After two years off due to the pandemic, OMR Festival 2022 was back as a physical event on May 17 And 18, 2022. And I was overwhelmed! Find out if and why you should attend in 2023, and our tips for attending the event.

Just wow! Together with my colleague Karolina Korzekwa we attended the OMR Festival and it blew our minds. There was a varied program of lectures with insightful masterclasses, interesting exhibitors previously unknown to me, and stars from Hollywood and the German music scene.

We from P8 Marketing plan to be at OMR23 as well, will you? If yes, then get in touch with us to meet us at the event.

Who Should Attend the OMR Festival?

The abbreviation is for "Online Marketing Rockstars," but "OMR" has since become a term in its own right. The event is also expanding thematically, it's no longer just about online marketing, but increasingly about various aspects of digital transformation. Now, besides marketing and sales professionals, the event is interesting for anyone who has to deal with digitalization in one form or another in their job- from business managers to developers who work closely with marketing.

But now for my tips. One thing upfront: these tips are based on our experiences at OMR22. We won't know what changes will be made by OMR23 that could make our tips obsolete until the event gets closer.

Tip 1: How Should I Plan My Day?

The OMR22 program boasted many presentations and panel discussions on various topics, not just from the online marketing world. Also embedded in the festival was the Finance Forward conference on digital finance solutions, the 50/50 conference on diversity and equality in the workplace, and the Future Moves conference on mobility solutions of the future. In some cases, however, additional tickets were required for these conferences. In addition, there were food shows and concerts (no ticket upgrades required).

The program was not fully shown on the OMR website until shortly before the event started. So we'd recommend checking the program several times in the weeks leading up to the event to keep your schedule updated.

Also, don't rely solely on the app to plan your day and session selection: it was unfortunately slow and kept freezing. Hopefully this gets sorted out before the next OMR festivals.

Very important: Include only a few must-have sessions in your daily schedule and leave plenty of time buffer between sessions - you will need some extra time for standing in queues and getting from A to B on the huge exhibition grounds. Other than that, let yourself be carried away.

My Highlights of the OMR Festival

The masterclasses were the true highlights for me: there was lots to learn here that could be immediately applied to my job.

Another unexpected highlight for me was the Expo Hall- it was filled with SaaS vendors that I had never heard of before that presented solutions suitable for the German market. I was able to get a lot of inspiration to make the content marketing here at P8 Marketing more efficient and effective.

The third highlight for us was getting to meet almost all of our partners on-site and having extensive conversations with them.

Tip: if you have partnerships with technology providers, ask them well ahead if/how they will participate in OMR and make an appointment to catch up with them.

Tip 2: How Do I Avoid the Activation Queues?

This year (2022), the organizers offered the opportunity to activate your Festival Pass on site several weeks in advance and receive the event pass and wristband with a payment chip. We advise that you this if you are in the Hamburg area and this is also offered in 2023. If you are traveling to Hamburg just for the event, we'd advise arriving by noon one day before the event, and going to one of the activation points. Avoid the activation points in Mönckebergstraße or directly at the exhibition halls, as there are already massively long queues the evening before. We were lucky and found a short queue at the Ratsherrn Store.

If personalized festival wristbands are distributed again at OMR23: Immediately upon receiving your festival wristband, check to see if your hand fits through. However, don't tighten the band yet if you want to take it off before the event starts. My colleague lost almost an hour at the support booth because the organizers weren't prepared for such mistakes.

If you take all this into account, you should get to the fairgrounds on the first day of the festival almost without delay.

Tip 3: Which Pass Should I Buy?

Update December 2021: OMR has decided to simplify ticketing. At OMR23 there will be no Expo Pass. Instead, there will be only the Festival Pass with access to all areas except the Finance Forward conference, and the Finance Forward Conference ticket that also gives you access to the latter. For the organizers, this simplifies attendee management, and for attendees it means same rights and opportunities for all.

Check out the masterclasses and the conference program exclusive to Festival Pass attendees to decide if the cheaper Expo Pass is enough for you or if you should go for the more expensive Festival Pass.

In the masterclasses on Composable Commerce that we attended, there was still enough space for Expo Pass holders, and in some cases even with last-minute registration on-site at the entrance. Other masterclasses - for example on data protection and social media - were so popular that it would have been difficult for Expo Pass holders to get a place.

