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Once again, the OutDoor has confirmed its position as the leading international outdoor trade show. From start-up founders, retailers and key SME decision makers to CEOs from major outdoor brands – Lake Constance welcomed over 21,507 trade visitors (2015: 21,464) to the 23rd edition of the show. The international nature of the show also increased with visitors from over 92 countries (2015: 85). “We are really pleased. The international appeal of the OutDoor show is increasing and it continues to act as the focal point for the entire industry, even in these challenging times,” concluded Klaus Wellmann, CEO Messe Friedrichshafen and Stefan Reisinger, Head of OutDoor at the end of the show on Saturday. In addition, all twelve exhibition halls and the full open air exhibition grounds were filled to full capacity with the stands of 960 exhibitors from 40 countries.
The multi-faceted combination of new concepts, product innovations and in-depth presentations and discussions at the industry summit provide a tangible impression of the outdoor market of the future. “Once again, OutDoor has proved to be an excellent showcase of the latest developments in our sector. Walking around the halls, I was struck by the high quality booths and the great standard of communications material used to promote many new and exciting products. All of this demonstrated to me that our industry has truly come of age. Our collective challenge is to sustain the momentum we have created and secure long term prosperity for the whole market by encouraging new consumers to participate in outdoor activities. The exhibitors, various events and networking at Messe Friedrichshafen have provided one of the platforms that we can use to achieve that.” said Mark Held, General Secretary European Outdoor Group (EOG).
Attendance by nearly all leading companies and the high-quality offer from all areas of the outdoor industry created significant interest. There was a lively buzz at the exhibitor booths. For example, Oliver Robens, Sales Director Craghoppers, was delighted: “We had a really successful Outdoor 2016 with much larger numbers of visitors to our stand. We completed a lot of new contracts and have made lots of new customers too. In addition, we were really pleased with the high volume of sales with existing customers.” Ondřej Neuman, Managing Director Czech manufacturer Direct Alpine added: “The OutDoor is our most important trade show. It’s got a solid, international reputation. All our customers from all over the world come here to meet us. It’s the most important meeting point during the season.”
Marc Fischer, Senior Director BU terrex adidas group was also positive: “adidas outdoor, now called adidas terrex, had an outstanding OutDoor 2016. It’s a central platform that allowed us to successfully present our new Terrex multi-mountain-sports positioning to both retail and the media.” The trade fair also received a thumbs up from new exhibitors celebrating their OutDoor premieres. For example Maximilian Nortz, Managing Director International Business Europe from South Korean market leader Blackyak: “This was our first time at the OutDoor and we were really pleased with the number of visitors to our stand. Right from the start of day one, we had lots of key customers who were all convinced by our collection and our début on the European Market. This has confirmed that we are getting it right – we had really positive results.”
The OutDoor’s new conceptual changes were well-received. Both the revised hall plan and new key themes in the East Entrance with the new Outdoor Industry Award display, the trend shows and trend windows plus the popular OutDoor Conferences resulted in a very communicative edition of the show. We were delighted to see that we have been able to inject fresh impetus at so many different levels, which confirms the OutDoor’s standing as an authentic community platform,” explained Project Manager Dirk Heidrich.
And once again, the OutDoor proved to be an important media event. 1,031 media representatives from 31 countries reported on the events in Friedrichshafen. The new OutDoor Blogger Base with its extensive program of talks and discussions, tours of the show and social wall visualisation went down extremely well. Trade visitors and exhibitors alike enjoyed an active dialogue with the 137 international bloggers.
The trade visitor survey whose responses came 60 per cent from retailers, 20 per cent from the industry and the same percentage from outdoor agencies and service providers confirmed the importance of the show. 90 per cent of them described visiting the trade show at Lake Constance as important or very important. The economic situation in the outdoor industry was ranked by 46 per cent as improving and by 37 per cent as stable. 85 percent of guests at the show confirmed that they will be attending OutDoor 2017.
Next year, the 24th OutDoor at Lake Constance moves forward to June 18 - 21, 2017 and will run from Sunday to Wednesday. The move will allow the show to reflect what is happening in the industry at the best possible time. The overall response at OutDoor 2016 confirmed that this is the right move and that order deadlines will not get pushed forward. Sport 2000 Managing Director Hans-Hermann Deters explained: “The new OutDoor dates and earlier timing also suits our approach to downstream retailers with the “Outdoorprofi” and “Laufprofi” order fairs. All parties will benefit from the common marketplace and high level of new innovation. Attending will make it easier to subsequently make the right purchase decisions.” The 25th Outdoor will take place in two years’ time from June 17 - 20, 2018.