First digital ITB Berlin NOW proves a big draw

ITB Berlin continues to be the leading platform for the global travel industry even in these times of the pandemic. Reflecting this, around 65,700 users from all parts of the world gathered on ITB Berlin’s new and entirely virtual platform at ITB Berlin NOW for the five-day evening from 8 to 12 March, 2021.

Around two-thirds (64.5 per cent) of the participants were from outside Germany. Taking as its slogan ’The digital Meet-up for the Travel Industry. Anytime. Anywhere’, the trade show gave participants a unique virtual meeting place during one of the most challenging times in recent decades.

As many as 3,513 exhibitors representing destinations, hotel chains and tech companies from 120 countries made use of the new format to present their products and services. There was also keen media interest. Over 1,000 media representatives and travel bloggers from 54 countries covered the event live. As much as 80 per cent of the participants made use of the networking features, which included business meetings via individual and group calls, chats and searching for business partners.

During ITB, the programme of events over a total of 265 hours registered around 52,600 participants: Some 700 speakers at more than 400 discussion rounds at the convention, who held lectures, interviews and took part in exhibitor presentations and press conferences and gave their views on how the industry can overcome the effects of the pandemic and initiate a successful recovery.

Many companies were creative at their events, the Balearic Islands for instance, which held a press conference live from the port of Palma de Mallorca.

Commenting on the success of the event, Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin, said: “The last 12 months have shown how important it is for the travel industry to have a platform in these difficult times, in order to be sure of a specialist meeting place after months of uncertainty. In particular, there was keen interest in the many networking opportunities, which reflected the quality of ITB Berlin NOW users. Four out of five contact requests led to a successful business match. The successful conclusion to a week of live events showed the additional benefits of this virtual solution.

For ITB Berlin NOW is not over yet. Even after the event, meetings can be scheduled and content and other functions will remain online until 31 May 2021. For the period of this service, all users can expand their reach even further, find important information and contacts, network with each other, evaluate their results and access programme items. At the same time, customers are keen to be back in Berlin again next year as usual“.

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