We’re back in the office after ITB Berlin 2017. This was our first time to the show and we expected something bigger than Travel Technology Europe but it was even bigger than expected. But was it better? We’re not sure.

ITB Berlin 2017: The good

A big show means a large variety of talks and topics. At TTE, the talks were obviously focused on technology, which was right up our alley. ITB had a lot of things that simply didn’t apply to us but more than enough interesting ones to fill up the schedule. Because the show was bigger, we also had better opportunities to meet with people in the industry and trade ideas. The ITB Networking tool made it easy to look up other show-goers and contact them about working together. We especially enjoyed meeting with what3words‘s Richard Lewis – great guy, awesome product! Check it out.

For a travel startup, you should really make your way to ITB Berlin, if you can. It’s a great place to connect with people in the industry and learn more in general about the market. In the worst case, it’s just another excuse to travel and see an amazing city. We loved our trip to Berlin and are looking forward to our next opportunity to visit Germany’s capital.

  • Large variety of topics
  • Great networking tool
  • Many different people and companies to connect with
  • Awesome city

The bad

Big shows can have big problems. Everybody knows the Germans are stereotypically a very organized and efficient people but what you may not know is that they will often tell you that Berlin is a unique and different place in Germany. I’m not sure if that’s the reason but the organization at ITB Berlin 2017 left us wanting.

Confusing signs and strangely ordered halls left you scrambling to find the right talk. Talks were back-to-back, so it was sometimes impossible to get there on time, if two interesting talks were in two different places. They were also a little too short, usually being only half an hour long. This led to some talks feeling rushed or too summarized. Finally, the app had a lot of information but just couldn’t deliver it with a good interface; it was the source of many headaches last week.

Now while Berlin (and Germany in general) has some great food, don’t expect anything but your usual convention fare. Only decent food at a high price was available at ITB Berlin 2017! We fled each day to the safety of nearby restaurants, where we gorged ourselves on German and international cuisines, including Syrian, Vietnamese, and Japanese food.

  • Organization was in need of improvement
  • Talks too short, with too little (no) time between them
  • Hungry convention goers need better food options!
  • Convention centre is not very central

Berlin

Berlin itself is a really great city. We didn’t get a lot of time to look around but we did have some time to eat. Like any major city, you’ll find a large variety of cuisines, pretty much anything to satisfy your desires. The best thing is that prices are very reasonable, unlike in some other major capitals, like London or Paris.

Königsberger Klopse, a specialty of my grandfather’s homeland

Top: liver and mashed potatoes.
Bottom: Maultaschen with fried onions and salad.

Japanese food at House of Small Wonder in Berlin

We didn’t just eat. On the final day, we celebrated our travel conference victory with a visit to Berlin’s victory column.

Berlin Victory Column

The weather wasn’t great on most days but this was actually one of the sunnier days. The photo was sadly taken during a cloudy moment!

Travel to Live visits Berlin: Brandenburg Gate

The infamous Brandenburg Gate. See if you can spot the mysterious Québec flag in this photo! Our French Canadian friends have got some prime real estate there in Berlin.

Although Berlin is a large city, it doesn’t feel like London, Paris, Rome, or any other major, overcrowded capital. They say Berlin was created out of many smaller cities and maybe that’s why it feels a bit stretched out. We liked it and could imagine living here. A lot of people must agree because Berlin’s population is exploding.

ITB Berlin 2017 was a success story for us

All in all, we really enjoyed taking the trip to Berlin and seeing the show. Most of the problems are problems of many big gatherings of people, so we can’t complain too hard. If you were at the show and didn’t get the chance to meet with us, send me an email and get in touch. Feel free to ask any questions down below!

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