As he looks ahead to his panel discussion at DMEXCO 2016 in Cologne, OMD Worldwide’s Mainardo de Nardis is interested less in advertising/media technology than he is in powerful consumer insights.

The CEO of Omnicom’s global media communications agency will take to the stage with IBM’s Robert Schwartz and Rishad Tobaccowala from Publicis Groupe to discuss how to build the most rewarding customer experiences.

“I would really like to focus much more on the insights that we have in customers and less on the technology side,” de Nardis says in an interview with Beet.TV. “It’s not all about technology and data.”

He recalls the origins of DMEXCO, how it’s changed and what it offers brand marketers and their agencies. “I remember it when it was a German tech fair, as I described it. Then it became European. Now it has become global,” de Nardis says. “I always find it very motivating, very enriching.”

At this year’s event, his plans include “meeting interesting people, listening to different points of view, perhaps learning a little bit more about certain specific technologies that I’m not totally familiar with,” says deNardis. “We will have many clients there, which is always a good challenge to ourselves.”

Asked for his thoughts on emerging technology like virtual reality and its implications for brand marketers, de Nardis cites the work of an OMD agency (Zero Code) in creating a YouTube 360 video for Gatorade. As Advertising Age reports, the campaign featuring Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper enabled fans to experience what it’s like to face a Major League fastball.

“I think we’ve built some leadership in that area,” he says. “There is more to be done and I think as an industry we see the direction, but we’re not yet applying everything we can do. There is a long way ahead of us.”

This video is part of “The Road to DMEXCO ’16,” a lead-up series with key influencers on the topics and trends to be addressed at DMEXCO. This series is presented by YuMe. Please visit this page for additional segments.