• Berlin will be presenting itself to national and international experts from the event and travel industries for two days.
  • The industry meeting was opened this morning at Kino International.
  • Focus on sustainability in the planning and implementation of Bestival.

Bestival, the industry event for the national and international visitor economy and event business, has now started in Berlin. Burkhard Kieker, CEO VisitBerlin, opened the Bestival live in Kino International this morning. Stephan Schwarz, Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, welcomed the participants via a video message. More than 800 guests have registered for this innovative event with its festival character. During the next two days, they can expect expert lectures, workshops and the latest offers, which should enable Berlin to keep its position in the global top league for congress and tourism metropolises. The event’s patron is Franziska Giffey, the governing Mayor of Berlin.

Stephan Schwarz, Senator for Economics, Energy, and Public Enterprises: “I am pleased that event and tourism experts from all over Europe are coming together in Berlin for this innovative event format. Berliners and the city’s guests love the capital for its creativity, its innovations and its diversity. It is great that all of this can be experienced on site and in person again this year.”

“More than 800 national and international industry experts from the visitor economy and the convention industry are coming together in Berlin today for the Bestival, says Burkhard Kieker. “In a unique mix of lectures, workshops and live experiences, we will introduce them to our city and discuss current trends. Thanks to the excellent teamwork with many Berlin partners, we were able to realize this event.”

Participants can create their own Bestival programme. Five topics present the many facets of Berlin:

  1. Urban Jungle  Sustainable offers such as urban gardening and vegan restaurants.
  2. Glamour and Lifestyle  Fashion and fine dining.
  3. Wild Berlin  Subculture and party scene.
  4. Art and Music  Street art, galleries, museums and concerts.
  5. Berlin Innovative  Science and start-up location.

Each topic will have its own presentations, live acts, and podium discussions on the first day. Organised thematic tours will be offered on the second Bestival day. More than 100 industry partners are represented at the festival, many of whom invite to post-events on Friday, and to the “Long Night of Hotels” for a drink and networking in the evenings.

Speaker and live acts: Keynote will be given by singer and artist Jocelyn B. Smith

The American singer and artist Jocelyn B. Smith opened the Bestival with her keynote “Matla Ahuna – The Power is Within Me.” Miss Smith is one of many high-profile acts involved in the event. In other talks and panel discussions, speakers such as Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Prof. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, tourism researcher and head of the Meaningful Tourism Center, Cornelia Wiemeyer, who is the CEO of Greenstorming GmbH for sustainable event management as well as Mariette Rissenbeek, who is the managing director of the Berlin International Film Festival and David Friedrich-Schmidt, CEO of the German Society for Neurology, will all be presenting their ideas and providing new impulses. Live acts will include the Berlin pop artist Jim Avignon and the DJ duo Bader & Bernhard.

Berlin is becoming an event location

The Bestival is being held in various locations throughout Berlin, including Kino International and the Café Moskau on Karl-Marx-Allee. The Badeschiff and its beach bar Spree offer up some summer feeling. The venue is part of the adjacent event hall Arena Berlin, where presentations and networking events are also held. Berlin’s legendary dance venue Clärchens Ballhaus is renowned for its unique atmosphere and dance-filled nights.

Sustainability in focus

The entire conception, organisation and realisation of Bestival follows a sustainability strategy based on the “Sustainable Meetings Berlin” initiative’s criteria as well as ISO 20121 for sustainable event management issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). For example, full CO₂ compensation is provided by Atmosfair, a gold standard certified provider. All of the service providers, including their supply chains, are obliged to work ecologically and to measure and document the emissions they produce. In Café Moskau, which is the main Bestival venue, daylight is used and lighting is reduced to a minimum and their ventilation system is only used for ventilating and not for cooling if possible. All of the catering for Bestival is vegetarian or vegan. The aim is to implement Bestival in a long-term and climate-neutral way. The event is part of the restart programme for Berlin’s event and tourism industries and is funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.

Find more information here.