29 Jun 11
Last week saw members of the Berlin Product Team travel to CityFair2011, in London, held at the Hilton Metropole and coordinated by ETOA – the European Tour Operators Association.
A drinks reception, held at The Orangery at Kensington Palace, saw us mingling with a range of guests and enjoying the beautiful surroundings (and delicious finger food!). A keynote speech by a BBC representative addressed the emerging importance of the role of cities in the world – by 2080, some 75% of the world’s population will live in cities! Some of us took the tour of Kensington Palace and learned about the role this plays in the history of the British Monarchy, and we met with a range of people attending the event.
The actual fair itself saw two conference rooms set up with approximately 150 tables, where tourism boards, hoteliers, tour operators and other people from the tourism industry were able to meet with and establish relationships, discuss potential ways to work together and build networks face to face. A lunch was provided, and during this time there was a panel of experts who discussed some of the challenges and opportunities of the tourism industry today. Following the lunch, a further full session of discussion and contracting took place, before a late night flight home to Berlin.
We really care about establishing face to face relationships – the internet serves to connect people, and it’s important to remember that the people it connects are real, with interests, passions and backgrounds that are diverse – just the same as meeting people in a real life, brick and mortar setting. We look at events like CityFair as a great opportunity to meet with people from around the world, and develop relationships that aren’t held together by pixels and bandwidth!