Bloggers Meet The Travel Industry: My Story From ITB Berlin 2014

Bloggers Meet The Travel Industry: My Story From ITB Berlin 2014

ITB Berlin has a reputation of world biggest travel event. Here the tourism industry gathers. Travel agencies, tourism boards and associations meet in order to find a common ground. In last few years the organization committee created a space for bloggers who are very specific actors on this stage. In 2014 I was one of them. After getting the official accreditation of ITB Berlin Press my adventure started. Here is my story and few thoughts on this event. If you are interested in ‘behind the scenes’ or you are a blogger who is thinking about coming next year this post is for you!

Organization

The quality of organization of this event is mythical. As a blogger I received all support imaginable: my own profile with short instruction how to personalize it, on-line support, a searching tool of all other participants and an invitation for so called ‘Speed Dating’. The most impressive thing is actually a real on-line support. I had to contact the organizers few times and I always received answer to my question. It should be normal but it rarely is. And I felt so good about it! Discussing all things that were important to me with a person from ITB was really great. I knew exactly where to go while on site and it made this event so pleasant and stress free!

Pre conference arrangements included shuttle bus from my hotel which actually was on time! Impressive. Also organization on site was excellent. Despite thousands of guests -literally! – I could easily find my way to meet everyone I planned.

Stands

I didn’t visit ALL stands but in two days I was able to see the majority of them. I must say that many stands made a huge impression on me. The particular countries did great job presenting their homeland from the best and most interesting perspective. I enjoyed the following stands in particular: Curacao for their colorful houses constructed in the middle of the fair hall.

Curacao Stand at ITB Berlin

Curacao Stand at ITB Berlin

Paraguay (one of very few that exposed their social media icons and hashtag).

Paraguay Stand at ITB Berlin

Paraguay Stand at ITB Berlin

And finally Tirol for their ingenuity in bringing a gondola with them.

Tirol Stand at ITB Berlin

Tirol Stand at ITB Berlin

Best event

ITB Berlin is not only a collection of stands. It also provides a huge repertoire of events related to travel. My favorite even was organized by Tourism Board of the Italian region: Puglia. They cleverly invited some bloggers for a cooking lesson and I must admit I had fun! Not only I was making Italian pasta again but also I tried delicious food and met fabulous people behind this excellent initiative. #WeAreInPuglia attacked (and conquered) all my senses. What a delight! I received a cook book from them and the fresh pasta I made so after my return home I cooked pasta for the whole family.

Cook Book from #WeAreInPuglia ITB Berlin

Cook Book from #WeAreInPuglia ITB Berlin

Speed Dating

Last event that was very helpful was so called ‘Speed Dating’. On our ITB profiles we could pick up several companies that we wish to meet and the companies could also do the same. And there was a space dedicated for a meeting when we were discussing all issues related to potential cooperation. As a tool to meet people it is quite popular but the german genius made it as smooth as possible. Every Friday evening before the event all unconfirmed dates were cancelled so nobody was blocked by companies or bloggers who did not reply for an invitation. Brilliant!

All in all the ITB in Berlin is a wonderful event and I hope to go there again next year. My congratulation to all who were engaged in this spectacular event!

Interested in other blogger’s review of ITB Berlin? Click here to read a short summary of ITB in German by Monika.

 

About the author

I get easily fascinated with people and places. I am passionately curious. I get often seduced with the beauty of nature. Blue sky, pure water, white snow and endless horizon seams to be enough to make me happy.

View all articles by Agata Mleczko

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  • Catherine Sweeney

    Thanks for the recap, Agata. I really wish I could have attended this year. I made a lot of good contacts at ITB 2013 and hope to to next year. Puglia was my favorite booth in 2013!

    • Guys from Puglia are amazing! I had a great time there!

  • hikebiketravel

    Thanks for the rundown. I knew I couldn’t go this year but I have pondered the utility of going next year. I do like the fact that the event was run so smoothly.

    • Exactly! I knew the Speed Dating tool before but got blocked first day and couldn’t do a thing about it! It was really smooth this way.

  • Susan VibrantIreland

    I think this sounds like a must do for me next year. Thanks for this post, Agata!

  • Lisa @ Gone With The Family

    Sounds like a great event! Thanks for the summary!

    • It’s a bit far from overseas but it might be worthy to come. The good thing about it that ITB is organized every March so it gives you a rough idea on how to plan your trips to be here at the right time.

  • @hikerciser

    This looked like a really well organised event Agata. How did it compare to Dublin? There are so many big travel events; I would like to do another one – but am restricting myself to more outdoor exhibitions so that there are more brands related to my specialism. Really surprised at your observation of how few brands had hashtags, and loved the look of the Curacao stand. It’s on my list of possibles to attend next year just because its at a great time of year.

    • TBEX and ITB are quite different events. Not only in terms of size but also in their focus. I think it is worthy to participate both of them having an opportunity to deal with a variety of issues related to travel and doing business. And yes, I was surprised too with scarcity of social media in the travel industry strategies. If you come next year we will meet!

  • This looks like SO much fun! I hope that someday we get to attend an event like this! I love the Curacao houses – having been to Curacao, it does look a lot like all of the brightly colored buildings that line the shoreline there! What a fantastic looking event, thank you for sharing!

    • I would definitely prefer to visit Curacao itself rather than just their stand but, you know, better this than nothing. I’m happy that you found it interesting. If you come next year we could meet over a coffee ;-)

      • That sounds lovely! I would love to meet over a coffee. :) Is this an event you have to be invited to, or are you able to purchase tickets?

        • OK, so here is the best news: if you are a blogger and you apply in advance you get so called ‘media pass’ that costs you nothing. Isn’t that cool?

          • That’s amazing! I will have to be on the lookout for when tickets come up for next year!

  • This looks like a lot of fun, Agata! Sounds like some tourism boards went all out.
    I’ve been hearing great things about ITB, will have to plan for next year. Thanks for your recap.

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