Home The Inside Scoop: OutDoor by ISPO

The Inside Scoop: OutDoor by ISPO

The Inside Scoop: OutDoor by ISPO


After 25 years at Friedrichshafen, OutDoor by ISPO will take place in Munich from 2019. OE Retailer speaks to Markus Hefter, Exhibition Group Director of ISPO Munich and OutDoor by ISPO, to find out what’s new for the trade fair other than a new location and rebrand

What can we expect from the new show?
The new concept addresses current requirements and offers added value for all market participants: start-ups, small to medium-sized companies and global brands. Established outdoor topics such as mountaineering and climbing form the core of the annual trade fair. There are also sectors that have long been considered being ‘outdoor’ by today’s consumers, such as urban outdoor, yoga, wellbeing, trail running and mountain biking. Other segments represented include destination and adventure travel, surfing and water sports, and outdoor digital with wearables. There is also an area for textile innovations and start-ups. 

What attracted OutDoor to Messe München? Why was it picked over the two other shortlisted venues?
Only the individual members of the European Outdoor Group (EOG) can answer this question properly, as they chose Munich after an intensive tender process. We are convinced that the ecosystem of our established and proven 365 days digital products for B2B and B2C named in the tender process were crucial. The ISPO Group’s many years of international expertise in the outdoor and sporting goods industry certainly also played a role. For example, more than a third of OutDoor exhibitors are also exhibitors of ISPO Munich. The location also has good infrastructure and a high degree of internationality.

Markus Hefter

The concept for OutDoor by ISPO is for it to be a year-round platform. Can you explain what this means?
Using digital products, OutDoor by ISPO now offers market participants the opportunity to present themselves to the world 365 days a year, seven days a week. This is what ‘by ISPO’ is all about: an established, year-round ecosystem of cross-media and digital ISPO products, in which the entire outdoor industry can get involved. Through these services, the platform provides customers with year-round access to the industry and, most importantly, to consumers around the world via the digital channels.

One example is our online crowdsourcing platform ISPO Open Innovation, with more than 47,000 registered consumer experts from all over the world where companies can test new products before they go to market, or even co-create products together with consumers. Another example is ispo.com, it’s one of the largest content hubs for B2B and B2C with our own editorial team reporting about trends, innovation and business insights through SEO optimised content during the entire year. Another engagement platform is our online job market, where we had more than 23,000 international applications for more than 2,000 jobs in 2017.

Can you tell us about your new consumer approach, including the Munich OutDays and OutDoor Society?
OutDoor Society is our new online platform for outdoor lifestyle as part of our content hub ispo.com, focused on the customers and co-created by them on our digital open innovation consumer platform. We are currently running a survey that gives consumers the chance to develop the platform from the very beginning. This is our consumer approach, 365 days a year and worldwide. But we include the consumers not only online, but also offline in the city.

While the trade show itself will only be open to trade visitors, end consumers are welcome at the Munich OutDays which take place simultaneously. The concept has been embraced and is supported by Munich-based retailers. Why? Because in close cooperation with the retailers we are planning numerous events over the course of the trade fair under the communication umbrella of ‘Munich OutDays’. The stores will be the stages for events like book signing sessions, outdoor activities, movie and innovation nights, camps and interactive activities, thus driving the consumers into the stores creating a real B2B2C experience and supporting the retailers in their business.

Are there any not to be missed events or displays at next year’s show?
We are currently working on the event schedule, but apart from the Munich OutDays, our camp site, which is located 150 meters away from the main entrance and closely linked to the Riemer Park with its beautiful lake, is definitely a highlight. Especially as we want to give it a special twist compared to the known concepts before. On top, we are supporting the industry with our ‘Digitize’ initiative in the digital transformation. Speakers, technology providers and interactive forums will create a new and unexpected experience in combination with the show.

What else is new for the 2019 edition?
Coming back to an up-to-date definition of ‘what is outdoor’ we will present a larger base of exhibitors and brands plus the corresponding retail target groups. But very important: it is the OutDoor show and will remain the OutDoor show and won´t be a general sports show!

What are your future aspirations for the show?
The strategy of OutDoor by ISPO opens new horizons to be able to seize more opportunities. This includes building new relationships between brands, retailers, consumers and representatives from other industries (cross-industry), becoming a thought leader for an original outdoor movement, creating experiences for all target groups, and discovering growth potential in other areas. So, our target is to create a bigger cake for the entire industry instead of fighting for the pieces between the different stakeholders.