My first introduction to the ITB Berlin: the international tourism trade fair.

Getting ready for a day in social media.
Getting ready for a day in social media.

In the last week I was a busy bunny. I was a very busy bunny indeed. This was because for the very first time I attended the ITB Berlin, not as a member of the public, but as a convention participant, a social media person and a blogger.

Twitter and Travel Massive @ ITB Berlin
Twitter and Travel Massive @ ITB Berlin

Now since my blog started just last year, the media organisers deemed my blog to be too new however the ITB press team were marvellous and gave me complimentary tickets so that I could attend. Thank you so much ITB Berlin!

ITB Berlin
ITB Berlin

 What is the ITB Berlin?

ITB Berlin Press Conference, 2014.
ITB Berlin Press Conference, 2014.

The ITB Berlin stands for the “Internationale Tourismus-Börse” or in English, the “international tourism trade fair.” The ITB represents B2B, hotels, tourists boards, tour operators and providers, airlines, transport operators, responsible travel organisers, information technology experts, social media bloggers, and anybody else interested in travel and tourism.

Asian girls having lunch together.
Asian girls having lunch together.

I am enormously lucky because the ITB is the world’s largest international tourism trade fair and is organised by one of Germany’s most experienced exhibition management company – “Messe Berlin” and is located right here.

In my new home-town city.

In Berlin.

International Cultures at the ITB Berlin, 2014.
International Cultures at the ITB Berlin, 2014.

Hurrah!

  • In an overall space of 160,000 m².
  • 26 halls.
  • Approximately 10,147 companies were represented.
  • 174,000 visitors.
  • 114,000 trade visitors.
  • 220,000 delegates and participants.
  • 200 lectures, discussions and workshops.
  • Representing 189 countries.
  • 2,000 social media, mobile travel, networking events for bloggers.
  • 120 social media, mobile travel exhibitors.
  • Bloggers from 25 countries.
  • Taking place over 5 days within 5th March – 9th March, 2014.
  • Bringing in €6.5 billion to Germany.

The ITB Berlin is a big deal and the partner country for 2014 was Mexico with the motto “Live it to believe it”.

Mexico's Opening Ceremony
Mexico’s Opening Ceremony

Mexico came all out and dazzled participants, delegates and visitors with programmes of entertainment, traditional music, dance performances, authentic Mexican dishes, regional handicrafts, cultural treasures, multi-media shows and therefore a platform to show a modern, sophisticated and diverse Mexico.

Mexican "Riverdancers."
Mexican “Riverdancers.”

This year, the ITB Berlin reported a 4% increase in trade visitors and business and a large focus on travel bookings on smart phones and laptops, innovation, responsible and sustainable travel and an attractive trend towards luxury travel. A welcome growth back towards Greece and Spain and huge popularity in holidays and vacations to Germany and Europe, by visitors from Asia, the USA, and the Middle East.

Iceland at the ITB Berlin.
Iceland at the ITB Berlin.

As I mentioned above, I went as a blogger which meant that I would meet other bloggers who I could bounce ideas from and network with.

Travel Massive ITB Berlin Pre-launch Party
Travel Massive ITB Berlin Pre-launch Party

The first event that I went to was the “Tuesday Pre-ITB Party” co-hosted by a young company called GoEuro and an organisation called Travel Massive. There were over 400 people of whom I was 1, mainly from the travel industry, start-ups, industry partners, writers and bloggers. With a whole list of backed sponsors, the night was a blast.

Everyone at the Travel Massive ITB Berlin Pre-Launch Party
Everyone at the Travel Massive ITB Berlin Pre-Launch Party

I was enormously nervous as this was the first event of its kind that I have ever joined. The location was in my neighbourhood and at a trendy metal box called Platoon Kunsthalle. Thankfully, there was a film presentation to watch about a German explorer couple called Tanja and Denis Katzer who spent 3 years travelling from Germany to Mongolia and spending their time with reindeer nomads. Wow! Theirs was an innovative and inspiring trip.

After the business of the day, it was time to mingle and meet the bloggers there who were great, and with free beer and mojito cocktails, ice-breaking became an easier task. I’m a talker and it didn’t take me long to get into my groove!

Myself and BlaBlahCar at the Travel Massive and GoEuro joint pre ITB Berlin Pre-Launch Party
Myself and BlaBlahCar at the Travel Massive and GoEuro joint pre ITB Berlin Pre-Launch Party

From Wednesday through to Saturday, I spent my days going to seminars, lectures, discussions and workshops and learning a lot. I networked with fellow bloggers, travel industry people and people who had never heard of blogging. I also took the opportunity to eat, drink, dance and attend a Thai boxing session. I’ll talk more about that and what I learnt, next week.

This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my absolute own.

As a last note, if you want to attend the ITB Berlin, next year’s convention is from Wednesday, 4th March – Sunday, 8th March 2015. I’ll see you there!

Have you been to a trade fair? Have you been to ITB Berlin? Are you a blogger, trade exhibitor, or in the travel industry?

ITB Berlin, and a Mexican volkswagen!
ITB Berlin, and a Mexican Volkswagen!

For more information about:

Meeeeeexico!
Meeeeeexico!

Have your say.

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18 thoughts on “My first introduction to the ITB Berlin: the international tourism trade fair.

  1. That looks so interesting! Our last day in Taipei, Taiwan was the day their international tourism fair started and I was bummed to miss it. Maybe we shall have to plan a trip to Berlin next year for this one. I can’t wait to read more about it in your next post!

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    1. Thanks very much @threetogo. What a shame that you missed the fair in Taiwan, I’m sure it would have been fun.
      ITB was sooooo worth it and everyone was really nice and helpful. You should definitely come if you are able!
      P.S. Thanks for letting me know what you liked 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  2. Now l am officially jealous! I would have loved to have attended that. I am also going to mark it on my calendar for next year, but hopefully it would not be my first visit to Berlin. It looks like so much fun.

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      1. No, not yet. I have been looking for tickets at a reasonable price for June. Where would you recommend for me to visit? Berlin or Cologne? Heard so many good things about both. I’m hoping June to visit one and October for the other…

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      2. If you’re asking kemkem. It’s Berlin! If you can come twice then Berlin in the summer and Cologne in the autumn. We have a lot of festivals and events going on and most of them are free or of great value. Berlin also has rivers, boats, parks, forests, cute and amazing restaurants depending on your choice. It’s the German capital city but it’s amazingly cheap with very high standards! Take a look at my first and second post.
        Oh, and if you decide to come do let me know!

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  3. I love attending conventions, and I do many during the year as part of my regular job. I also love when I get to attend events like these for free through my blog. Always a cool perk!

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    1. Hi Phil, you lucky thing. You go to many conventions during the year as part of the day job. Give me your card!!
      You’re onto a good thing here and you’re right I had no idea the ITB Berlin would be so much fun and open those corporate doors! At one point, I was in the corporate lounge of one of Germany’s largest blue-chip companies. I just walked in and shook the hand of the nearest person and I was in! That was brilliant. I was so lucky to get complimentary tickets too as they aren’t cheap!

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