A resounding success for its seventh consecutive year, the European Outdoor Summit (EOS) has once again proven a hit with delegates, sponsors and partners alike.
EOS 2019, which took place in Interlaken Switzerland from 26-27 September, brought together over 200 leaders in the outdoor industry from across Europe and beyond. The annual event, organised by the European Outdoor Group (EOG), offers a credible, informative resource for the European outdoor industry to learn more about, reflect on and discuss the issues that they collectively face.
This year’s Summit delivered an engaging, challenging and inspiring programme over the course of two days, following the theme of ‘The Outdoor Industry – Redefining Boundaries’. Speakers touched on topics such as innovation, biotechnology, global sharing, industry case studies and forging new collaborations.
The presentations were kicked off by Futurist Anne Skare Nielsen, who gave an amusing, engaging, challenging and optimistic keynote about “Why the next ten years will be amazing”.
The second keynote speaker Pippa Goodman from Foresight Factory then shared some of the latest research on the changing boundaries of engagement – offering essential insights for outdoor businesses.
Delegates were treated to an insight into the evolution of adventure filmmaking and the world of Kendal Mountain Festival from festival director Steve Scott, who showed two inspiring short films, while an educational keynote from Chris Doyle of the Adventure Travel Trade Association gave delegates insight on how to access gear-hungry, passport-wielding adventure travellers!
Day two saw a great start with Benita Matofska, from The Sharing Economy, who delivered a thought-provoking keynote with positive insights into change-making. During her presentation, five volunteers committed to be change-makers in their companies. They were each given a copy of Benita’s book, Generation Share, and pledged to get five other people to buy the book. Every copy is produced from waste, educates a girl from the slums in Mumbai and plants a tree.
Two more keynote speakers completed the first session with thought provoking presentations: Tomas Vucurevic of BRAIND on ingredient brands and collaboration; and Jeppe Thorgersen on the Silkeborg Project to embed outdoor into local government strategy.
Towards the end of day two Donna Carpenter, CEO of Burton Snowboards urged the outdoor industry to do more and do better in its efforts to address some big challenges and issues and declared that “passion without purpose is meaningless.”
The final keynote speaker at EOS 2019 was mountaineer and quadruple amputee Jamie Andrew. Jamie shared the incredible and very moving story of how he rebuilt his life and resumed his outdoor adventures after a terrible climbing accident that left him with life-changing injuries and claimed the life of his best friend. His emotional and inspiring story received a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd of delegates.
Arne Strate, General Secretary of EOG, commented on the Summit’s success: “Once a year, at the EOS, we encourage outdoor industry leaders away from their busy work schedules to introduce and discuss topics that are approaching our sector from the horizon, look at current and future challenges, opportunities and last but not least, to network. Many exciting and challenging topics were touched upon this year, and new connections were made. A big thank you to all the delegates who came out to Interlaken, to our sponsors who make this whole event possible, and of course to the EOG team working behind the scenes to ensure a smooth event.”
The Summit finale announced that Annecy, France, would be the host location from EOS 2020. Details about how to book will be available in due course. For more information about the Summit, visit the EOS website.
Words by Riana Dixon