OE Retailer speaks to Stefan Reisinger, Head of OutDoor/Eurobike and member of the Board of Directors of Messe Friedrichshafen, to find out what we can expect at this year’s show
It’s the 25th jubilee edition of the OutDoor Show, can we expect anything special this year?Of course! As it’s a special event, this year we are launching the project ‘OutDoor for everyone’. We are offering a midsummer event at the lakeshore alongside with slacklining, a stand-up paddle board testing area, a bouldering area for kids, outdoor movie nights and much more. In addition, we’re organising our own microadventure – a topic we introduced last year. This little overnight outdoor event gives people of all ages and fitness levels the possibility to get outside, hike through the woods and sleep out under the stars. Furthermore, the OutDoor Show is hosting the German Bouldering Championships’ grand final.
What is the aim of ‘OutDoor for everyone’?
With the ‘OutDoor for everyone’ concept we are opening up specific areas to end-consumers, to spread the message that outdoor means so much more than just extreme sport. According to this principle, everyone is able to get outside and hike, swim or simply camp in the woods. Outdoor activities are not restricted to the young, fit and sporty, but open to everyone.
For retailers you have launched the ‘OutDoor Retail First’ concept, what does this include?
Beside free entry to the show, this includes preferential overnight accommodation for specialist retailers in our Eriba City – an on-site mobile home park, where we also supply the retailers with breakfast. In addition, we launched an improved invitation management system, improved the free shuttle service which runs from various airports and support our retailers with a key account manager.
What are you hoping to achieve by this concept?
We are shifting the focus of the fair by redefining the core target group of trade visitors. Retailers and wholesalers play a central role in the OutDoor Show as they are the connection to outdoor enthusiasts in our society. They are the ones who require detailed information about the products and specialist knowledge of developments in the outdoor sector.
Can you tell us more about your shuttle fleet service?
Friedrichshafen is lucky to have three airports within a radius of 100 km including Friedrichshafen airport itself, as well as Zurich and Memmingen. Budget airlines, such as Ryanair and Easyjet, provide a large range of flights throughout Europe. From these airports, we organise direct connections to the fair via free shuttle buses. Visitors also benefit from the Lufthansa link to Frankfurt including a 10-15 percent discount on their booking.
What other trends will be showcased at the fair?
OutDoor Plus, which we introduced last year, will be a huge trend again this year. There are a growing number of visitors who are interested in water sports, lifestyle products and other outdoor activities which are not extreme sports. Our hangout area and the running village are also part of OutDoor Plus.
Speaking of running, can you tell us about the role running plays at the OutDoor Show?
Running is a major part of training for sport and hence closely connected with outdoor sports as well, just as it is an outdoor activity in its own right. With last year’s running area, we achieved a great success and got a positive resonance from both retailers and exhibitors. For this reason, we decided to continue and extend the running village.
Who is the running village designed for?
We are addressing manufacturers as well as specialist retailers of running shops and full-range sports shops. This means we also create synergies between the outdoor industry and running specialists. In particular, the Run & Trail Summit at the OutDoor Show will once again bring together important media representatives, manufacturers and trade representatives to create a diverse information and discussion forum on the latest trends in the running industry.
Is there anything else on the programme that’s not to miss?
There will be a lot of very interesting conferences and speeches taking place during OutDoor. Main topics include environmentally-friendly production, innovative new fabrics and materials, trading in general as well as new technologies for sales and marketing. The focus this year will be on fashion with speeches on topics such as fashion and colours in outdoor clothing, the digitalisation of fashion, purchase decision-making processes and sustainability in textile production. As such, we are responding to the wide variety of visitors from different areas within the industry. We have also established a Bloggerbase, giving bloggers from across Europe the chance to get first-hand information on trending topics and innovations.
You have announced a new OutDoor Award for start-ups, can you tell us about it?
The same as last year, an expert panel of judges test and evaluate new products from the outdoor sector. Winning products receiving an award are announced at an exciting ceremony, and also benefit from our comprehensive communication services. This draws the attention of trade, industry and media to these award winning products. This year we are also giving start-ups a special boost for their company. The award-winning team receives a free marketing package. And for all
start-ups, we provide information about financing, networking and industry cooperation to help them to succeed with their product.
After the European Outdoor Group (EOG) election decision, OutDoor will move to Munich from 2019 onwards. Where does Messe Friedrichshafen go from here?
The outdoor industry is developing year in, year out and gaining more and more outdoor enthusiasts. This creates a high demand for fairs that provide an overview of what’s going on in the sector. Therefore, we have decided to launch a new outdoor show in Friedrichshafen to keep visitors up to date with this fast-moving industry. This is further supported by the fact that many of the OutDoor’s 869 exhibitors did not take part in the EOG election, as they are not members of the EOG. We are convinced that our location and high level of service contributed to the success story of the OutDoor Show. By organising a new fair, we will continue to offer a unique and authentic home to the outdoor industry.