It is not a secret that I love traveling. But unless, I have done a collaboration with a destination, all my travels have been purely for pleasure. Nevertheless, in the process of taking my travel blog even more serious, attending travel conferences became a must. It is a way to get under the skin of the industry, learn from experts and find potential partners. So, in the beginning of the year I did some deeper research on which events I want to focus on, and in that attempt stumbled across Berlin Travel Festival, which was to be held for the first time in March. The 3 day-long festival combining talks/workshops, exhibitors from different part of the world and a trend lab for professionals, got me instantly curious. Before I knew it I had booked the plane ticket and approached the festival organization for more information.
When I told my friends and family about the trip to Berlin, they pretty much all ask the same questions. What the heck is a travel festival? Why would you want to go to such an event?
OKAY, SO LET ME QUICKLY EXPLAIN WHAT A TRAVEL FESTIVAL IS? :)
Berlin Travel Festival is a combination of talks, musical performances, food tastings, workshops and an experience area divided into different travel themes, such as Culture Journeys, Weekenders, Outdoor Escapes and Ocean Life. The festival speaks to a niche type of travel consumers, namely the new generation of travel enthusiasts, explorers, globetrotters, nomads and creative people with a broad mindset, who not just travel because they need a break from their day job, but rather because of an intrinsic motivation, curiosity, a challenge and maybe an escape from social structures. This is also the mindset of the participating brands, who all innovative and visionary in their own way, aiming to find creative solutions that speak to the demands of this new type of travel consumer. Berlin Travel Festival provides an "offline platform in the new online world" where both parties can meet, network, discuss, explore and learn from each other.
So, you can see this type of event is of particular interest for a person like me, a self proclaimed travel blogger. :D BUT there is a reason why this was a called a festival and not a trade show, because it does cater to anyone curious about traveling.
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GO TO BERLIN TRAVEL FESTIVAL EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT A TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
1. A GLIMPSE BEHIND THE (TRAVEL-) SCENE
The consumer landscape of travel is rapidly changing. We travel to see, explore, understand and experience the world outside our homes, and even though we travel more, we have also become more selective when it comes to what kind brands/destination we chose to still this hunger for adventure, escape, cultural encounters and so on. But how do the brands and destination actually adapt to this constant change? How do they segment their consumers, and what do they do to understand what drives travelers today? How have they adapted and developed themselves? How do they embrace this challenge of an ever-changing landscape and what types of solutions do they create to meet the ever growing expectations of todays traveler? This is the sort of glimpse behind the scene you get, when visiting Berlin Travel Festival. Personally, coming from a tourism-focused study, I find this area utterly interesting, and I am sure, that it is of interest to you, even without a major in tourism or a travel related professional background.
2. FINDING INSPIRATION AND NEW PERSPECTIVES
Hand on heart - how much do you know about Vanlife, location independent lifestyle, slow travel, cannabis tourism, mindfulness retreats, curated art tours? The experience area consisted of 4 different travel themes: Culture Journeys, Weekenders, Outdoor Escapes and Ocean Life. Have a look at the exhibition area here to see which destinations, brands, hotels were represented in each area. For my sake, I feel in love with the concept of Where About Now, a specialized travel provider for contemporary art trips, accompanied by an online journal. This trip to Israel has been added to my bucket list.
3. OPPORTUNITIES TO NETWORK
Personally, I think it is great to attend event solely for the purpose of networking. You simply never know who you end of talking to and what opportunities may arise from such an encounter. While talking to the co-founder of EyeEm, another "visitor" joined our conversation and we ended up having a long discussion about Instagram. It turned out that he was in the travel industry himself and started his own business of small neighborhood focused walking travel guides. We continued the chat over a cup of coffee, and got a peak behind his business model and his future plans. Hopefully, this can turn into a collaboration in the near future.
4. REFLECTIONS ON OWN TRAVEL BEHAVIOR
One of the big topics within the travel sphere is sustainable traveling. We all like to think of ourselves as conscious aware, taking care of the planet, making smart choices. But how much do we actually know? There were quiet a few talks centered around sustainability. For instance, Pepi de Boissieu spoke about the heritage of 5 superfoods in her talk "forbidden food", Nicolai Duda informed about the affect of human behavior at the beach on the maritime wildlife and presented his campaignwork "Sea Shepherd" and Milena Glimbovski showed how sustainable travel starts with packing "right". It does not hurt to start reflecting about your own travel behavior, and events like this can be some sort of eye opener.
5. YOU TRY SOMETHING NEW
Do you know how to build a skateboard? Do you know how to create a travel journal? Do you know how to cook an entire meal on camping equipment? These are just a few examples of the things you were able to try during the festival. I, myself, attended the "Hand im Glück" travel journal DYI workshop and became totally convinced that I should spend more time at home working on travel journals. Actually, I have one old scrapbook from a Hawaii trip I did in 2006, and I love opening this cheesy book to remind myself of some carefree days on the other side of the globe. Especially, in our digitalized world a physical travel journal gives you value on a new sentimental way.
So, what do you think? Would you want to visit Berlin Travel Festival next time, and get inspired for your next trip, or maybe a new way of traveling?