How to Make the Most of ITB Berlin 2019

February 28, 2019, Kyla Steeves
Skyline of Berlin TV Tower for ITB Berlin 2019.

Over 5 days at the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show, 160,000 visitors will check out 10,000 exhibitors, participate in 200 events, and hear from 400 renowned speakers. That’s a lot of sessions to attend, booths to visit, and people to meet. But don’t let a conference of this size overwhelm you. With a little bit of planning, you can make the most of ITB Berlin. And since we’ve been before and are going again, we’re here to help:

Meet with ITB Berlin 2019 Exhibitors

There’s simply no way you can wander the halls at ITB Berlin, and happen upon every Exhibitor you want to see and talk with. Especially since the last thing you want to do is waste time searching amongst the crowd, only to turn up and discover everyone at the booth is busy talking with others.

For this reason, it’s best to schedule a meeting with Exhibitors in advance. That way, you’re guaranteed to chat with them in-person, as well as get their full attention.

Before you start contacting the first Exhibitors that come to mind, take a look at the full list. Once you know which ones you must talk to, use the Exhibitor Search in the Virtual Marketplace to find them, save them to your Trade Show Planner, and send them a message. During ITB Berlin, you can also use the ITB Berlin App to navigate the grounds and direct message Exhibitors and other visitors.

To chat with Checkfront at ITB Berlin about online bookings, request a meeting with Angela or Alex.

ITB Berlin 2019 sessions and events

ITB Berlin convention

Creating a bucket list of ITB Berlin events and sessions is the best way to come up with a solid schedule. Rather than going to whatever is happening at a nearby Auditorium, you can pick interesting topics beforehand and make them a priority to attend.

From sustainable development to marketing and distribution, you can get valuable insight from every talk. But some sessions are geared towards hotels and others for airlines. If your business is neither, the main points might not apply to you.

Luckily, there’s a new forum for Technology, Tours and Activities — the TTA Marketplace. So now, you can attend discussions and workshops relevant to in-destination experiences, as well as make connections with those who share the same goals.

For a full list of the TTA Marketplace content, download the program. Otherwise, we’ve selected the ones we think you shouldn’t miss:

Recommended TTA Marketplace sessions

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

CEO Keynote Interview
Stephen Kaufer, Co-Founder, President & CEO, Tripadvisor
Location: CityCube Berlin, Room A4/A5
Time: 11:00 – 11:45

Keynote Executive Panel: Mega Topic In-Destination Services
Philip C. Wolf, Founder, PhoCusWright, Serial Board Director; Alex Bainbridge, CEO & CTO, Autoura; Eric Gnock Fah, COO & Co-Founder, Klook Travel and Decius Valmorbida, President Travel Channels, Amadeus IT Group, Lax Poojary, CEO & Founder, Touring Bird
Location: CityCube Berlin, Room A4/A5
Time: 12:00 – 12:45

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

Asia Outbound: The Untapped Opportunity for Tours & Activities
Oliver Nützel, CEO, Regiondo
Location: CityCube Berlin Cube Club
Time: 13:00 – 13:45

Friday, March 8th, 2019

The State and Future of Booking for Tours, Activities and Attractions
Douglas Quinby, Founder, Arival
Location: Center Stage, Hall 4.1
Time: 15:30 – 16:30

For all other sessions, check out the Convention Program.

ITB Berlin 2019 Weekend Highlights

After a few days of taking in new information, you might be itching for a good time. Thankfully, ITB Berlin has exciting events happening all weekend. Whether you’re bringing along your family, friends, or colleagues, you can experience the world together without leaving the grounds.

But again, there are tons of performances and workshops to choose from — and it’s impossible to experience every one. So you should become familiar with what’s going on Saturday and Sunday, and jot down the times and locations ahead of time. That way, you won’t show up to a tasting late only to find there’s nothing left to try.

