ITB Berlin is where companies and organizations from the tourism industry meet. From decision-makers to young professionals in areas like hotels, tourism organizations, tour operators, travel agencies, transport companies, booking portals, systems providers and more are meeting annually at the leading travel show. We have exhibited and visited literally hundreds and hundreds of exhibitions and here some suggestions for you to not make your precious time & money just a waste:
1. VISIT-FIRST - never exhibit at any show before visiting it. It helps you notice exactly who is attending and where would be the best space to expose your company. ITB Berlin is one of the best-organized show in Germany. For visitors, the challenge no. 1 is the size of the show. It is important to be extremely prepared as otherwise, you can easily lose the focus.
2. BOOKING APPOINTMENTS: As at every show the appointments should be done around 2 months before the show. How? Emailing, but calling could be even more productive. On the event site, you can find the contact persons of the exhibiting companies as well as some of the visitors. It is pretty easy to start networking with them before the show by using this virtual tool of the show https://www.virtualmarket.itb-berlin.de/en/itb-networker-directory
3. EXHIBITION SITE: Check very well the exhibition site - do they have a map, programme/agenda, a matching tool to organize your meetings, any other info regarding the place/country, etc. ITB not only has a very informative site starting from the map https://www.itb-berlin.de/en/Visitors/ExhibitionGrounds/ to all the info you need for getting a visa, and many more.
4. MOBILE APP: Does the show have an app? Download it in advance - it helps you planing who and what you need to see. Call people in advance and do not go without your own show agenda. It can be more beneficial than a 10-second chat. In the ITB case, they have lots of information on the site https://www.itb-berlin.de/en/Visitors/ExhibitionGrounds/ and a great app. The Wifi connection maybe will be better in 2019.
5. TRAFFIC: Plan with plenty of time to get to the venue, allowing for traffic. At international shows in Germany, even at the best-organized ones, you should plan with belated trains, traffic jam, crowded entrance, etc. Some shows are busiest between 10-13pm and it could make difficult to run from a meeting to the other one. Mostly the lunchtime is quite at booths who do not offer food to their visitors. The biggest ones are more crowded exactly to that time.
6. WIFI: At shows in general, plan with bad to missing Wifi for visitors. Most of the shows are selling it to an extremely expensive price or just offering it for free and excusing the bad connection with "It does not work because too many people are using it at the same time." Yes, this is the explanation still used in 2019. Earlier and later parts of the day are often ideal times to meet people. Let us know how Wifi will work for you this year at ITB :)
7. SPEAKING SESSIONS: Don´t miss the speaking corners with the topics relevant to you. It is easy to brainstorm or even just get to know people (visitors/exhibitors) in the same area.
8. VISIT THE BERLIN TRAVEL FESTIVAL: You may need to register to attend various events within the show, make sure you do this, many seminars can be oversubscribed or sold-out. Our recommendation is the traveling festival taking place at the same time not far from ITB - here the link to it https://berlintravelfestival.com/exhibitor/
9. MUST-VISIT EXHIBITOR: The amazing traveler's platform, Travel Massive, is exhibiting at this festival and looking forward to meeting you at their booth https://travelmassive.com
10. THE RIGHT SHOES: ITB and the Berlin convention center is one of the biggest in Germany. With 26 halls, you need a good plan and good shoes to make it a successful experience for you. The World’s Leading Travel Trade Show is a must-attend event for every professional in the tourism industry.
11. SOCIAL MEDIA: At ITB are lots of possibilities to get the best pictures for your Instagram. Take photos and videos of the event / future customers. Sharing content through the show helps your company profile exposure too.
12: WATER: Water and fresh air are the most important to stay hydrated during the day and be able to perform at important meetings in the afternoon.
13. CHARGERS: You can find exhibitors offering a charging session but they use it as leads generator. Make sure your phone is charged properly in the morning but bring a portable charger with you.
14. BUSINESS CARDS: Make sure you bring plenty of business cards. Some of the exhibitors use the tech to scan and get your contacts but business cards are still requested. Have a pocketbook so you can place business card attached to each page - with key points from your discussion or pointers you want to follow up. Sometimes if it helps to take a photo of the stand so that it helps jog your mind afterward.
15. USE A CRM: Monitor the exhibitors who contact you after the event - a business card is not a lead.
16. FOLLOW-UP: A staggering survey once said 70% of exhibitors don't follow up leads post-event - it is your task to get back to them.
17. DO NOT (COLD) SELL: Don't try and sell to exhibitors - it really annoys them -they've paid to meet new customers - however, a chat about mutual ideas may be more appropriate
18. EXHIBIT-SECOND: After getting great insight about the show, book your space and start planning your booth for the next year. Make your homework regarding generating you the needed traffic. Organizers first goal is to sell the space and get a number of visitors but if the right ones find you or not - it is another story.
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