Secrets to Making the Best out of ITB Berlin as an Influencer
After four years of ITB Berlin celebrations and networking, I learn a little bit more each and every time I come home with that ITB hangover. Here are some of the most helpful secrets to making the best out of ITB Berlin as an influencer.
A wise influencer once told me that “ITB Berlin is like ripping off a band-aid”. You push yourself through 3-6 days of unbelievable exhaustion, excitement and socializing. Once ITB Berlin is over, you have the entire year to rest and relax, but if you can get an entire years’ worth of networking done in a matter of a few days, why wouldn’t you do it?
PS. Laurel from Monkeys and Mountains was that wise influencer who helped me really grasp my plan of action for next year’s ITB Berlin – Thanks Laurel!
Use January & February to Make Appointments on the Virtual Market Place
The Virtual Market Place is an online platform which allows you to create a networking profile and gain access to many of the businesses attending ITB Berlin. You can click on their ‘Matchmaking’ system and actually search companies by location, interest, etc. while sending them a personal message to set up a meeting during your visit.
It’s also key to make sure you have a clear idea as to how the client would like to work with influencers, so you bring forth the perfect pitch during your meeting at ITB Berlin. It also allows you to make sure that you’re not wasting your timing meeting with a client who just wants to promote their destination, with no intention to work together in the future.
Sign up for ITB Blogger Speed Dating
The sign-up itself is a race against time, as the slots for ITB Blogger Speed Dating can fill up within a matter of hours. Most people who try register their attendance 24-48 hours after the opening of the registration, find themselves reading a bold notification on the website telling them there are no longer any spots left to take part. This means you need to be quick at it!
Once you’ve gained access to the ITB Blogger Speed Dating, the minute you get that e-mail congratulating you and letting you know that the opportunity to set appointments has now opened up, this will also be a race against time. All the bloggers registered want to have successful meetings, so you’ll notice that a good handful of the meeting slots will be full within a few hours time.
*** Of course, that is not to say that things in the future will not change. Perhaps they will find a solution to this issue.
Head to the ITB Press Room & Collect Media Relation Contact Cards
I’m not sure if I’m the only one who has figured this out, but up in the press room, you will find numerous racks filled with tourism press releases and opportunities. While that is not to say that every single one of those flyers is welcoming influencers to work with them, I have noticed that a significant number of them are interested and/or already working with tourism influencers.
I usually have some sort of idea as to how I would like my year to pan out, so I spend 30-minutes or so, browsing the racks and taking the business cards of whom I might like to work together with in the future. Don’t quote me on this, but in the last 3 years, I would say that 8 times out of 10, those who I’ve contacted have been interested in working together in some way.
**Want in on a little secret? ITB Berlin actually puts together an online press guide, where you will find many of the companies actually mentioning their interest in bloggers. Here is the Press Guide 2017 for example.
Stay Active on Facebook to Find After Parties and Events
Most years, many of the events are similar. Travel Massive typically celebrates the opening of ITB Berlin on the first night. The following night, the after party is typically the Travel Dudes/iAmbassador/Social Travel Summit Tweetup. The third night, I notice that a lot of people tend to go off and do their own thing. Many influencers come together for a small dinner or after party, or decide to visit some of the awesome tourism stands at ITB giving away free dinners, free drinks, and an awesome performance. On the last night (the Friday), you might be aware that Kash (the Budget Traveller) loves to celebrate his birthday and the end of ITB Berlin at a smaller bar (typically hosted at The Circus Hostel). The Saturday and Sunday are open to the public at ITB, which usually means, many of us have headed home, or if we are still there, we are still partying and exploring the city of Berlin.
While this is the typical routine of an influencer at ITB Berlin, you’ll have to stay active on Facebook as every year always holds something different. Join blogger groups, Travel Massive, follow Travel Dudes online, and stay in the loop.
Stop Buying Daily Tram Tickets and Get a Berlin Welcome Card
Every single year I go to ITB Berlin, I take the transit a lot more than I ever expect to. Every day, I take the transit to the Berlin Messe. I then leave the Messe and take a tram to dinner, then take a tram to the after party, and then take a tram back to my hotel. Let’s do the math, shall we?
- 4 times per day x 6 days = 24 trips x 3,40 Euro each = 81,60 Euro, or
- 4 times per day x 6 days = 24 trips x (6) 4-Trip Tickets @ 9,00 each = 54,00 Euro or
Buy a Berlin Welcome Card for 42,00 Euro, valid for 6 days and get:
- Unlimited use of the public transit (in zones AB)
- Exclusive discounts to more than 200 attractions, museums and sights around Berlin
- A map of the city
- A welcome book with information on all the places you should visit while staying in Berlin
Need I explain more? Well… a few years back, I did actually write a post on why the Berlin Welcome Card was so worth it, so if you’d like to give it a read, be my guest!
Looking for some more tips on exploring Berlin while you are there? Check out some of my other blog posts: Finding Relaxation in Berlin City Breaks, Nudist for the Day | Tropical Islands Berlin, So You’ve Seen the Berlin Wall | What’s Next?