Industry events

MICE @ ITB Berlin – it’s growing

This year’s ITB Berlin ended for me on a high note. It was my second year attending the MICE @ ITB Berlin programme (third time at ITB Berlin), and I was positively surprised to see the interest from the international MICE community.

While the programme has been running as the ITB MICE Day since 2009, this year it was in a bigger format and over three days. The three new pillars are MICE Hub for exhibitors, MICE Forum for education and the MICE Night for networking. Interestingly enough not many people know about it, but it slowly starts picking up thanks to the international press coverage and the stronger communication and branding. This programme is organised by the official MICE @ ITB Berlin partner Verband der Veranstaltungsorganisatoren e.V. (VDVO), and they did an outstanding job bringing it to an international level.

This year, over 600 participants attended the Forum, and more people joined the live stream. Furthermore, all the four education sessions are now available to watch on YouTube both in English and German.

The popularity of the sessions was overwhelming, especially my favourite session about “festivalisation of events“, seeing people standing in the back or seating on the floor due to limited seat capacity. The fact that it was overbooked, will help VDVO to make a case for next year, and hopefully to get a bigger conference room.

This year, the first ITB MICE Night also took place, with some over 120 guests. There was also a waiting list twice this size. The evening took place at the International Club Berlin, a venue just walking distance from the Messe.

Last year, thanks to attending the ITB MICE Day, I got introduced to the VDVO, and this year I had the honour supporting them with social media coverage and shared all my experience live across my channels. I was together with PREGAS Presseportal, Storytile, Blitzboxx and the Social Six from tw tagungswirtschaft to report from the exhibition floor, and all the insights are also to find on our live blog.

This year I also had the honour to host an Event Planners Talk session about influencer marketing in the MICE industry. Many brands use it in the leisure industry, but fewer in MICE, and therefore it was the right opportunity to compare the two and share best practice. Despite the increasing regulations and abuse (buying likes, bots, etc.), the industry becomes smarter about it and we need to embrace influencers. It turns to be more effective than other traditional forms of advertising and there are still many unexploited opportunities. Of course I can go on and on on this topic as I’m so passionate about, but you can also read the full recap from this session here.

I extremely excited to see the growth of MICE @ ITB Berlin, not only because I’m a MICE professional, but because we are witnessing a big shift in the entire travel industry and trade shows. The raise of bleisure is exactly the same consolidation trend that is happening to trade shows, and ITB Berlin is the perfect example. It’s not only the leading leisure trade show anymore, because we can’t look at leisure travel separately from the business travel. Travellers are increasingly combining both and as much as it’s a buzzword in 2018, this will further increase and be an important economic drive for many destinations.

View my vlog here:

  Photos by Thomas Loris, Blitzboxx

 

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