The Maestro at Work: Leading a Sales Team at ITB Berlin

Markku ITB cover

Attending the ITB in Berlin with your team is like leading an orchestra at the center of a major music festival. Sometimes, you realize you've left the sheet music at home, your mobile phone's power bank is broken, and you must tune a new trombone on the fly.

Everything around you is buzzing with anticipation, possibilities, and new collaborations. There you are not only the expert on your product or service, but also the face of your company and the creator of first impressions.

The best thing about the ITB event was the opportunity it offered to meet people face to face. In the digital age, this value is particularly well understood. You get to have conversations, see reactions in real time, and make connections that would not be possible with a phone call or email. Networking is huge, and every encounter can open doors you never dreamed of.

Markku Pajarinen ITB 2024Participating in the ITB in Berlin is like leading an orchestra - Markku Pajarinen

The fairs are inspiring. You realize how big the industry is, and surrounded by new trends, innovations and insights, you feel part of something bigger, part of the future of your industry. It gives you the strength and inspiration to think big and bold.

Managing your schedule and meeting all the interesting contacts can be challenging. The size and scope of the fairs require concentration and planning, but they also offer the opportunity to learn new things and broaden your perspective.

"It is a pressured position and a privilege at the same time."

As an individual sales manager at a trade fair, you feel responsible not only for your own objectives but also for representing your entire team. It is a pressured position and a privilege at the same time. As a sales director, you have the opportunity to share the vision, inspire, and ensure that the objectives are met while also listening and learning.

The days are long and often continue in the evening with a gathering or a dinner with colleagues to share the best stories of the day and get to know each other.

You also get to know the various döner places in Berlin. During the day, you taste the "gourmet" dishes of the fair unless you have been forward thinking and wrapping a sandwich in paper and stuffing it in the bottom of your bag at the hotel breakfast.

Just when you've got the next day's schedule all set, you read somewhere that there's a public transport strike, and next thing you know, you're booking an advance trip on Bolt. If you don't book it immediately, you’ll find out that 15 minutes later, the price has doubled. Revenue management works on taxis too :D

Days are full of situations where you change the meeting host on the fly when you find that a French-speaking colleague is talking to your Finnish client and you are talking to a French lady. Then you just switch places and revive the customer's pain points in their primary language.

ITB fairs are a marathon, not a sprint. The days are long and demanding, but at the same time they are full of opportunities that can change the course of your business. Every moment and every conversation is an opportunity for growth and development.

markku-19-print-1Markku Pajarinen serves as the Sales Director in the MeetingPackage sales team, diligently working to assist venue owners in enhancing their business operations.

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