Six Easy Ways to Make
the Most of ITB Berlin 2018
Every year the ITB Berlin welcomes over 10,000 exhibitors and more than 160,000 visitors from all around the globe to what is known as the world’s biggest travel trade show. Whether you run a budding business or are an established player in the industry, you don’t want to miss this event.
Out of all the other fairs and conventions, at this one you are most likely to get in front of your target audience, generate promising new leads, build connections with potential partners and industry leaders and learn what’s new in travel, tourism and hospitality. Flying cars, anyone? (Don’t worry, we’ll get back to that…)
Since preparing for a convention of this scale can seem a bit overwhelming, we’re here to help out. At Oaky we know that to make the most of anything, you need to plan ahead. Then when the day comes, you’re all ready to go. And because the ITB is such a big deal, this is especially important here.
That’s why we’ve put together a short list of six things to do to get ready to rock ITB 2018, including a fun fact about how to benefit from the Germans’ efficiency and their love for the “Mittagspause”.
Read on to find out!
1. Set Clear Goals for ITB 2018
Setting goals is important no matter what you are trying to achieve. Because after all, how do you know what to aim for if you haven’t outlined a clearly defined target? To start your preparations for ITB, sit down with your team and decide what you want to get out of the event.
Is it a certain number of new leads? Do you have a specific amount of a product you want to sell? Are you going for media coverage? Or maybe you’re looking for a partner to expand your current business?
Whatever it is, write it down. Then draw up a concrete action plan that will outline how you’ll go about achieving your goal. It should include tasks to do before, during and after the event. This will help you stay focused when seemingly a million things are competing for your attention during the convention.
2. Do Your Homework
An important part of preparing for trade shows, especially ones of the ITB’s caliber, is to do your homework. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about an actual assignment here. What we mean is that you need to do some in-depth research about what will be going on. For example, look at who is going to be exhibiting, who will be speaking about what, etc. That way you can plan when to be where ahead of time.
To make things a bit quicker for you, we’ve put together some of 2018’s key info and must-attend events for you.
This year’s main topics include things like overtourism, revolutionary forms of transport as well as artificial intelligence, its challenges and prospects in the travel industry. Now it’s your turn to get to work and research these topics so you can join the conversation.
Top speakers on these topics will include Jane Jie Sun, CEO, Ctrip.com International Ltd., Dirk Ahlborn CEO, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc. (go here to learn about those flying cars!), as well as Doug Lansky, international tourism thought leader, travel journalist and author.
Apart from that, here is Oaky’s pick of some interesting speakers and presentations for you to check out:
Customer Communication in Times of Mobile First – How Mobile Usage, Voice, Messenger and AI Are Changing the Way We Communicate Within Travel, by Daniel Zelling, Managing Director & Founder opensmjle, Founder Hospitality Industry Club, Benjamin Devisme, Vice President Sales Colossal Factory, Ambassador France Hospitality Industry Club, Marius Donhauser, Founder & CEO hotelkit GmbH, Board Member Hospitality Industry Club (March 7, 2018, 10:30 – 11:00, Hall 7.1c, eTravel Lab)
- ITB Future Day – ITB CEO Interview: Gillian Tans, CEO Booking.com, one-on-one with Philip C. Wolf (March 7, 2018, 16:00 – 16:45, Convention Hall 7.1b, Auditorium London)
- Blockchain: The Next Technology Disruption in the Travel Industry by Decius Valmorbida, Senior Vice President Travel Channels, Amadeus IT Group (March 7, 2018, 17:00 – 17:45, Convention Hall 7.1b, Auditorium London)
- Innovative Techniques to Leverage Guest Intelligence to Boost Revenue by RJ Friedlander, Founder & CEO, ReviewPro (March 8, 2018, 10:30 – 11:00, Hall 7.1c, eTravel Lab)
- AI in Travel and Leisure Marketing by Raj Balasundaram Global Head of Solutions and Strategy Emarsys Interactive Services GmbH (March 8, 2018, 12:00 – 12:30, Hall 6.1, eTravel Stage)
- ITB Hospitality CEO Panel – Successful business and distribution strategies with Maud Bailly, Chief Digital Officer, AccorHotels Group, Puneet Chhatwal, CEO & Managing Director, The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), Pierre-Frédéric Roulot, CEO, Jin Jiang Europe, CEO, Louvre Hotels Group (March 8, 2018, 12:00 – 12:45, Hall 7.1b, Auditorium London)
- Online Technology for Hoteliers: Challenges and Solutions by Raissa Benchoufi, Industry Manager DACH, trivago N.V. (March 9, 2018, 14:30 – 15:00, Hall 7.1c, eTravel Lab)
Of course, there are many other fascinating topics that will be discussed at ITB. For a complete overview of them all, head over to ITB’s Speaker Register for the whole list.
3. Plan Meetings Ahead of Time
During ITB everyone is busy. That’s why you need to schedule get-togethers with everyone you want to meet well in advance. To do that, check out the list of exhibitors, and get in touch with the ones you want to meet.
Yes, that’s time-consuming but the great thing about ITB is that they help you do the heavy lifting by offering many tools to connect. Use them! One great example to get you to find your perfect match are their speed “dating” sessions with buyers/bloggers. Why not give that a try? The ITB app is useful too. It’s free and will make sure you always have the latest event info.
Already got in touch with people you’re dying to meet but haven’t heard back? Follow up! Some companies might not reply right away due to high demand, so show you’re genuinely interested and secure one of those coveted time slots!
Want to get in touch with us? Drop us a line and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
4. Use Every Minute While You’re There
Since ITB attracts so many professionals from around the world, there will be a lot of networking events, workshops and other things. Find out which ones are relevant to you and go to as many of these gatherings as you can. You never know where your next client or partner might be.
And here’s a little extra tip: Ever heard that Germans are efficient? Well, there’s something else you should know – they take their lunch break or “Mittagspause” very seriously. So even if they’re at a busy event or trade show, there’s always time for food. Knowing this, you can suggest going for a quick lunch/dinner. Especially if you’d like to have a bit more time and reduce the risk of interruption, meeting potential partners for a meal is a great idea.
5. Create an Irresistible Pitch
At ITB you are competing for visitors’ and buyers’ attention with a huge number of other exhibitors. That’s why you need to create something simple yet memorable for people to see, try and engage with if you want them to remember you. Depending on your product, this could be a great video, a live demo or a hands-on experience. You could also plan something cool for the weekend. That’s when the public is admitted, so feel free to get creative. If you’ve prepared something really amazing, let the ITB team know and they will help you promote it.
6. After ITB: Follow Up the Right Way
How and when to follow up after an event can be a bit tricky. In this case, we suggest sending a quick message a few days or up to a week after the trade show. Why wait? Because pretty much everyone else will do it right afterward. This wave of messages will pile up on top of the backlog many exhibitors will likely have after the event and make it much more likely that your e-mail will get overlooked.
If you wait just a couple of days, you’ll have much better chances to get your message seen and responded to as everyone will have had some time to clean up their inbox and will be able to pay better attention to new messages.
Got all your preparations done? By following our simple steps, you can get off to a head start at ITB 2018 and make the most of it without all the stress. And let’s be honest: who doesn’t want that?
Now, there’s only one more thing to do! Book a meeting with Oaky or plan some time to visit us at the booth we are sharing with HSMA Germany. We’d be excited if you stopped by to learn how we can help you boost revenues by making it simple and easy for your guests to plan their stay at your hotel or if you just want to come say “hi” and toast to our recent success at the start-up arena at the German Hotel Congress in Berlin.