Thomas Becker

Let the Trade Fair Begin: on a first Ramble through ISPO MUNICH 2017

Latecomers, early bikinis with Eddie Murphy and a round of SUP-boxing for all at ISPO MUNICH 2017 – our author and columnist Thomas Becker takes his first tour of the world's biggest sports trade fair.

Stand up paddling in ISPO MUNICH's Watersports Village
Stand up paddling in ISPO MUNICH's Watersports Village

The bass thunders on at 8:58 a.m. A few hundred visitors look up from their smartphones to the large video screen in the West entrance hall of ISPO MUNICH 2017. At half past seven, the subways were already as full as on a normal weekday. On Sunday morning, 2,700 exhibitors wait for the trade fair to begin, for the turnstiles to start spinning and allow the many thousands of industry experts to enter.

ISPO MUNICH opened its gates at 9:00 a.m. sharp.
Finally, ISPO MUNICH opens its gates at 9:00 a.m. sharp. ISPO MUNICH opened its gates at 9:00 a.m. sharp.

ISPO MUNICH presents itself with a video trailer

Just before nine the ISPO trailer appears on the screen: a groovy wake-up call that gets people in the mood for what awaits them beyond the turnstiles: the wonderful world of sports. "Skillfully done," someone in the crowd comments on the trailer. All that's missing is a countdown. Not necessary, though: the stoplights jump from red to green as soon as the clock strikes nine, just like at Formula 1, marking the start of four wild days: ISPO MUNICH is live!

Robots at Gore's stall 

And so the first wave of cheerful visitors rolls into ISPO MUNICH 2017 in the direction of halls A1 and B1, are handed the SAZ (a specialist magazin for sports and bike) closely followed by their first flyers, before heading into the first traffic jam at Gore's stall: behind a pane of plexiglass, a robotic arm swings back and forth holding various textiles, using a technology called Shakedry to impress the crowds.

But that’s only the beginning. Visitors find themselves faced with a myriad of choices, more than a dozen halls branching off all over the place, home to all kinds of companies from A for Aamir Industries to Z for Züca. Everything that makes sports so enjoyable.

The newest trends from the sports business and exciting speakers: Here you can register for the ISPO ACADEMY.

An international babble of voices at ISPO MUNICH 2017! 

Always a pleasure to hear: the international babble of voices, from Hi, Ciao, Moin and Salut all the way to Griaßdi. Umpteen rolling suitcases whirr across the floor as well as many scooters, some of them even with electric drive. Some visitors whizz around on in-line skates, a pack of promotion girls even in proper style rollerblades. Outside, the bratwurst and steak roll kiosk starts steaming away at a few minutes past nine, while the neighboring city of tents remains covered in dew. 

Activity at the basketball court

Inside by the stalls: exhibitors full of expectation. At the East entrance, curious crowds mill around the wooden touch screens of ISPO Business Solutions, pressing buttons left right and center. The bistro shelves are still full, the stylish Influencer's ClubLounge in hall B6 is still empty. However, there seems to be some activity at the basketball court, and even a few skateboarders can be seen cruising through the aisles.

Crowds begin to gather in the early morning – let ISPO MUNICH 2017 begin!
Crowds begin to gather in the early morning – let ISPO MUNICH 2017 begin!

The finishing touches are made on the mannequins' clothing, TV screens are polished up, a guy in baggy jeans and a woolen hat works his way across a pair of pants on the hanger with an iron. And people are already arranging rendezvous: "See you at the pool at ten."

A pool at ISPO MUNICH 2017

Yes, we have a pool too: 10x20 meters large, it can be found in the Watersports Village in hall A6. Surf legend Robby Naish will be joining us here in the next few days, but now, early Sunday morning, we have our first fashion show: beach wear! Half a dozen cheerful beach boys & girls rock to the music around the pool, one muscleman in particular, with his Eddie Murphy grin, standing out from the crowd with his dance moves. Such high spirits this early in the morning: impressive, Eddie!

A canoe-polo match in the Watersports Village

When Eddie and his beauties leave the pool, they are closely followed by the boys from Munich's canoe-polo association. Using paddles or hands, the aim is to deposit a beachball in the goal, which hangs two meters above the water. The "goalkeeper" tries to stop the ball by raising his paddle vertically into the air – whatever next...

Canoe-polo in the Watersports Village at ISPO MUNICH 2017
Canoe-polo in the Watersports Village at ISPO MUNICH 2017

For those who would like to try it for themselves and live in the area: head down to the regatta course in Oberschleißheim (Germany) on Mondays and Wednesdays – as soon as the ice has melted...

Touching Glasses at After Work Party

In the evening, when the last exhibitors shut down their booths, the bottles are popping outside. At ISPO After Work between the halls A1 and B1 a number of exhibitors are celebrating a good first day. For the athletes, managers and newcomers the party the party is a way to relax after a long day.

The two hour long get together is a ritual that is part of ISPO MUNICH, just like taking care of business connection at the wolrd's biggest platform for the sports business. The brewery Aying treated the exhibitors to drinks. While a DJ plays lounge music business partners and colleagues can have a chat in the nightfall. Quintessence: it can go on like this tomorrow – tomorrow at ISPO MUNICH 2017.

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Thomas Becker


Thomas Becker