The European outdoor industry is booming. In fiscal year 2021, it produced record sales of €6.2 billion, an increase of 19 percent over the previous year’s total. German-speaking countries formed the biggest sales-generating region at more than €2.2 billion, a jump of 14 percent. The European Outdoor Group (EOG), the exclusive and ideal sponsor of OutDoor by ISPO, announced the record results at the trade fair.
The positive market trend was also reflected at Europe’s biggest outdoor event, an event that was also something special itself. The trade fair was held after a three-year interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and employed a new concept that included a new date (June 12 – 14) and a new venue (the MOC in Munich).
About 8,000 trade visitors explored the event in person and made a wide range of business contacts. About two-thirds of the guests and 70 percent of exhibitors were international. Retailers, purchasing employees and brand representatives from 70 countries, including such core European markets as France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland along with non-European countries like the United States, Canada and Asian countries, were present at the trade fair.
The trade visitors enjoyed the summer weather and celebrated a personal reunion in four halls and atriums as well as in showrooms and outdoor areas.
“OutDoor by ISPO has been successfully restarted,” said Klaus Dittrich, the CEO of Messe München. “The trade fair showed just how valuable personal conversations and contacts are, particularly when you consider the challenges that the industry is facing right now like supply-chain disruptions and logistics problems. OutDoor by ISPO was—in turbulent times—a perfect combination of business and community.”
Lena Haushofer, Exhibition Director of OutDoor by ISPO, added: “The combination of multifaceted exhibitions and presentations both indoors and outdoors fostered personal discussions and networking in a casual, positive atmosphere.” The relaxed mood was felt not only at both parties that served as a key part of community building in the outdoor industry, but also in the hallways and the booths of the MOC in Munich.
The central themes of OutDoor by ISPO primarily included sustainability, regenerative business practices and innovative materials. Many discussions also focused on one other issue as well: supply-chain disruptions and resource shortages. Many exhibitors showcased a wide range of sustainable product highlights at their booths.
During a conference held at OutDoor by ISPO, a meeting organized by the ISPO Group in cooperation with the EOG and NOW partners, more than two dozen high-ranking representatives of different industries talked about ways that commercial success could be combined with the protection and regeneration of people, societies and nature. “The huge opportunity is to find viable long-term and cross-industry solutions,” said Tobias Gröber, the Head of the ISPO Group.
In her opening address at the conference, Antje von Dewitz, the CEO of VAUDE, discussed the wide range of steps being taken in efforts to create a climate-neutral company: “The tiniest footprint stands for the highest quality of life.” Actor Hannes Jaenicke, who has worked for years to protect animals and nature, spoke at the concluding session of the conference held on the second day of the trade fair and urged conference attendees to take a more conscious approach to nature.
Felix Loch, the winner of numerous Olympic gold medals and world championships in the luge, also spoke at the trade fair and described the work being done by a group called Athletes for Ukraine: “Ukrainian athletes are now fighting in a real war right here in Europe,” Loch said. “We have to help and support them and their families from here in the best way we can.” As part of the group’s work, Loch has delivered relief supplies to Ukraine several times. Sergey Bubka, the Chairman of the Ukrainian National Olympic Committee, said in a statement: “Providing Ukrainian athletes and athletic facilities with equipment would be a great way to help sports in Ukraine get back on their feet after the war.”
The trade fair was also a special occasion for Klaus Dittrich, the CEO of Messe München. “This year’s OutDoor by ISPO is a very emotional moment for me personally because it marks the end of my 20-year management career at Messe München,” Dittrich said. “I am really happy that the industry finally had an opportunity to meet in person once again and that you could truly feel the passion for nature and sports everywhere you went at OutDoor by ISPO. I would like to thank all customers, partners, trade associations, service providers and the team at Messe München for everything we have achieved together for the industry.”
Mark Held, the EOG President and Chair of the Board, said: “After the pause in shows caused by the pandemic, a new venue for OutDoor by ISPO was a particular challenge for this first, post-pandemic show. We are absolutely delighted that the changes we made to OutDoor by ISPO together with our partner Messe München this year seem to be well received and we have created the vibrant event our sector needs. The outdoor industry was founded on shared values and community, and we are really appreciative of the decisiveness and engagement for the show from all the exhibitors and visitors that chose to support us. Their faith in the concept was proven to be right and the blend of practicality, atmosphere, fun and excitement made the event really something special.”
OutDoor by ISPO will be held again from May 22 to 24, 2023, on the fairgrounds of Messe München. The next highlight of the sports and outdoor industry, ISPO Munich, will also take place there from November 28 to 30, 2022.