ISPO.com: Markus Hefter, ISPO Munich 2019 is taking place with a new price structure. What are the advantages for exhibitors and retailers?
Markus Hefter: ISPO Munich is the most important meeting place for the sports industry worldwide. Participation will continue to be possible for all representatives of the industry. But there was a need for change: On the one hand, there are our exhibitors, who are very committed to this platform. ISPO Munich lives from the fact that theses brands present their innovations and news.
On the other hand, there were trade visitors, agencies or service providers who only participated with the absolute minimum investment of a visitor ticket for € 19. They had the maximum benefit, while exhibitors paid significantly more for their commitment. Therefore, we developed a new price structure together with the industry. Those who have participated with little expenditure but benefited to the maximum from ISPO Munich will be asked to pay more in the future. We would like to further strengthen the retailers – for whom the event is being organised first and foremost - and make their visit even easier. It'll make for more fairness.
Where did the desire for change come from?
Especially from the ranks of industry. There are some brands investing considerable sums for their trade show presence. They are of course not interested in competitors who do not exhibit at the fair showing up with sales teams of 100 people and want to snatch away their customers.
The new price structure is also a protection for our paying exhibitors and they welcome the new system. Exhibitors can invite their most important customers – especially the retailers – to ISPO Munich even more easily than before. For each square metre booked at ISPO Munich, a free ticket for retailers is included for each brand. If you book 100 square metres, you can be sure of 100 free tickets, which you can book free of charge in the exhibitor shop. In addition, brands and exhibitors can purchase additional tickets at very favourable conditions.
What does this mean for trade visitors who are not retailers?
Trade visitors are of course still very welcome and will have the opportunity to attend the most important industry meeting and experience the entire industry for four days for a reasonable price. The day ticket costs €69, the four day ticket €169. That's not too much for a platform where you can meet all the decision makers for four days and conferences are included. There is also the possibility of purchasing a discounted Early Bird ticket.
Retailers are supported in other ways at ISPO Munich. Can you give us a few details?
We try to get retailers from all over the world to come to ISPO Munich because the fair lives from being an international platform. This starts with organized bus tours and goes up to completely organized trips. One example is our long-standing program in France, where we serve the entire industry as a kind of travel agency and make it super easy for them to visit the show. A contact person takes care of everything in the local language: from the complete travel organisation to ticketing and evening events to meetings with important customers. Of course, this has huge advantages because the customer used to have to do everything individually and in a language that he may not speak.
We have now perfected this system and developed an online platform from it. Everything is very simple: the brand registers itself on the platform and indicates the dealers it would like to invite. The dealer can then take part in the trip with three clicks. The platform test worked very well in 2018 and will be rolled out to other markets in 2019. These are France, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Switzerland. This is intended to attract even more retailers to the trade fair.
What other news will there be at ISPO Munich 2019?
The trade show is getting bigger. We are once again significantly expanding the area by 20,000 square metres to a total of around 200,000 square metres gross. With C5 and C6 two new halls will be added, which will be fully occupied. We include the new conference center CCM Nord with us, in which the topic digitalization will play the main role. In Hall C6, all digitalization topics will also be brought together - this is an important leitmotif for us.
There will also be an ISPO Digitize as part of ISPO Munich, with an exhibition area where cross-industry companies will present themselves. These are not the typical ISPO exhibitors, but brands from the merchandise management sector, search engine service providers, etc. In addition, there will be the topic ISPO Brandnew Digital, the Wearable Technologies Conference and the exhibitors in the Wearables section. Everything is bundled together to give the topic even more strength.