This is part 2 of my visit to ITB Berlin, and how to enter to win my goodie bag. If you missed the first part, click here.
I was glad I began my day at ITB early, right when the doors opened. When the day started there were very few attendees walking around but by the time I left the aisles were packed with people and it was difficult to move faster than at a snail’s pace.
I made it all around the loop from halls 1 to 25, but did not make it to the hall that contained booths from Asia-Pacific. I’m sure there were some pretty cool displays and swag but had to skip it due to time constraints. That’s the yellow-colored block #26 for those of you tracing my steps on the map.
Who “won” in my book for the best display booth?
For airlines, Emirates won hands-down. At the beginning of their area you were greeted by flight attendants as though you were boarding a flight. From there, they had all kinds of fun stuff for fans of their A380.
The onboard lounge was there (which is a shared feature for both business and first class passengers), complete with bar, snacks and seating where you could take a rest for a bit.
It was very popular, and people lined up to get their picture taken with the flight attendant in front of the bar.
They also had the first-class private suite on display. It had power so the seat actually moved too.
People marveled over the product and it was clear they loved trying it out and taking their pictures while sitting in it.
Of course, no Emirates A380 first class cabin mockup would be complete without the onboard shower. I personally find the Emirates shower area to be more comfortable and spacious than the Etihad onboard shower area, though both are pretty amazing in that you can actually take a shower in the sky. Too cool.
There were other airlines at ITB too, and Lufthansa had some mockups as well. Their space was much smaller though, and attendees had to traipse up some stairs to a little room that bottlenecked in front of the seats so it wasn’t quite as cool.
I did walk by Norwegian Air’s booth and saw some luggage tags next to a plane model. I reached out to take one, but found it was secured to the desk. It’s a low-cost airline though, so if the other airlines weren’t giving out free luggage tags why would they?
Even if there was no swag to take though, the booths themselves were sometimes very entertaining. Hundreds of hours must have gone into setting some of them up. Was that a pirate ship?
The “India” area was colorful to visit, and smelled of warm spices and curries that made my stomach rumble for some lunch.
It had a larger-than-life yogi statue that offered a small grassy area in front that attendees enjoyed using to strike their own pose and take photos.
The “country” with the best giveaway swag out of my entire visit (excluding the Asia-Pacific part I missed) was…
Some booths I passed throughout the consumer day offered food for a fee, whereas my husband said during the day prior that was geared at businesses the food was free.
Turkey must have missed the memo to tighten up, because they offered a ton of food for free. They had plates piled with different local snacks to try, which were refreshed often.
A catchy tune played in the background and a large number of folks were dressed up in local garb to welcome people. There were elf-lookalikes that danced with a tambourine and took pictures with attendees, guys that handed out hot-pink plastic bags with wheels and handles that looked like suitcases (I declined because I knew I wouldn’t have room for it in my real suitcase), and a guy that danced around a prop donkey and handed out glasses of wine.
The attendees standing around clapped along in time to the music, and some of them got into the action and danced too.
A lady stood nearby dishing out something called fassoulia yiahni which looked like a stew with beans, a table held bread rolls to go with the stew, and there was a second wine choice.
Turkey hadn’t lightened up on the giveaways or representatives from the day prior either. Just about every booth had something other than a brochure being given away, and there were no empty spots without reps. Eager to engage, reps handed out hats, sunglasses, chocolate, bags, keychains, bookmarks and pens. They called out to people walking by, beckoned for people to have a seat or come closer to hear more about their property or company.
I got a couple of cute miniature chairs from Louis Hotels (which is technically in Cyprus but represented in the Turkey booth area) which would be great sun loungers for dolls or stuffed toys.
For individual hotels, J’Adore Deluxe Hotel & Spa won for giveaways.
The weather outside was cold, and they offered something especially great for the day – a fleecy soft scarf. There were several reps from the hotel that encouraged people to learn more about their property. I’d never heard of them before and their area was busy with attendees talking one-on-one with reps, but as I took the scarf (that came in a bag with a pen and ruler/sticky notes) they thanked me for stopping by and said that the property was brand new and set to open May 2016.
When I got back to the hotel room I actually Googled them to find out more. Located in Antalya, Turkey the J’Adore Deluxe Hotel & Spa is a luxury property and their website says they’ll offer chocolate, apple cake and cookies to guests at check-in along with a hot or cold towel (depending on the season). Here’s a screengrab from their website of the property –
It looked pretty cool, and if I had plans to go to Antalya I’d consider staying there whereas if they hadn’t been so actively engaged with customers walking by I probably wouldn’t. As far as chain hotels go in Antalya, there aren’t many. In fact, I can only think of the Crowne Plaza.
Some of my takeaways from my day at ITB Berlin –
Even though the business day was probably an understandably bigger push for companies that were representing at ITB, consumers are important too. Drawing in attendees with cool giveaways and freebies at an event like ITB might cost a company a couple thousand dollars but their return could be several times that. Did I need freebies and giveaways? No, but I think representatives that acted disinterested and simply had fliers at the booth with no one there to answer questions were, in my mind, losing out on an opportunity to engage potential new customers.
Many times during the day I felt extremely lucky and humbled. I overheard people wistfully saying that they wish they could visit the Maldives…someday, taste lemons from the Isle of Capri….someday, or see the lights in Paris…someday. I watched as people took their pictures giddily in front of a first class seat in the Lufthansa or Emirates areas, and it reminded me that very few people are fortunate enough to travel in such comfort and to such amazing places around the globe so often. I am very lucky, indeed, and the more I travel the more my list of places I want to travel to someday grows.
I had a great time at ITB Berlin, and want to share all the goodies I took home with one of my readers. Since I was on the road for about a month with carry-on luggage only though, space was tight. I crammed as much as I could into my bag and brought it home and put it in a USPS box. I’m not keeping anything for myself at all, so if you win you’ll get everything I could fit, including those cute mini lounge chairs and the super-soft scarf. There’s a still-sealed coffee table book about Rwanda (though it is in German so it may make a great gift), a hat, keychains, pens, chocolates, and yes some random brochures.
Here’s how to enter to win the goodie bag –
Leave a comment on this post about somewhere you’d like to travel in the world. You can enter up to 5 times, and the cutoff for the contest is midnight PST on Sunday March 27, 2016. I’ll do the drawing using random.org and reveal the winner on Monday the 28th.
Good luck to everyone!