ITB Berlin is the largest tourism trade show in the world. For more than 50 years, the organization has brought together hundreds of countries from multiple continents. There's a lot of time that goes into every event that takes place but ITB calls for something extra.
So, are you ready for the event? It kicks off in less than 24 hours and we've got some last minute thoughts to keep you prepared for this week!
1. Know what you're there for
ITB goes by very quickly. Depending on how long you stay, it can be as short as three days. That's why you should know exactly what you want to get out of the event. Have you thought about what you're there for?
Ask yourself what you want. Is it more customers? Is it better connections with experts in the industry? Are you simply in search of inspiration? Whatever it is, you should make sure you know what you're looking for and why.
2. Be assertive
Whether a large event or modestly-sized, trade shows see a lot of traffic -- and ITB Berlin brings in more than usual! There are so many new faces to see and people to talk to so it's easy to be forgotten among the crowd. That's why you need to be assertive.
But be careful, it can be a double-edged sword. Don't mistake assertiveness for being aggressive. Assertive behavior starts with simply being outgoing. You are making an effort to approach the people attending the event with a warm smile and a clear point of conversation.
Being aggressive is acting pushy, like the used car salesman cliche. Whether you mean to or not, this comes off as threatening and disrespectful. It will be very hard to earn new customers that way, even if your tours and other offerings are amazing.
3. Stay alert and approachable
There's no doubt you've been to a trade show or festival before. If not ITB Berlin, perhaps you attended something smaller and more regional -- maybe even the county fair in the summertime.
At these events there are always exhibitors. Their company rents a stand in the hopes of sharing their offers with a new audience. The goal is to present themselves in an engaging way, but the people at their stands often make one mistake throughout the event: they sit down.
This is an event that lasts for several days. We know how long and tiring that becomes, especially by day three. But it's no excuse to be sitting down as potential customers walk by all day. You want to make your company look professional.
Our tip for dealing with this is to work in shifts with your team. Regardless of the size of your team, there's always a way to stagger the time spent at the stand. Here are some that could work even for teams of two:
- Have one person at the booth for two hours at a time and then switch.
- Keep one person there in the mornings and one in the afternoons.
- Have one person at the stand one day and a different one the next day.
There are a lot of options for evenly distributing your time. You just have to be proactive about the organization.
We hope that helps you as you do your last minute preparations for ITB this week. If you keep these three things in mind, you'll make the most of your time in Berlin now and at all your future events.
In Berlin this week? Come by our stand and say hi!
Written by Sara Napier Burkhard
Sara is a writer from the American West Coast. In recent years, she's written for companies like Hipmunk, iTourMobile and Mylikes. She now resides in Zurich, Switzerland where she finds new adventures and attempts to speak German with minimal success.