Are you ready to go to ITB Berlin? Do you know how to get the best out of the experience? We are here to help!
Watch this short video to see just how big ITB is:
ITB Berlin, the global travel industry’s premier trade show, is set to take place March 9-13, 2016, at the Messe Berlin fairgrounds. It’s the “who’s who” in world travel. Representatives from all over the travel industry will be on hand, from tour operators, booking portals, hotels, to entire countries and cities themselves. ITB’s sheer size is difficult to grasp and intimidating, particularly for first time attendees —185 countries, 10,000 exhibitors and 115,000 trade visitors.
Global Image Creation has attended ITB Berlin since 2010, giving us an insider, experienced view on how to make the most of your ITB experience. Below, we share this insider info on how to efficiently navigate the immense show to ensure the richest possible experience.
Break It Down
ITB Berlin is organized into geographical destinations, meaning each country represented has a designated location. Specific industry segments, such as youth travel and travel technology have a particular location as well. There are a total of 26 halls to navigate. If you are interested in exhibits from the United Kingdom, for instance, you should stop by Hall 18. Or, if you are interested in exhibits from the adventure travel industry, visit Hall 4.1.
All attendees, first-timers and veterans alike, should visit the ITB Berlin website (itb-berlin.de/en/) in advance to form a plan of attack. The show recommends using its Virtual Market Place for planning purposes, and the virtual floor plan is also useful for visual learners. That being said, take a little time to get off your plan and wander every day. Just like in travel, some of the best parts of the show lie in unexpected discoveries.
ITB coordinates with partner hotels to provide shuttles to exhibition grounds. Be sure to check with your hotel for these accommodations. While on site at the exhibition grounds, ITB provides shuttles to help navigate between the exhibition space. The details of onsite shuttles can be found in this flyer (note: times are given in on a 24-hour clock). You choose, stay at an official hotel or find a great boutique hotel! There are several unique and quirky hotels all over the city that are worth a little extra cab fare every day. Either way, make sure to pack comfortable yet stylish walking shoes!
What Else To Explore
Of course, simply walking the show floor all day can become tedious and cause some aching legs. Fortunately, many exhibitors at ITB Berlin offer opportunities for visitors to attend various events such as press conferences, product demonstrations, and receptions. Attendees can look for potential events using the Event Search Tool on the ITB Berlin website. Try searching the keywords “trends” and “presentations,” to find events that promise to provide information on wellness, world tourism and trends and policies from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
In addition, show organizers have put together the ITB Berlin Convention, a sort of conference within a convention, the goal of which is to provide a platform for industry education. Keynote speakers, interviews and panel discussions allow industry experts to share their knowledge of core issues and best practices. The schedule and details for all sessions are available online, via the Program Overview. These look interesting: the eTravel Lab and “The Social Factor!”
Ultimately, the name of the game is pre-planning. Determine what destinations and industry topics you are most interested in, find out where those exhibits are, and plan an attack. Be ready to abort your plan to attend auxiliary events to break up each day and network with industry leaders.
Engage in the conversation on social media with the #ITBBerlin, to find tips and tricks to make the best of your ITB experience. Reach out to us on Twitter at @GlobalImageC for any questions or comments!
Also, stay tuned for our next blog. In an upcoming article, we will let you in on the secrets of where it all REALLY happens at ITB Berlin and how to come out of the experience with organized contacts and information you’ll remember and use.
More Resources For ITB Berlin 2016
Check out these online resources for additional information: