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.
The future success of event companies comes down to the talent they can attract and retain. It’s important that the people they recruit now are the right people for the future, and not just recruiting them for a vacancy or a role to fill. To address this key industry topic we partnered with Future in 15 Show and invited top industry recruiter Robert Kenward, Chief Talent Officer at YOU search & select to discuss the various aspects of event recruitment in the events industry.
The innovative event format included an interactive #eventprofstalk Twitter chat and discussion with both the online and live audiences, and followed by Future in 15 Show filming, where Caleb Parker, Show Host, interviewed Robert to develop topics of most interest that were raised during the one hour Twitter chat. The below summarises both the chat and the Future in 15 Show episode about event recruitment.
I came across an interesting report entitled “2018 Best Countries Rankings” conducted by the global marketing communications company Y&R’s brand strategy firm, BAV Group, and the Wharton School. The sub category “Best Countries for Entrepreneurship” placed Germany number one, before Japan (2), United States (3), United Kingdom (4) and Switzerland (5). The attributes that scored the highest for Germany making it an attractive country for entreprenurship in this study include a well-developed infrastructure, transparent business practices, educated population, skilled labour force, connectivity to the rest of the world, technological expertise and well-developed legal framework. The areas that scored lower include easy access to capital, entrepreneurial and innovative.
This study and its results were of a great interest to me because 1.5 years ago I moved to Germany from the UK and therefore had to also move my business to Germany. This was a good decision to make this transition. By moving my business to a new country my business expanded to a new and important market for the events industry. There are fundamental differences between the UK and Germany that offer great opportunities but also some challenges (especially for small businesses) so I wanted to share with you my experience and what’s next for my business.
I registered my business in the UK shortly after I started trading. I had to decide whether to work as a sole trader or register a Limited company so I chose the latter. In the UK it’s very fast, simple and inexpensive to register a company, making the barriers to entry very low. The reason I chose to trade as a company is my wish to grow the company and not being perceived as a “one-man band”.
Influencer marketing is currently a hot topic in the MICE industry. The leisure travel industry has been implementing it successfully since around 2012 as I can remember when I visited the Wold Travel Market. The MICE industry, on the other hand, is slowly testing it since last year. Given that we have so much to learn from the leisure travel industry, ITB Berlin was the perfect opportunity to organise an Event Planners Talk live session about this topic. Each year ITB Berlin has a dedicated MICE programme organised by their official partner, the German Event Planners Association, Verband der Veranstaltungsorganisatoren e.V. (VDVO). This year a half day conference took place, along the MICE Hub exhibition and MICE Night in the evening at an external venue, International Club Berlin. The Event Planners Talk took place just before the MICE Night and welcomed international planners.
For this session we had the pleasure to welcome Nicholas Montemaggi, Chief Marketing Officer at iambassador, and Erik Mortensen, Head of Business Events Denmark at Visit Denmark. I met Nicholas back in 2012 at the World Travel Market when he was working for the Emilia Romagna Tourist Board and was one of the first destinations to run an influencer campaign, Blog Ville. I worked with Visit Denmark on the #everythingiscloser campaign that they launched end of last year.
IMEX Frankfurt is fast approaching and so our agendas are getting filled with business appointments and social events. You might want to impress your client, or just catch up with a business partner or a friend after the long day and you look for a nice restaurant in Frankfurt. Or maybe you want to stay few days longer for bleisure and are looking for trendy places to wine in dine in the city? We, event professionals, are pros searching for the best restaurants, but we also love a good recommendation from a fellow planner, aren’t we? To make your life easier, and I know how busy you are, I put together a list or some of my favourite places and also asked my colleagues for their top tips which I share with you here below.
If you are a fan of German cuisine then I can highly recommend you the Druckwasserwerk. I visited few summers ago, not during IMEX through, so we were able to sit outside on the terrace and that was very pleasant. But they also have a beautiful space inside, perfect for large and small groups. They have 180 seats in the restaurant, 50 on the gallery and 300 outdoor. I know from talking to colleagues that this is a popular place for IMEX attendees so can advise you check for availability before going there. I took the Wiener Schnitzel and it was one of the best ones I’ve ever had (The second best was in Munich in Andechser am Dom).
For Asian cuisine, and specifically Vietnamese in this case, I can recommend you the Ong Tao. This restaurant is a walking distance from the Messe and it tucked in a residential area, so the clientele seems to be a mix of business and locals. The food was very delicious with very good options also for vegetarians. The inside area has capacity for 40 people and outside for 70 people. The non-alcoholic smoothies and cocktails are an absolute highlight!