Shake hands with ...
... Anita Sorgers. As PR manager at Vienna House Andel’s Berlin, she shakes hands with lots of people every day. A native of Potsdam, she frequently meets extraordinary personalities and often one handshake leads to another. We met her at the start of the #HandshakeBerlin campaign. In our conversation, she explains what’s behind it and who she would like to shake hands with personally.
Ms Sorgers, what handshakes have been the most important to you?
That’s a difficult question because a handshake is often over very quickly. The appeal of our business lies more in the chance to shake hands with so many different personalities, such as event planners, photographers or guests. Every handshake sets something off and this is what gives rise to the many colourful stories in our day-to-day work. A handshake with a domino effect. That’s what’s special to me.
#HandshakeBerlin: Why is this symbolic handshake important for the Berlin hotel industry?
By shaking hands we can feel the spirit of the person we’re meeting, get to know each other and take it as an inspiration and source of ideas. And that’s exactly what Berlin wants: as one of the world’s biggest host cities for congresses, Berlin is always a step ahead. Everything’s possible here and there’s so much potential. And that’s exactly what we want to convey to our clients from the MICE sector. Not working on our own, but collectively. And not just through facts and figures either, but through personal stories. Up to now, though, there hasn’t been the platform or the extent of cooperation we need, because the sheer number of hotels means there’s so much competition. Overcoming this and building a new image for the Berlin MICE sector together is hard work, but also a unique challenge. With #HandshakeBerlin we’re now opening the doors to the stories behind the scenes for our MICE clients.
When you take someone by the hand in Berlin – where do you lead them?
If it’s someone who’s never been to Berlin before, I do the traditional thing and take them to the TV Tower or the Brandenburg Gate. In my job I always notice how significant our landmarks are to visitors. But for me personally, it’s particularly important to show them how green Berlin is and how much water there is. That’s why I’d always choose a boat trip. Then you can see the old warehouses behind the Oberbaumbrücke bridge, the government quarter, Museum Island, the golden angel on the Victory Column. You can see all the beach bars and theatres, the Eastside Gallery and the history of the city. You can see how Berlin has grown and how multifaceted it is. It’s also the best way for organisers to find out how they want to show Berlin to their guests.
What is the most important tool (for a successful event) in your daily work?
The personal encounter. You have to get people personally excited about Berlin and take them along with you into this city’s own universe. You can see this with Berlin’s courtyard culture – someone first has to take you through the door or gate into the next courtyard and suddenly a whole new, different world opens up that you’d never have known about otherwise. Personal encounters are essential for this.
Hand on heart – who would you most like to shake hands with (in Berlin)?
I’d like to shake hands with the film director, producer and screenwriter Tom Tykwer. That’s because he has his professional roots in Berlin and I really admire the compelling way he tells his stories in productions like Run Lola Run, Perfume, The International, Cloud Atlas and the Babylon Berlin TV series.
Thank you: We’re very grateful to Anita Sorgers for the interview!
Let’s shake hands on it
Our team is happy to give you a hand in planning meetings and major events. We can hook you up with hotels, venues and service partners in the capital and help you stage the events together with our city’s event experts. Whether it’s a conference, a congress, a meeting or an incentive, drop us a line at convention@visitBerlin.de and look around for a suitable venue in our Meeting Guide Berlin.
Anita Sorgers for #HandshakeBerlin
- Anita Sorgers studied business administration at the Humboldt University in Berlin and then worked in the software industry. She swapped careers to the hotel business has been PR manager at Vienna House Andel’s Berlin and Vienna House Easy Berlin.
- The #HandshakeBerlin campaign is a joint initiative of the Berlin hotel industry and the Berlin Convention Office to attract congress organisers to the capitalb - with very personal stories from every hotel.
- You can read these stories here at #HandshakeBerlin, on our hotel partners’ various media channels and on Twitter at @BerlinMeetings.