To get an overview of all the ITB Berlin events taking place, you can download the Highlights Brochure (FYI – it’s not in English), browse the Events page, or use the Events search bar.

Since Malaysia is the Partner Country at ITB Berlin this year, we suggest making these events a must-see:

The Jewelry of Malaysia
Admire the traditional jewelry and traditional headgear of the Borneo and Sulawesi nobility. The precious jewelry can be dated back to the 10th century. Also, experience the traditional “Semban women” who can tell you more about the culture of Malaysia.
Location: Hall 26 / Stand 117
Time: Sat & Sun All Day

Experience Malaysian culture up close
Various Malay cultural groups will bring you closer to the culture of Malaysia during their impressive performances. Let yourself be carried away by the extraordinary music and costumes of the artists in another world.
Location: Hall 26 / Stand 117
Time: Sat & Sun 11:00 -11.30, 12:00 -12.30 & 14:00 -14.30

Tea time in Malaysia
At the Malaysia booth, try “TehTarik”, a hot milk tea drink made from black tea and condyle milk, which is traditionally offered in the food stalls. Malaysia has made this beverage the national beverage of the country. You will be served a piece of sarawak cake with special patterns.
Location: Hall 26 / Stand 117
Time: Sat & Sun 15:00

How to get to ITB Berlin

If you’re staying at one of the partner hotels, then transportation to the grounds is easy. All you have to do is catch the free Hotel shuttle. Otherwise, getting to ITB Berlin is entirely up to you and your awesome navigation skills. As a traveler at heart, this should be no problem. After all, the best way to get to know a new city is by using its public transportation.

Luckily, public transport in Berlin is reliable, fast and interconnected. With one ticket, you can get to most places using the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, buses, trams, and ferries. Even if you switch between these modes of transportation, you don’t have to get another ticket (as long as it’s within the allotted time).

Of course, we recommend that you buy either a Day Pass or the 7 Day pass to save some money — especially if you plan on jumping on a bus to quickly see Berlin attractions during your breaks.

For detailed directions to ITB Berlin, check out their transportation page.

How to get around the grounds

There are 26 halls at Berlin ExpoCenter City that span an area of 1,937,503 square feet. That’s a lot of space to cover! If you don’t want to get lost, it’s best to study (and memorize) the map of the Exhibition Grounds. Doing this will also allow you to figure out the location of each segment, as well as where sessions are taking place.

Keep in mind that there is a free shuttle service that will take you from hall to hall. So make sure to note the stops on the map as well.

ITB Berlin 2019 Exhibition Grounds

Again, the ITB Berlin app should help you navigate the grounds throughout the conference.

Other ITB Berlin 2019 tips

  • Get there early: The Exhibition Grounds are open from 10 am – 6 pm. Trade visitors have access starting at 9:30 am
  • Bring a phone charger: You don’t want your phone to die on you while taking notes or adding someone on LinkedIn. There’s a charging station at CityCube Berlin (Entrance Messedamm)
  • Pack a lunch: Some sessions are back to back and leave little time to grab something to eat — especially when the lines are long
  • Hang up your coat: It’s still winter, so you’ll be wearing a heavy jacket. Instead of lugging it around inside all day, take advantage of the cloakrooms located in Halls 26b / 209a, 9, 14.1, 19, and CityCube Berlin Entrance Foyer (East). The cost is only 2.50 EUR per cloakroom.
  • Dress business casual: It’s best to maintain a polished and professional look. Think slacks, dress shirts, blazers, blouses, and knit sweaters.
  • Attend the networking events: Making new connections is the best part of ITB Berlin — so mix and mingle at the networking parties. For tours and activities, the parties are at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, and 5:30 pm on Thursday at the TTA Marketplace Networking area, Hall 4.1
  • Explore Berlin: While you may not have time to see the city during the conference, you can always arrive a day earlier or extend your stay. If you do that, make sure to visit Berlin’s top attractions.

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