Monday also saw the start of the ISPO Award Gathering went into the second round and thus the second half of the award-winning brands were presented with their trophies outside in high spirits. The cherry on top at the ISPO Award Gathering Vol. 2: The coveted Public Choice Award was announced and presented.
Award Angel Nadine Wallner and the ISPO team handed over the special award to the great cheers of ISPO Award Winner Hezo Cycling. The German start-up manufactures computer-aided custom-fit road cycling shoes - thanks to innovative 3D printing and modular three-piece system with magnetic Fidlock closure for fine adjustment, Hezo Cycling's Helu One fits perfectly to the feet of every male and female rider.
In the afternoon, visitors gathered for the exclusive presentation of the Consumer Insights Report. What makes outdoor fans particularly happy is that the outdoor boom continues unabated! Not surprisingly, adidas was among the top brands alongside ON, Dynafit, Nike and Patagonia. And even at number 1.
Above all, camping and van life continue to be hot topics in the industry. However, with a twist. Consumers already have the basic equipment. Now they are Now it's the turn of higher-quality equipment or specialized products! The trend report also provides exciting insights into the preferred point of sale and surprises with a "renaissance" of stationary retail. "renaissance" of brick-and-mortar retail.
The latest trends in retail and relevant tips for outdoor retailers for the customer experience offers the eCommerce Experience Report by creativstyle, which Benedikt Marl presented on the ISPO Award stage in the afternoon. "Customers* don't care about the technology behind an online store, they want to have a positive shopping experience. And this doesn't stop when a product is in the shopping cart," said the co-author of the report, for which the eCommerce agency analyzed the top 20 German sports and outdoor stores. More content from the report can be found in several articles here on ISPO.com.
The European Outdoor Group (EOG) also came up with interesting findings from various studies on sustainability. First, Jane Turnbull presented the results of a survey among EOG members on the circular economy in the Sustainability Hub. Particularly noteworthy were the figures on "Wash&Care": almost half of the companies do not yet offer a service for washing and caring for textiles - partly because the effort is considered too high, partly because there is no demand or it is suspected. "That surprised us, because this is an area where brands can still leverage a lot of potential," said Jane Turnbull.
Next, student Nina Neundorfer showed data from her bachelor's thesis. Her question: How do people use and care for their outdoor jackets? The big surprise was the difference between expected and actual wear time. While many respondents said they wanted to wear the new jacket for around ten years, they ended up buying a new product after just under five years. Many gave fashion reasons for this, with care of the products - washing and waterproofing - also not particularly taken to heart.
Katy Stevens followed, presenting a case study on the EOG's Carbon Reduction Project. This coalition of brands aims to identify common suppliers to discuss steps with them to decarbonize the supply chain. According to the study, a supplier supplies an average of three to four brands. CO₂ reductions of 50 to 60 percent are achievable in the relatively short term, Katy Stevens said. "The good news is that suppliers are highly willing to take action."
If you love innovation, you couldn't miss the Guided Tour through the ISPO Award Exhibition and the ISPO Brandnew Area. In the ISPO Award Exhibition, Christina Rabl guided visitors through 34 impressive products that could be experienced, felt, and looked at up close. Also present: Award Angel Nadine Wallner.
The tour continued with a guided tour by Christoph Rapp, who presented exciting newcomers in the ISPO Brandnew Area. 20 start-ups presented their innovations here. Among them: OAK 25, LARG, rrat's or Wølmark. People are looking forward to ISPO Munich, where not only will significantly more startups present their solutions and products, but also compete in exciting live pitches for the ISPO Brandnew Award.
The Young Talent Tour also focused on the next generation of outdoor industry professionals. After a sunny breakfast, trainees and young professionals gained insights into the different ways of perceiving and living outdoor. Participants* got a behind-the-scenes look at the ISPO Collaborators Club and ISPO Award and learned about different brand strategies, from fast-packing tents to glamping hype. "The goal of the tour is to give the next generation of the industry an opportunity to exchange ideas and to point out training opportunities. In the same way, the focus is on innovations and the option to experience first-hand how trends are discussed in the industry - such as the topic of sustainability, which is moving everyone at the moment," says Carsten Schürg.
Scandinavian Outdoor Group: Sustainability as a unifying factor
At the Scandinavian Outdoor Group press conference, member companies presented their innovations and strategies in the perfect setting - surrounded by tents and outdoor equipment in the Outdoor Area. The all-connecting trend: sustainability combined with functionality. For example, sustainable linen with insect protection or a biodegradable tent.
Important here: the traceability of the supply chain, where every component of a product can be traced back to its origin, and the use also the recycling of fabric scraps for new products.
German outdoor specialists: products rethought
German brands Deuter, LEKI, Maier Sports and Meindl shared a joint press conference. And it showed how innovative even a 125-year-old company can be: They had reinvented themselves during the pandemic, rethought products and opened up new target groups, said jubilarian Deuter. For 2024, Deuter announced twelve new product series. Eleven of them with the bluesign seal and eight with a recycled content of over 50 percent.
LEKI was also innovative, developing increasingly lighter, more sustainable and more intelligent poles some 50 years after the first hiking pole was made - including from regionally produced hemp. Meindl also focuses on sustainability in its shoes - combined with comfort, convenience and durability. Here, he says, it is a major challenge to produce all 97 components of a Meindl hiking boot sustainably.
Maier Sport focuses on the top trend of circularity in its pants, using NFC chips, for example, to track materials and effectively add them to recycling. Maier also offers a repair service that extends the life of outdoor products in the spirit of sustainability.
Trail running is booming and booming - as a nucleus for technological development, also by athletes who never started on the road. Monday afternoon at the Run & Trail Summit by Runners World, the community not only discussed the definition of trail running, but also came together for athlete input and market and brand insights. From VIP coach Kirsten Dehmer, attendees learned about the influence body language has on running performance. And there was also exciting input from athletes: Montane athlete Jenny Tough told of her fast-packing adventures from Kyrgyzstan and New Zealand. Adidas Terrex athlete Janosch Kowalczyk and The North Face athlete Henri Aymonod talked about projects, training and goals.
From the brand side, the focus was on innovation and sustainability. While Sidas presented its close collaboration with athletes in sole and sock development, Icebug CEO David Ekelund appealed to the industry to work together in the spirit of sustainability to build shoes that are as durable as possible.
The rain over the outdoor area at the MOC on Monday was fortunately absent. A cooling down from above might even have been welcome - so hot was the outdoor-affine crowd after an intense day at the fair for the party evening. But instead of being held back by a storm, the revellers preferred to storm the area themselves, enjoyed the vegetarian catering and then danced to thundering bass until shortly before midnight.