Student Initiatives

The Best Exhibitor Award (BEA)

Since 2000, the best exhibitors at the ITB Berlin, the World‘s Leading Travel Trade Show, have been awarded with the Best-Exhibitor-Awards (BEA). During the trade visitor days from 7. – 11.03.2018, again 30 Students of Cologne Business School (CBS) are going to evaluate the booths on behalf of and in cooperation with ITB Berlin. The now well established Best-Exhibitor-Award is under the patronage of Klaus Laepple, Honorary President of the Deutscher Reiseverband e.V. (DRV) and President of the Bundesverband der Deutschen Tourismuswirtschaft e.V. (BTW). The winners of last year’s awards show can be found here

Best of Best Award

Once again, as part of the ITB 2017, a team of Tourism majors at the Cologne Business School will be evaluating each of the 11,000 exhibition booths at the trade show during the fair dates for visitors. Using a sophisticated set of criteria, the students will distinguish the best exhibitor within the Best Exhibitor Awards ceremony at the Palais am Funkturm. In collaboration with the Cologne-based consultancy firm, COMPASS GmbH and as ITB partner, the team of students will examine the areas: design, creativity, booth division, B2B as regards personnel, informative literature, activities / special promotions as well as the overall impression before awarding prizes for the best trade show appearances in eleven standard and two special categories.

„I enjoy CBS on the ITB tourism students for years and do through discussions with professors know how practical and industry-relevant CBS students are prepared for a tourism career.“

Klaus Laepple, Honorary President of DRV

In order to ensure maximum transparency and objectivity, a second evaluation takes place among the 15 highest rated exhibitors in each category. The Best Exhibitor Awards will be given out this year for the 17th time and have become a firmly established industry benchmark. Since its inception, the project has been under the guidance of Klaus Laepple, longtime president of the German Tourism Federation and honorary president of the German Travel Association.



The evaluation of all booths is conducted with the help of a detailed criteria catalogue. The catalogue has been developed by students of the Cologne Business School and is aimed at minimizing subjectivity during the assessment process. The booths are evaluated according to a defined set of criteria. The designs of each booth, the quality of the offered information and services as well as the shown authenticity and creativity are important aspects of the evaluation. Financial resources of exhibitors are not crucial for the assessment. Aspects of the evaluation of the booth’s design are the creative presentation of information, the set-up of the booth and the resulting sense stimulation of visitors. The center piece of every exhibition booth is naturally the staff and the provided service. Friendliness, competence, the appropriate amount of staff relative to the booth‘s size and a uniform appearance are key aspects. The top 15 of every category are re-assessed at the end of the evaluation process. This second run even includes additional criteria such as the sustainability of stand or the attractiveness at private visitors’ days. The pointsfrom both runs are added together and the mean is calculated. To ensure objectivity each evaluator is trained beforehand.


All booths are placed in 12 categories before the start of the fair. The geographic, respectively the industry specific assignment supports a high comparability. Moreover, it promotes the BEA as the benchmark indicator for ITB stands.

  1. Germany
  2. Europe
  3. Asia/Australia/Oceania
  4. America/The Caribbean
  5. Near/Middle East
  6. Africa
  7. Hotel Business
  8. Carriers
  9. Travel Organizations
  10. Travel Support and Media
  11. Travel Technology

“Best of Best” – for the exhibitor with the highest points overall

The Award Show

The Best Exhibitor Award Show on the Saturday night of the trade fair has meanwhile become a fixed component of the ITB frame program and its significance with the exhibitors has increased during the last few years: thus the prizes were not infrequently accepted by tourism ministers, consulates and other distinguished personalities of the most varied nations. For most of the award winners, the award as Best Exhibitor signifies a visible success of their efforts in international marketing. In a most vibrant and visually worthwhile manner, the Best-Exhibitor-Award Show displays a myriad of features and the cultural diversity of tourism, thus honouring the factor which lures visitors to the trade fair: the most beautiful and service-oriented booth design possible.

Logo Messe Berlin BEA
Logo Compass BEA


Fair Management ITB

Prof. Dr. Patrick Merten

+49 (0) 221 93 18 09-846

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