Last week I was in Berlin with my class. We were attending ITB Berlin, the biggest travel fair in the world. This semester we are doing research and that was one of the reasons why we wanted to go to the fair: to interview people and collect material for our research.
Compared to Helsinki travel fair that is also held annually, Berlin’s was huuuge. I would say it was about 20 times bigger than our travel fair! But in the end, everything was quite easy to find even though you had to walk a lot or use these small shuttle busses between the exhibition halls to reach what you were looking for.
I liked ITB Berlin – there was a lot to see, a lot of seminars and people! But I was also a little disappointed, because we had managed to choose seminars that weren’t quite that interesting (more like waste of time to be honest), I wanted to network with new people but everyone looked so busy with their business colleagues that young and shy tourism students couldn’t really reach out to them – also I was very surprised that the wifi at the fair grounds worked very very badly (I couldn’t post anything on instagram/FB/anywhere while at the fair grounds..) and the english skills of the staff working at the fair was sometimes very poor.
A lot of seminars were about the importance of social media, bloggers and how companies should use those in their marketing – and people probably want to post stuff about the fair online asap they hear it, but nope, not going to happen – no wifi available. Well, at least not hanging on the facebook all the time made me more concentrated on the fair itself, ha!
Visit Finland at the fair
We spent 3 days at the fair and after that everyone was very tired, but still many of us felt that it wasn’t enough. At least I could have explored more! I really liked the Asia section at the fair. Thailand’s section offered neck massages (we didn’t pass that one), Korea’s stand had this hand-acupuncture-thing (which we also tried). At India’s section it was possible to get a henna tattoo (and we got those too).
Kazakhstan stand was also one of my favourites
Even though some of the things didn’t work so well at the fair and some of the seminars we were supposed to attend didn’t work out the way we had planned, my overall experience of the fair was very good and satisfied. I want to go there again and if I’m lucky (and rich) I’ll attend the fair next year too!
Berlin is also a great city and if we weren’t at the fair, it was nice that we had a such a big city to explore during our free time. But about that I will write more later. Stay tuned!
You can also check my other blog’s post about ITB Berlin in finnish.