A Beginner's Guide to ITB Berlin

ITB Berlin Guide for First Time Visitors

ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) is the largest tourism trade fair in the world. The trade fair started as a small event back in 1966 with only 250 visitors, but it has grown to become one of the most important travel trade shows, not only in Germany and Europe but throughout the world. Today, it is a global industry marketplace, showcasing the latest travel products and trends from all over the world. The trade show takes place annually in March at the Messe Berlin.

Tips for First Time Visitors

With over 140,000 fellow visitors and 160,000 square meters of ground to cover, you might be wondering where to even begin. It is easy to forget whether you came from Hall 2-2-A or 22-A, while being distracted by the extravagant displays from brands and countries worldwide (trust us). With this in mind, we wanted to provide a few tips on how to prepare for ITB Berlin and some trends to look out for at this year’s show.

Prepare an agenda

Whether you are a business professional with a goal in mind, a key player in the tourism industry, or just want to look around and experience ITB, it is essential to have a prepared schedule prior to the fair.

Some things to consider:

  • What are your goals?
  • Who do you want to meet?
  • Is there a specific sector you are interested in?
  • Is there a specific speaker you want to see?

It helps to create a list of all the things you want to see or the lectures you want to hear and find out as much as possible about them prior to arrival. To get you started, you can click here and see the full list of exhibitors in the virtual marketplace.

Schedule meetings

If you know your clients or business partners are attending the trade fair, it is important to contact them beforehand and set up a meeting. The chances that you will happen to cross paths with them in the exhibition hall are pretty slim. During ITB, everyone is extremely busy and if you would like to have productive talks with certain exhibitors, our recommendation is to set up a meeting place and time, so it’s on the calendars of both parties. One of our recommended spots, if neither party has a booth, is to choose the Marshall-Haus, which contains the ITB Buyers Circle and is in the center of the exhibition center.

Getting to meetings

Be absolutely sure to leave adequate time to make your way to the designated meeting area. You may think to yourself, “Oh the meeting is in the adjoining hall, it should only take 5 minutes,”’ but we recommend at least doubling the time you expect it to take you to get from one meeting to the next. This may seem a bit excessive, but navigating your way through the proper doors on the first try is about as likely as winning the lottery. However, having all the event information at your fingertips will make life easier – click here to download the ITB app!

Finding the right person

Once you arrive at your meeting (if you’ve never met this person before), you might come to the realization that you have absolutely no idea who you’re looking for. You can avoid this by discussing a very specific spot to meet and sharing the color you’ll be wearing and your ITB profile (with your photo). This will save you the embarrassment of asking random strangers if they’re the person you’re looking for.

Make the most of your time

A gap in your schedule should be used wisely – to connect with people from all over the world and gain insight from the speakers. ITB brings together people from every part of the globe with whom you might want to share experiences, opinions and gain the latest updates in the industry. After all, it’s not often you have such a diversity of cultures, companies and service providers all around you– your next client or strategic partner could be just around the corner.

Perfect your pitch

If you are aiming to make a sale or meet a potential business partner, you need to have a good pitch in order to present your idea or company in the right way. Depending on what you are proposing, you can consider preparing a quick demo, hands-on experience, or a couple of sentences explaining your core values.

Business cards

After doing a pitch and a quick presentation, it is important to present your business card so that new contacts can remember you and have your contact information. It may seem old fashioned, but business cards are a must-have in many cultures. They enhance professionalism, help to make a good first impression, and create brand awareness.

Follow up

After ITB has finished, you will want to send follow-up emails to all the people you spoke with. A follow-up email serves as a little reminder for a new potential client or partner which will remind them of your pitch and your proposition in general. A well-crafted follow-up can be the difference between the start of a new business relationship and an ignored email.

Guide to ITB Berlin

Trending Topics to Look for at ITB Berlin

ITB Berlin is not only the crossroads where the entire travel industry meets to discuss business; it’s also a place to learn about the latest technology and research. So while you’re perusing exhibitors stands or finding your way to your next meeting, don’t miss out on the chance to learn about these trending topics:

International city trips are fast-growing

  • 190 million international city trips were taken in 2017
  • Europe is the most popular continent (60% of total trips)
  • 70% of travelers prefer to stay in hotels
  • Growth drivers are APAC and South America

Millennials are the next big key market

  • Millennials currently make 40% of the market
  • Half of all international luxury trips are made by millennials
  • One-third of millennial trips are to city destinations

Cruises experience double-digit growth

  • 27 million international cruises in 2017
  • Mexico, Canada, the United States, and Italy were the most popular destinations
  • 37% of the online bookings were made through a travel agency
  • APAC cruise demand tripled between 2007 and 2017

You can find the full list of 2020 travel trends from ITB Berlin and IPK International in the World Travel Trends Report.

Meet with the Koddi team

Our team will be at ITB Berlin from March 4-6. If you want to learn more about Koddi and how our technology can optimize your travel advertising programs, drop a note to sales@koddi.com or select a meeting time from our calendar here.