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Industry Talk

ISPO Munich 2021: Hybrid concept to reach wide international audience

For the first time ever, end consumers are to be digitally integrated into the ISPO hybrid event at the end of January 2021

6th October 2020

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Munich


The world-leading trade fair ISPO Munich, will take place from January 31 to February 3, 2021, for the first time as a hybrid event that will be held both ‘in-person’ in Munich and online around the world. The new concept marks the event’s systematic transformation into a platform and applies the broad range of digital expertise that ISPO has gained over the past 10 years, organisers Messe München have announced.

With the threat of travel restrictions looming over the trade fair, the digital elements will create the ideal basis for integrating global target groups, the organisers says. While representatives from European markets are generally expected to attend the in-person event, the digital enhancements will enable an intercontinental audience to participate as well. Another new addition next year will be the digital integration of end consumers, it adds.

“Sports and outdoor activities – two areas that are closely related to the topic of health at the moment – have never been so socially relevant,” said Klaus Dittrich, the Chairman and CEO of Messe München. “This has created a growing desire in the industry for personal interaction. The urge to present and discuss new potential, partnerships and business models is greater than ever. The industry has been communicating this need to us, and we have come up with the concept to meet it.”

Personal interaction meets global participation

New participation options, new topics, expanded target groups: All of these things are reflected in particular in the large number of physical and digital attendance options devoted to the focus topics of creativity and digitalization, health and sustainability. In addition to product presentations in the trade fair halls, the event will focus on networking, matchmaking, knowledge transfer and innovations.

Thanks to the integrated hybrid stages, visitors will be able to attend presentations, talks and workshops not only on site, but also from locations around the world. Brands, key players and top athletes will speak with an audience that extends well beyond the walls of the trade fair halls. ISPO Munich will also include two single-day conference formats: ISPO Digitize Summit (February 1, 2021) and the Sports Tech World Series Conference (February 2, 2021).

In implementing the hybrid concept, the ISPO team has drawn on the digital expertise and reach that it has acquired over the past 10 years - they are based on the development of an eco-system with services that extend along the value chain and on the implementation of an entirely digital ISPO Re.Start Days in the summer of 2020.

New: digital integration of end consumers

For the first time, end consumers will have an opportunity to experience something that was formerly reserved for the B2B audience: the chance to participate digitally and conduct a direct dialogue with the industry. With the help of presentations, workshops and master classes, the brands and companies will have an opportunity to make digital presentations to sports and outdoor fans around the world and speak directly to them.


The ISPO Open Innovation Community has already demonstrated the effectiveness of this concept: approximately 80,000 end consumers contribute their know-how to crowd- funding and market-research campaigns and provide companies with valuable insights about new products and ideas throughout the year.

Personal interaction on the exhibition grounds in Munich will remain the provision of the B2B audience. Markus Hefter comments: “We are ready for ISPO Munich 2021 and are really looking forward to lots of new ideas. One thing is clear: even though many issues can be solved digitally, the desire to meet and interact in person has grown dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic. We are really happy about the strong support we have received from the industry and will provide our customers with a safe platform.”

Maximum safety and flexibility

A comprehensive safety and hygiene concept that Messe München worked out with the state government of Bavaria will be used during the on-site activities of ISPO Munich 2021. The safety of exhibitors and visitors will have the highest priority. Events began to be successfully held once again on the Munich exhibition grounds on September 1. The rule of thumb for international visitors is: trade fair participants may travel from all countries to Germany provided that certain conditions are met because they are considered to be business travellers on an important mission.

Exhibitors will have more flexibility as a result of the extension of deadlines and flexible cancellation terms. If needed, pre-built booths may be used in order to cost-effectively and efficiently participate in the trade fair.

If exhibitors or visitors have any questions about the safety and hygiene concept, they may contact the Messe München hotline by phone +49 89 949 11400 or e- mail at [email protected]. The service hours are: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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