The Conference for Festival Pass holders was more of a disappointment for me, as we got hardly any insights applicable to our jobs. Sure, it's great to see Quentin Tarantino Live on Stage. But t3n's PR 101 masterclass, which almost overlapped in time with this, was more insightful for my job.

When in doubt, it pays to ignore the stars with no relation to the DACH market and go to the experts with that local connection.

Checklist: When Might a Festival Pass Be Worthwhile?

  • You want to go to the popular masterclasses with a strong B2C relevancy.

  • You're dying to see the stars live at the Conference and Concerts.

  • You don't want to wait until the organizers release the video recordings of the Conference on Youtube.

  • For the exhibitors and masterclass speakers, you are a potential customer.

If none of the above applies, get the Expo Pass next year (or whatever the cheaper ticket is called).

Tip 4: Look Out for Ticket Promos

In 2022, the organizers of the OMR Festival offered Expo Pass holders a free upgrade to the ten times more expensive Festival Pass - while supplies lasted. To do so, you had to post ten authentic and in-depth reviews of software on OMR Reviews within the promotional period. You must use or have used this software professionally.

For OMR23, the organizers already had a ticket promotion for the Black Week. But the contingent was used up in no time. However, the OMR staff does not rule out further promotions. At least for the ticket to the Finance Forward conference, a discount campaign is still running (as of 6. December 2022). So keep your eyes open and check OMR's channels regularly to make sure you don't miss such opportunities.

Tip 5: How Do I Satisfy My Hunger Quickly?

The queues at the food trucks and food stalls were huge. Other participants reported waiting times of up to an hour. My colleague Karolina and I were lucky and found two stands with acceptable lunches and prices without a queue in the hustle and bustle at lunchtime in the Food & Networking Hall .
It pays to quickly compare the different booths and, with a little luck, eat a sufficiently filling meal faster than many other attendees. Maybe the organizers will come up with an innovative solution for the next OMR Festival that will reduce the queues. However, it's smart to put a few granola bars in your pocket.

If you want to avoid the high prices at the fair: There are many restaurants just across the street from the South Entrance to the fair. However, some of these restaurants only accepted cash and were probably for this reason, not so busy. Take some cash with you so you can avoid crowded restaurants and get to eat faster. Of course, we hope that by the next OMR Festival, more stores will have moved along in their digital transformations and offer digital payment options.

Tip 6: Where to Sleep?

This tip should be a no-brainer. With 70,000 attendees and the hype surrounding OMR Festival, you should book your accommodation as early as possible, preferably a month or two in advance. If you want to stay within walking distance of the fairgrounds or the afterparty hotspots in the Schanzenviertel and St.Pauli, then book even earlier. Otherwise, make sure that you can easily reach the OMR Festival by public transport. 

The fairgrounds are very easy to reach by various subway and S-Bahn lines until late at night, while cabs are not always immediately available. As a native of Hamburg, I recommend booking accommodation with ample breakfast, located on one of the train lines with at least 10-minute intervals and the minimum travel time you can tolerate. Rather than using Google Maps, check the route, travel time, and headways on the website or app of the Hamburg Transport Association (hvv.de).

Tip 7: Help Shape the Next OMR Festival

After the event is before the event. The organizers collect feedback from participants through various channels. Various visitors shared their impressions on LinkedIn during the festival, including what they liked and what they missed. For example, several visitors noted that there should be a dedicated B2B section at the next festival, as the festival program this year was almost all about B2C content. I brought up my idea of a forum where marketing and IT professionals can interact to understand each other better. This way, a company can tap more of the huge potential that MarTech offers.

After the event, if there are things you'd like to see done differently, you should get in touch, OMR is listening.

In Conclusion...

Even though I could not do everything I had planned to do at the OMR Festival 2022, it was worth the time and money. I got a lot of inspiration and ideas for my job as a marketer, and for our company as an implementation agency. For this reason, I will probably go again in 2023. Will I see you there?

Content
  1. Who Should Attend the OMR Festival?
  2. Tip 1: How Should I Plan My Day?
  3. Tip 2: How Do I Avoid the Activation Queues?
  4. Tip 3: Which Pass Should I Buy?
  5. Tip 4: Look Out for Ticket Promos
  6. Tip 5: How Do I Satisfy My Hunger Quickly?
  7. Tip 6: Where to Sleep?
  8. Tip 7: Help Shape the Next OMR Festival
  9. In Conclusion...