Next week is the annual ITB Berlin travel trade show. At this event, travel industry professionals spend countless hours walking around Berlin’s largest conference center. There’s networking, people in crazy costumes, giveaways and a whole lotta swag. There’s plenty of business happening at the event as well, but it’s mostly just people in suits walking around.

As a travel industry professional myself, I’ve been to ITB Berlin for the past three years. My opinion on the 4-day event has varied over the years, but to say the least: it’s usually interesting. I’m just bitter because despite the official @ITB_Berlin twitter account following every travel blogger under the sun, they don’t follow me. Regardless, ITB Berlin is the best conference I’ve been to from the gay perspective. There is a rather large presence of LGBT companies at the ITB, and the LGBT Travel Pavilion is a great place for networking. The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) organizes several media events during ITB. Below you’ll find the best events for gay travel writers & bloggers that I’ve found. Have an additional tip? Send me a tweet or leave it in the comments!

ITB

What you need to know:

ITB Berlin 2014 is held from March 5-9 at Messe Berlin. The LGBT Travel Pavilion will be located in the Caribbean (Hall 3.1) with more than 400 square meters of exhibition space. More information about ITB Berlin can be found on their website: http://www.itb-berlin.de/

The Gay Pavilion

Located in the Caribbean area of the Messe Berlin, the Gay & Lesbian Pavilion hosts companies and representatives looking to target the LGBT travel & tourism market. This year, there will be more companies than ever, including: companies from Mexico, Majorca, Madrid, Japan, Pinkweek.eu from Slovenia, Brazil, Wien Tourismus, Argentina, Prague Pride, Gran Canaria, TomonTour.com, Spartacus and Morantis, with offers of tourism in Cyprus and Greece. The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) will again be hosting the largest display with exhibitors from Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Key West, World Rainbow Hotels (UK), Tel Aviv, India, Toronto World Pride and China.

Visit the LGBT Travel Pavilion throughout the week.

Gay Pavilion ITB 2014

LGBT Events at ITB Berlin 2014

Tuesday, March 4

  • 8pm to 12am
    Travel Massive
    Travel Massive is the largest travel industry meetup worldwide, connecting thousands of people in over 41 cities to collaborate, share ideas and connect globally. The Travel Massive event @ ITB attracts hundreds of the most creative people in the travel industry every year, it is a night to come together from all corners of the world and share stories, experiences, and ideas. There’s nothing very LGBT about this event, but for travel bloggers and ITB newcomers, it’s probably a good event to get started at.
    Sign up here. For additional information, contact itb@travelmassive.com

Wednesday, March 5

  • 11am to 12:30pm
    Gay & Lesbian Media Networking Brunch
    With representatives from Rezidor Hotels, Visit Berlin, Frankfurt Congress + Tourism, Vienna Tourism, Ontario Tourism and the Media partners Spartacus Traveler and TomOnTour.com, the networking brunch is hosted by the ITB Berlin. The event is aimed at representatives from all types of media.
    Sign up here. For additional information, contact vasileva@messe-berlin.de
  • 4pm to 6pm in the LGBT Pavilion (Hall 3.1, Stand 108)
    ITB LGBT Networking Reception hosted by Spartacus and IGLTA
    Hosted and sponsored by the IGLTA, Lufthansa, Berliner Aids-Hilfe e.V. and the Spartacus International Gay Guide, it’s another place for networking (and drinking cocktails). The 2014 Spartacus model Phil Fusco (USA) will be there to promote the new Spartacus guide.
    By invitation only.
  • From 7:30pm at Golden Tulip Berlin
    Gay ITB Party 2014
    TomOnTour is hosting the annual Gay ITB Party in Berlin with drinks, food, drag queens and DJs. The event is sponsored by Visit Florida.
    For additional information and to register, contact ITB@tomontour.com

Thursday, March 6

  • 12:30pm to 3pm at ITB Messe Berlin (Hall 18, Stand 125)
    Chic Champagne & Canapés at ITB 2014
    Chic Shopping® and IGLTA invite you to join them for an IGLTA Member Networking Reception in the Chic Outlet Shopping® Stand with the opportunity to enter to win a 250€ Chic Outlet Shopping® Spree (valid at any one of the nine European outlet locations).
    More information on the IGLTA website.
  • 8pm to midnight at Tube Station Berlin on Friedrichstrasse
    mate.Travel Award 2014
    Hosted by Mate Media Group, Spartacus Traveler & Lufthansa, this event will see a destination receive the annual mate.Travel award, given by the gay lifestyle magazine to a company (this time, though, it’s a destination) for exceptional work in LGBT tourism.
    By invitation only.

Friday, March 7

  • 4pm to 5:45pm in hall 7.1a, auditorium New York 1
    Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Importance Of Gay Pride Events For City Tourism
    Gay pride events have a high level of touristic relevance, they have developed into excellent attractions in city tourism. Millions of international visitors regularly participate in gay pride events. What are the touristic effects of gay pride? How can such large events be successfully utilized for touristic goals? What can city destinations learn from international best practice examples? This panel discussion will feature speakers representing the gay & lesbian travel segment
    More information.
  • 9pm to midnight at the Axel Hotel
    IGLTA & Axel Hotel Berlin ITB Party 2014
    To promote the annual IGLTA conference in Madrid later this year, this event and party has a Spanish theme (“fun and flamenco”). Great for networking.
    Sign up here

Saturday, March 8

  • 9.30 a.m. to at the ABBA Berlin Hotel
    visitBerlin Gay Breakfast
    Unfortunately I have very little information about this event, and only saw it in the official ITB press release about LGBT events.
  • in the LGBT Pavilion (Hall 3.1, Stand 108)
    Queer Tango Show
    Organised by Argentina, there will be a performance of queer tango during the day.

* * *

Will you be at ITB Berlin this year? If so, I’d love to meet with you. Check out my profile on the ITB Marketplace, or you can contact me here.