watch this video for a recap of OMR 2017