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Industry Talk

Successful launch of new outdoor era

With 1,018 exhibitors and more than 22,000 trade visitors, OutDoor by ISPO launched a new era for the outdoor industry this week.

4th July 2019

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Munich

Sports/​Outdoor, Sustainable

A new, open hall concept, 18 topic-specific Focus Areas and an extensive supporting programme for the trade public transformed OutDoor by ISPO into an experience platform for a modern understanding of outdoor. © OutDoor by ISPO

With 1,018 exhibitors and more than 22,000 trade visitors, OutDoor by ISPO launched a new era for the outdoor industry this week. Under the motto There’s a perfect outdoor for everyone, Europe’s largest outdoor trade fair was held for the first time in Munich.

A spirit of new beginnings was perceptible at the premiere. A new, open hall concept, 18 focus areas inside and outside the halls as well as a far-reaching supporting program for trade visitors turned the fair into an experience platform for the modern outdoor world. The industry concentrated on one theme in particular: sustainability.

“The industry’s tremendous enthusiasm demonstrates the success of our new concept. We were able to keep and even exceed our promises from the run-up. Together with the industry, we have launched a new era in which the term ‘outdoor’ is no longer forced to conform to a definition written by the industry. Instead, it has become the collective term for the attitude of each individual,” commented Klaus Dittrich, Chairman and CEO of Messe München.

OutDoor by ISPO 2019 in numbers

1,018 exhibitors showcased their products and innovations during the premiere of OutDoor by ISPO. International exhibitors made up 84% of the total. Countries with the largest participation were Germany, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, China, Sweden and the USA.

More than 22,000 trade visitors from about 90 countries attended the trade fair. About two thirds of them came from countries outside Germany. Countries with the largest number of visitors were (in this order) Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, the UK, France and the Netherlands. The proportion of decision makers was 85%. A total of 87% of visitors rated the premiere event as good to excellent, according to official market research conducted by Messe München.

Inclusive outdoor concept

Following the idea of freedom, open aisles in the middle conveyed the true outdoor spirit and served as a space for staging relevant themes. In addition, all halls gained a strong and consistent first row in the style of a shopping mile and offered more room for the presentations of the exhibiting companies.

Themes presented at the fair ranged from classic outdoor activities like hiking, trail running, water sports and urban outdoor to the first-time integration of adventure travel and bikes. Also very well received was the new Cross-Industry segment, with presentations at the trade fairs automatica, electronica, EXPO REAL, IFAT, LOPEC, LASER World of PHOTONICS and transport logistic, as well as presentations by representatives of the respective industries, which demonstrated the potential for cooperation with other industries outside the outdoor sector.

By expanding the traditional concept of outdoor, OutDoor by ISPO was able to attract many new exhibitors. In one reflection of this, Gabor, a company with a long tradition, showcased its products for the very first time at an outdoor trade fair by being part of the Shoe & Trailrunning Village. Other new exhibitors included the bike softgoods brands ION and Endura, as well as Billabong, Element and Griffin that had booths in the new urban outdoor area The Borderlands.

The trade fair also offered a broad range of talks, presentations, shows and discussion groups that addressed business-related issues in all segments, as well as tips and inspiration for the point of sale and customer assistance. Thematic round tables that included widely known companies focused on the direction and visions of the expanding climbing community and the outdoor shoe industry.

Sustainability: industry’s common goal

One theme shaped every segment of the fair: sustainability has been an absolute must-have for the entire outdoor industry for years now. A large number of initiatives and projects designed to create a more sustainable industry was presented not just in the CSR Hub & Sustainability Kiosk. The theme was also highlighted throughout the remaining Focus Areas and exhibitors’ booths. Industry heavyweights like adidas and Vaude, as well as smaller companies like Picture Organic Clothing, Pyua and the newcomer Palgero demonstrated that recycled polyester fibres and natural materials—like fibres from wood or brown algae – represent real alternatives to conventional synthetic fibres.

OutDays: festival of outdoor culture

Together with 43 partners who primarily came from industry and retailing, 33 events and activities were held in Munich and the Munich region, an area that extended all the way to the Alps: from open-air movie evenings and meet & greet opportunities with widely known outdoor personalities like Tim Leatherman to the “Icecold Midsummernight,” a bivouac camp on the Hintertux Glacier located at an elevation of 3,000 metres. The first OutDays offshoot was held simultaneously in Hamburg. The offerings are scheduled to be expanded next year.

The next Outdoor by ISPO trade fair will be held from 28 June to 1 July 2020, in Munich.

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