Awin Travel Day in Berlin

Following the Signs

Passport – Check. Boarding Pass – Check. Hotel Print Out – Check.

Intro

Smarter Click’s Mark Batchelor gets lost in Berlin…

After being dropped off by my taxi at the address on the Awin website, I was slightly concerned as the driver told me that it could be here but he’s not sure. Recognising the picture from the Google Maps link, I thought at least I’m close. Frantically I searched every email and website post looking for more information or something I had missed. It was getting colder and being stood next to a German McDonalds – comfort food never looked so good.

When I stopped staring at my phone, I noticed something funny. In the spot I had been pacing up and down in was a spray-painted stencil of the Awin logo. It was surely a sign that I must be in the right place! I then noticed another a few metres away. I kept walking and noticed another, and another. Following the logos and arrows, my feeling of stupidity was shifting towards adventure as I knew I was now on the right path.

The markers took me across the road into an old industrial estate where I was met with 3 balloons in the Awin brand colours – Victory. Into the warm I go where I’m greeted with coffee, croissants and wifi. Chatting with some of the guests arriving, we chuckled at the experience and I made a note to self: “Stop staring at your phone and look around – You might just miss what’s in front of you!”

THE EVENT

The experience and passion of this young man Johannes Kinast was evident even with my Deutsch being nicht so gut

Set in the old train station, the space has an industrial and shabby chic feel reminiscent of a trendy Shoreditch style upcycle. The advertiser stands are actually advertiser barrels and the peeling paint looks purposeful. It’s a very intimate feel and between the presentations, most of the advertisers are very approachable and friendly and open to talk shop.

Nice little touches such as the presentation of the promotional material all being travel themed from the ticket style booklets to the kids’ gliders left on the seats in the seminar room. I managed to switch my red arrow with the chair next to me to the flying unicorn pony, which may prove a popular move when I get home.

Interesting opening presentation on how Blockchain technology maybe becoming part of our digital marketing landscape in the future and some nice examples such as Cryptocribs and Winding Tree were presented. Did the audience find it interesting or is it the future? I’m not so sure, but I definitely enjoyed it as a current fan of Blockchain.

The lunch break was a nice opportunity to refuel and regroup. The little steak dishes were cooked to perfection. The afternoon session opened with a publisher speaking in German and presenting his slides in English. The experience and passion of this young man Johannes Kinast was evident even with my Deutsch being nicht so gut. He shared his lessons learned on how he started his WordPress website 7 years ago while still a university student.

Towards the end of the event, many of the attendees and staff were talking about the ITB conference the next day. If I were to repeat this exercise next year I’d take that into consideration and perhaps spend a day or two as a visitor.