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CO-BRANDS: Cooperation Speed-dating for Brands and Media

The CO-BRANDS event in Hamburg has been taking place since 2009 with the motto “Flirt like a Pro – with the Pros”. So what is this networking event about exactly?

At the eighth CO-BRANDS event on April 28, 2016, over 68 marketing decision makers from 64 companies met for cooperation speed-dating. With over 370 cooperation conversations, CO-BRANDS 2016 was the largest European event for brand cooperation.

The leading event for cooperation marketing offers companies in the consumer goods industry, media, banking, insurance, entertainment/sport, tourism and retail, a platform to discuss cooperation initiatives for the current fiscal year. In 25-minute, pre-planned cooperation conversations, participants have the opportunity to get to know potential business partners. 

As part of the CO-BRANDS event, the CO-BRANDS AWARD are presented, which went this year to the cooperation between Commerzbank and school backpack brand, Scout.

We spoke to event organizer Nils Pickenpack from the cooperation marketing agency Connecting Brands from Hamburg about the interesting and innovative concept of CO-BRANDS. 

Nils, what makes the CO-BRANDS concept so unique?

Nils Pickenpack: “The idea of CO-BRANDS is to offer companies a platform where they can quickly and efficiently find suitable cooperation partners. The big challenge is always that the right contacts are missing when I want to set up a cooperation.

It’s relatively difficult these days to get in touch with the right person in larger companies. At CO-BRANDS, companies that are actively offering and looking for cooperation partners can get together. CO-BRANDS is therefore a very efficient format for suitable partners to find each other.”

Who exactly is the event aimed at?

“From start-up to DAX corporation, all types of companies are involved. We’ve had a lot of young start-ups involved, as well as large corporations like BMW, Telefonica and Commerzbank.”

Networking is at the center of this event – which role does the Converve Platform play in the success of the event?

“The Converve Platform is the heart of the event. All participants register via this portal and enter their complete profile – not only company and personal data, but particularly about their own cooperation offers and searches.

The Matchmaking software evaluates the profiles and makes suggestions regarding which results could fit their own cooperation search. Appointments are also arranged via the Converve platform so that all participants attending CO-BRANDS have their 10 conversation appointments and know exactly who they are going to meet at CO-BRANDS. It has to be said, it’s very efficient.

But it’s not just the actual matchmaking that takes place via the platform. The software supports us in many other ways. The individual conversation rounds are allocated to particular tables, we can very simply generate all participant lists, badges and so on from the system, saving us any additional effort whatsoever – that’s really great! ”

What are your plans for the future with CO-BRANDS? Where do you want to go with the event? 

“CO-BRANDS is a national event, partially participants come from Austria and Switzerland. In principle, it’s our vision to also offer CO-BRANDS internationally in other European countries. To do so, we are searching for suitable cooperation partners, agencies in cooperation marketing like ourselves, who want to offer such a format in their country. It is very important to be connected to the local market and to know the businesses. 

The other possibility would be to regionalize the concept and offer CO-BRANDS events in large metropolitan areas such as Hamburg, Berlin or Dusseldorf, where the regional economy is networked. We are looking for suitable partners for this as well.”

The next CO-BRANDS event is on May 11, 2017 in Hamburg. All info can be found on the website,, which, by the way, was also created via the Converve-Platform.