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ITB Berlin connects the travel industry with the world of bloggers

For the first time ITB Berlin features a matchmaking event for exhibitors and bloggers – reception for bloggers at the Travel Massive event on the eve of ITB Berlin 2013 – eTravel World and ITB Berlin Convention feature extensive programmes.

BERLIN – Blogging is on the increase: from 6 to 10 March 2013, for the duration of the show, ITB Berlin will feature numerous events that will enable visitors and exhibitors to engage with international travel bloggers, as well as discussion rounds, workshops and lectures at the eTravel World and the ITB Berlin Convention. Overall, ITB Berlin expects around 250 bloggers from Germany and abroad to attend.

For the first time ITB Berlin will feature a matchmaking event, from 4.30 to 6 p.m. on 7 and 8 March in Hall 7.3, directly adjacent to the ITB Berlin Convention, that will give 100 exhibitors an opportunity to meet the same number of international bloggers. The travel bloggers represent a variety of sectors such as adventure, luxury and family travel. This free service by ITB Berlin is aimed at helping exhibitors to improve their marketing of destinations and products. Registration is online.

On 5 March 2013, on the eve of the show and in collaboration with ITB Berlin, the Berlin-based travel startup will again be organising the networking event Travel Massive@ITB. The debut event at ITB Berlin 2012 attracted over 120 bloggers from more than ten countries. Travel Massive is an independent, global network that organises networking events worldwide for travel bloggers, tour operators and startups, members of the media and industry.

Valuable ideas for the travel industry

For the duration of ITB Berlin the main meeting place for bloggers and visitors involved with new media will be Hall 7.1c, where at the eTravel World the focus will be on social media and mobile travel services. Among those speaking and taking part in the discussion rounds will be bloggers Keith Jenkins and Melvin Boecher, who will present their ROI calculator, a tool which can easily work out the media value of blogs. On 8 March 2013, Bruce Rosard of PhoCusWright, Janice Vaugh of Solo Traveler, and Kevin May of TNOOZ will discuss the challenges and factors that enable bloggers to cooperate successfully with destinations. Representatives of Oberstdorf Tourismus and Rhätische Bahn AG will be holding their own sessions examining the topic of travel blogs. The aim of all these events is to provide destinations and companies involved in the travel industry with valuable ideas on how to exploit blogging as a successful marketing channel.

The Professional Travel Bloggers Association (PTBA) is honoured to be partnering with ITB Berlin to help showcase leading travel bloggers around the world and encourage partnerships between them and industry members in attendance. Michael Hodson and Ayngelina Brogan, two travel bloggers integral to the formation of the association, will be speaking at eTravel World on the topic of “Finding and Working with Travel Bloggers.” They will also highlight the excellent search engine provided by the PTBA to industry members to find travel bloggers to work with. The Association will be providing all exhibitors at ITB Berlin 2013 free access to the search engine for the first two weeks of March, so they can explore its benefits. The newly formed, non-profit association of travel bloggers from around the world is dedicated to the advancement of travel blogging as a profession, and in assisting travel bloggers and travel industry members in coming together.

“Within the travel industry bloggers have become recognised as important opinion-formers“, says David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin. “They know how to engage with their readers. More and more bloggers focus on particular types of travel, which makes them valuable opinion-formers for operators marketing niche products. This makes it all the more important for us to provide a platform at the show where exhibitors can network and exchange views with international bloggers.“

Taking place parallel with ITB Berlin, the ITB Berlin Convention will also be providing numerous ideas on how to confront future challenges. On 6 March 2013, at the PhoCusWright@ITB event, held in English, analysts from PhoCusWright will be offering valuable suggestions. Taking “Pivot Point” as its theme heading, this year’s event will discuss important recent technological advances and their impact on travel industry strategies. This event will be followed by the New Media Summit, whose focus is also on technology and innovation and which will also feature its own session for bloggers.

On 8 March 2013 at the ITB Marketing and Distribution Day the topics discussed will be online reputations and the return on investment from mobile marketing and social media. Nicolas Georges Trad of the Reputation Institute, one of the world’s leading reputation management consultancies, will reveal the findings of the latest global survey with Forbes Magazine on national images and will provide recommendations on how destinations can improve their image. Jesko Perrey, division head of Marketing & Sales, McKinsey, will talk about the worst failings of corporate marketing and communications management and where the major problems lie in determining the return on investment from spending on social media and mobile marketing. The Innovation Forum will showcase new developments in the travel industry that have the potential to change market structures in the long term.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.