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NEWS 9 Bringing the

NEWS 9 Bringing the World together Nadja Plonka Head of Protocol & Events of Messe Berlin From 1995 to 1998 Nadja Plonka worked in the press, radio and TV department of EXPO 2000 in Hanover where she organised approximately 300 national and international press events. Later she moved to EXPO 2000’s department of public relations, advertising and design as a project manager where she designed, planned, coordinated and implemented a series of events with a variety of partners, as well as having overall responsibility for the budget. The German Business Travel Association VDr e.V. (Verband Deutsches r eisemanagement e. V.) represents the interests of the German economy to business travel management. With its more than 500 members, it represents a total turnover of more than ten billion Euros each year. This year for the first time, the “home of Business Travel by ITB & VDr” is being launched in hall 7.1a – a dedicated networking and relaxing space for top business travel professionals. We asked Mr Gerdom what the reasoning was behind creating a one-stop-shop for these people at ITB Berlin… One of the highlights of ITB Berlin and in worldwide tourism generally is the ITB Berlin opening ceremony. Those who participate are always amazed by the magnificence of the event and the extraordinary organization surrounding it. Behind this success is Nadja Plonka, h ead of Protocol & Events of Messe Berlin. she tells ITB Berlin News why this year’s ceremony will be even more special… A celebrity line-up will be present on 5th March 2013, on the eve of the fair, with Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany and Susilo Bambang the home of Business travel by itB and VDr Dirk Gerdom President of the German Business Travel Association VDR / Senior Director and Head of Global Mobility Sap aG After finishing school with A-level and his military service in the German navy, Dirk Gerdom passed his professional education as a travel agent. This was followed by his successful studies of Business Administration and subsequent employment as a programmer in a mediumsized software company in Heilbronn, Germany. Today Dirk Gerdom is responsible for worldwide Travel Management within the SAP group. With the Home of Business Travel by ITB & VDR, we offer a home to everyone who is interested in business travel in general. The common goal is to complete the wide range of ITB Berlin’s exhibitor mix, which is usually highly oriented towards the leisure tourism industry. Visitors will find real focused business travel know-how at our shared booth. Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia, who will open this year’s ITB Berlin. Raimund Hosch, CEO Messe Berlin GmbH, will welcome around 4,500 international industry representatives before handing over to other celebrity guests at the opening event. At the end of the evening, the guests will all be invited to savour Indonesia’s regional specialities and culinary delights. This glamorous event and Indonesia’s status as the official partner country of ITB Berlin guarantee a level of attention and sympathy that extends far beyond the borders of Europe. Who are the guests at the ceremony? The guest list includes a broad range of Top CEOs and CMOs from the international tourism industry, international and national Tourism Ministers and State Secretaries accompanied by domestic delegations, Ambassadors and Directors of Tourism Boards as well as other high ranked opinion leaders and representatives of tourism associations. What are the goals of the new initiative? The joint booth in Hall 7.1a provides business travel and event managers, buyers and office professionals from Germany and abroad a unique platform with offers and opportunities to optimise their business. The 200 square metre space will allow new business contacts and in-depth discussions with existing partners. Could you tell us a little more about some of the key participants? Our co-exhibitors – AirPlus International, Business Visum, Derpart What will be the highlight of this year’s event? This year’s partner country – Indonesia – is really making an effort for an outstanding show. Although I can’t tell you too much about the concept due to secrecy, some parts of the show will include an interplay with an Indonesian and German orchestra, emphasizing cross-border friendship. What are your best memories of previous opening ceremonies? It is very hard to choose a specific partner country’s show, since the performances of Peru, Germany, Greece, India, the Dominican Republic, Turkey, India, Egypt were all unique in terms of the show programme, tradition and cultural aspects. From a technical point of view, Poland’s performance in 2011 included a massive screen used for a three dimensional movie. Dancers in front of the screen interacted with the content of the movie and created a real 4D experience for the audience. Reisevertrieb, Egencia, FCm Travel Solutions and Thalys – show solutions for the professional planning of business trips. The Holiday Inn Berlin Airport - Conference Centre takes over the part of the caterer to ensure the well being of our guests. And last but not least JulEvents, our long-lasting and trusted partner, has planned the fair appearance. Hall 7.1 A Stand 100 Hall 8.1 Stand 114 ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 27 th February 2013

ITB Berlin News