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!
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.
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.
Paraguay (one of very few that exposed their social media icons and hashtag).
And finally Tirol for their ingenuity in bringing a gondola with them.
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.
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.