OutDoor returns to the halls of Friedrichshafen for the final time on 17-20 June. What can we expect from the 25th edition?
The OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen has always been a must-attend event for the outdoor industry. It’s one of the worlds leading trade fairs and offers an insight into what’s trending in the industry. Attendees can find out about the latest technologies and innovations and get to see the latest kit before it hits the market. It also offers a fantastic opportunity to network with key industry players.
This year’s show returns on 17-20 June and marks the 25th anniversary of OutDoor. Sadly, it’s also the final one being held at Friedrichshafen. Earlier this year the European Outdoor Group (EOG) announced that the OutDoor Show will be moving to Messe München from 2019 onwards, making this year’s 25th edition the final one in Friedrichshafen.
Every year, the trade show attracts more than 20,000 industry players. It covers everything from apparel to footwear to backpacks, sleeping bags, tents and camping and climbing equipment. This year there will be more than 950 exhibitors from 40 countries – all displaying their ranges for A/W18 and, of course, offering an insight into the latest trends and innovations. As standard, it will occupy the entire site – a total of 12 halls, plus the outside grounds – making the total exhibition area 85,000 square metres.
“For the jubilee edition OutDoor 2018, we’ve organised a high-quality show with strong exhibitor attendance to meet visitor expectations. With the OutDoor Show, we’re offering our community a wide range of opportunities to develop business, make new contacts, and strengthen existing links,” explains Klaus Wellmann, CEO of Messe Friedrichshafen.
New Measures to Support Outdoor Retailers
As it is the jubilee edition, the show organisers are aiming for OutDoor to be even bigger and better than ever before – so there are plenty of brand new features for 2018. The show organisers have launched a new ‘Retail First Initiative’, as they focus on increasing the number of retail visitors.
The new Retail First Initiative places outdoor retail right at the heart of the show’s overall concept. Programme content, accreditation, tickets and accommodation have all been overhauled to allow retailers to benefit from a number of adventures during their visit to the show. As part of the initiative, retailers and wholesalers in the outdoor and sports sectors are being offered extra incentives and benefits for attending the trade fair, including free entry to the show and priority booking for the nearby Eriba City accommodation.
In terms of improving show content for retailers, OutDoor has extended and revamped the four new OutDoor Plus areas for the 25th edition – which include the Lifestyle Collection, HangOut, Water Sports and Running sections. The show says these areas proved popular with retailers last year, so want to extend on them and offer more in-depth information for the 2018 show. There will also be a new action area in the Atrium, with a specially-installed swimming pool. A new addition to the Water Sports Area, this new pool can be used for product testing and demonstrations.
OutDoor for All
The organisers have also set up an ‘OutDoor for all’ campaign. This year, everyone is being welcomed to the area to experience the buzzing atmosphere – not just the international outdoor industry. So, this year, athletes and outdoor sports enthusiasts will be making their way to the trade fair, the German Bouldering Championships are being held at the show in exhibition hall B5, there’s a microadventure event taking place in the Lake Constance area and the OutDoor Midsummer Festival will take place on the lakeshore from 16-17 June, offering a range of outdoor activities such as slacklining and stand-up paddle boarding to the public. On Saturday night the European Outdoor Film Tour will be hitting Friedrichshafen, as well as the fifth International Ocean Film Tour on the Sunday.
“For our jubilee edition, we want to share our fascination with outdoor sports both on the show grounds and in Friedrichshafen city centre. True to the motto ‘OutDoor for all’ we are offering opportunities to address end consumers in a unique setting at Lake Constance,” explains Stefan Reisinger, Head of OutDoor and Eurobike trade shows.
Continued Focus on Running
2018 sees a continued focus on running, which has long been a part of OutDoor. Last year the trade show launched a ‘Running Center’ to ‘break down the barriers’ between running and trail running.
“Last year’s OutDoor demonstrated that running and outdoor combined well and reach new active target groups. We want to further this synergy in 2018, by further strengthening the running theme,” comments Reisinger.
At the 2018 show, the Running Center will again serve as a central information platform and exhibition area for running experts. There will be a specially-created market place showcasing all the latest trends. In addition, a community area, supporting events, product testing and a Walk of Fame exhibition will be on offer alongside product presentations and workshops.
The OutDoor Run & Trail Summit, which attracted 100 visitors at its premiere last year, will once again be bringing together important media representatives, manufacturers and trade representatives around the table to create an information and discussion forum on the latest trends in the running industry.
Grow your Knowledge
In addition to the trade stands and new features, the show has an amazing line-up of lectures, conferences, networking events, workshops and panel discussions too.
In cooperation with the trade show partner, the EOG, the show offers an extensive conference and lecture programme designed for small and medium-sized retailers, manufacturers as well as major traders. The EOG kicks off the conferences on Sunday with an update of the European outdoor market and presenting the latest figures in its ‘State of Trade’ market research project.
Other topics being covered include colours and trends in outdoor clothing for summer 2020, how the outdoor industry can benefit from the e-bike travel trend, the digitalisation of fashion, purchase decision-making processes, the value of engagement, sustainability in textile production and product development and digitisation.
Other not-to-be-missed events include the OutDoor Industry Awards ceremony and the legendary OutDoor Party.
OutDoor Industry Awards
This year marks the 13th edition of the prestigious Outdoor Industry Awards. The winners will be announced at the grand award ceremony on the first night of the show and will be on display throughout the rest of the show in the Messe Friedrichshafen Foyer East.
The show is offering extra support to start-up companies too. The show is introducing ‘Start-Up University’ as part of the OutDoor conferences, in which new outdoor companies can learn about financing, networking, industry cooperation and sharing best practice. The Start-Up University takes place on the first day of the show.
For the third year running, Messe Friedrichshafen are also offering start-up companies whose products win an Outdoor Industry Award a free advertising and marketing package and reduced participation fees, as well as the opportunity to present their product in a short presentation directly to trade visitors and journalists before the award ceremony on the OutDoor Stage in Foyer West.
For more information, including the list of exhibitors and full programme, go to www.outdoor-show.com