Saturday, March 21, 2009

INTERNORGA, Hamburg, 2009

If you would ask a German about the annual event for the hospitality industry with the longest tradition, the answer would be INTERNORGA, which celebrated its 83rd anniversary in 2009. One of Europe’s biggest trade fair of its kind, based in Germany’s trade metropolis Hamburg, is year after year a must for hospitality suppliers.

This year’s INTERNORGA took place 13-18 March, and with 87,000 square meters of exhibition space it was larger than ever before. 103,000 trade visitors were attracted by 1,050 exhibitors. However, RateTiger was not amongst these exhibitors as INTERNORGA has a strong focus on the catering and restaurant/bar industry. Only approximately 16% of its visitors work in the hotel business, and most of them are rather concerned with choosing new cutlery or a convection oven than revenue or channel management software.

Nonetheless, RateTiger’s German PR representative Jasmin Keller spent a day at this busy event and met a number of press contacts. Her impression: “It is indeed a massive event! Yet you will probably not find many buyers for channel management software.” Asked whether INTERNORGA was hence a less important event: “Not at all! All our key media contacts are present to promote their publications as well as to learn about new products. It’s a perfect way to meet up with everyone!”

A need to create awareness for the necessity of a strategic approach to the online market is the common outcome of her meetings. The editors agreed that it is vital for hotelier’s future success to learn about the importance of the Internet as a point of sale. “Many hoteliers are still skeptical about using third party distribution sites or cannot afford the time to update these extranets properly,” said Jasmin. “The editors are aware that those must be educated: about the opportunities for their business; the risk they take by not participating on this market; the best ways to manage the web strategically; the need for continuous benchmarking and updating; and the possibilities to safe time and maximize revenue with supportive software solutions, such as RateTiger.”

Overall INTERNORGA has been a success for RateTiger, with several editors planning to pick up on channel management. The company’s claim of being not only a software vendor but also to focus on education, training and consultancy has proved to be the right strategy.

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