Visiting ITB Berlin, the world's largest travel trade show, definitely has its perks for tour operators. Even if you don't have a stand, you can always make the most of it as an ITB trade visitor. And here are all the reasons why you should.
We already stated all the general benefits in the article Attending ITB – the Benefits for Small Tour Operators, where we also concentrated on the exhibitor role. Now you can read what to expect if you're an ITB trade visitor.
Because you don’t have a stand, your trade show goals are a little bit limited. For example, selling to direct customers on ITB Weekend is not the most convenient thing to do (all boils down to the fact that you’re going to chase people around with your brochures). That’s why the weekend isn’t so interesting for trades. Most of them come during the working week to establish their business goals. Trade visitor ticket costs 42 Euro a day or 60 Euro/5 days if you buy it online, but it's a bit more on site.
Tip: Before you even start preparing, subscribe to ITB newsletter and enter your fields of interest. This way you’ll stay in touch with all the news and changes that matter to you.
Trade Visitor Benefits (And Some Tips)
Here’s what you get out of attending as an ITB trade visitor.
Contact with sales and cooperation partners
You have access to Virtual market Place (the online platform where all exhibitors stay listed for a year) and you get a profile on ITB Networking Tool (the online platform where all potential associates are listed). You need to make your profile on Networking Tool by entering all relevant information about you and your company. Enter your contact, profile picture, web address (refresh your website!) and what kind of cooperation are you interested in. Then you can search for your potential business partners in the Virtual marketplace. Its “Matchmaking generator” feature will help you find them more easily. After you find them, you can contact them and arrange a meeting.
Tip: Start searching for all the relevant exhibitors few months before ITB and find the contact person who is a decision maker. But don't worry, you can still contact them if you're just decided to attend. Contact them directly. Download ITB app with maps and exhibitor list so you can find them more easily.
Contact with 400 bloggers
As a trade visitor, you can’t have speed meetups with bloggers. But you can contact them in advance using the ITB Networking tool. See what they are doing, contact them or visit them at the ITB Blogger corner.
Tip: Try attending the Travel Massive opening party. Travel Massive is an organization that gathers travel bloggers, photographers, content creators and travel startups. You can make a profile on their website and arrange a meeting at this cool party.
Contact with other trades
Using ITB networking tool, you can find other trade visitors that provide similar tours or come from your country. You can talk about your target groups and prices, cooperation and export possibilities.
Tip: If you don’t have an appropriate space to hold a meeting, you can find a free meeting space at ITB Business points. Bring your laptop or tablet with you so you can present your product.
Access to lists of all ITB participants
Use the lists that you can find at the ITB official site. Browse them and find potential partners. You can download lists of exhibitors or the list with directories of different countries.They can help you find the best companies in their countries. If you’re interested in the German market, ITB has made a list of all major German tour operators.
Education at the ITB Convention
Attend lectures, discussions, and workshops. Find the latest news from the tourism industry. Explore scheduled lectures in advance and decide which lectures are the most interesting to you. Identify niche markets, tourism trends, and market situations and use this information for future strategic decisions.
Tip: Check out innovations in the tourism industry. It will certainly be interesting and it could potentially be very useful for your business in the future.
Access to the largest organizations in the tourism industry
Find organizations and associations that gather companies from your niche. Arrange a meeting and find out what you get out of joining their organization.
Tip: Visit their events. For example, check out the fun networking events like this one, organized by Adventure travel trade association (ATTA). It's a great opportunity to meet business colleagues from the field.
Exploring and enjoying
If you're not too tired and still have some energy, you can try some culinary specialties, explore art, literature, dance and music of different countries at the Culture Lounge. There is another event every day and an after-party which you can attend. Follow your target exhibitors. See if they are holding some kind of an event on the Event Calendar and try to connect with them in a casual environment.
Tip: Try to find out information about after parties on social media. Some are open to everyone, but for some, you'll need to have an invitation.
Raising your image on social media
Download ITB logo from the ITB official page and post pictures on social media with your participation announcements. It’s a good thing to post pictures and videos during and after ITB. Tag new friends and partners (if they agree of course).
Tip: Some organizations invite participants to post pictures from events they organized on their social media. Use hashtags and spread the word until the next ITB.
Reach out to us if you’d appreciate some help! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us or share it right here.
In fact, you can easily schedule a meeting with Orioly at this year’s ITB. Just fill out this form:
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