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OutDoor by ISPO 2023 on a global growth path

OutDoor by ISPO 2023 has once again written a success story. After last year’s brilliant restart as a live trade show at the MOC, Event Center Messe München, this year’s trade show, from June 4-6 once again presented itself as the global platform for the outdoor industry and community.

Compared to the last edition, OutDoor by ISPO has grown enormously. With 35,000 square meters, the space at the MOC including the outdoor area wass completely sold out. Most of the growth came from overseas, especially from the USA and China. As a result, the share of international exhibitors grew by 15 per cent to a total of 83 per cent – making OutDoor by ISPO one of the most international trade shows in Messe München’s portfolio.

Despite the many challenges facing the outdoor industry, the mood is positive – and who or what could reflect this better than OutDoor by ISPO with an overall increase in exhibitors from 310 in 2022 to 661 this year. The number of international exhibitors grew from 213 to 554 exhibitors, an increase of 160 %, proving the international importance of the show. Global networking made easy!

The largest exhibitor countries are China, Germany, the US, and Scandinavia. New on board were such prominent exhibitor brands as adidas Terrex and On.They were joined by Berghaus, J. Lindeberg, Nomad, Pegasus, Brunton, Sidas, Norrona, Cavida, Igloo, Gonso, Devold of Norway, Montura, Hestra, TentBox and Wølmark. Back at the show were Rab/Lowe Alpine, Sea to Summit, Scott, Ortovox, Nordisc, Jack Wolfskin, Mammut, Deuter, Big Agnes, Edelrid, Grüzi Bag, Millet, Ortlieb, Vaude, Merrell, La Sportiva, Lowa, Meindl, Petzl, Osprey, Mountain Equipment, Nordisk, Fjällräven and Icebug.

But it was not only the exhibitors who celebrated their industry and community: About 9,000 trade visitors from 88 countries – including the European core markets such as France, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland as well as the USA, Canada, and Asia – flocked to the MOC. Here they were able to find out about the latest trends, developments, concepts, and innovations and to make and intensify valuable business contacts. With beautiful sunshine and early summer temperatures, the outdoor theme was more alive than ever – in four halls, four atriums, as well as numerous showrooms, workshop and conference rooms, and on the total of 5,000 square meters of outdoor space at OutDoor by ISPO! Also back in the program: the ISPO Award exhibition with its 34 award-winning outdoor innovations and the start-up exhibition with 17 new companies.

At OutDoor by ISPO, the topic of circular economy was at the forefront of discussions, with numerous presentations, panel discussions and workshops in the “Sustainability Hub”. The industry is aware that the EU’s ambitious sustainability goals cannot be achieved without a circular economy. The topic affects the entire value chain, from raw material sourcing to design, from retailer to consumer – all the way to the recycling company. A new feature was the integration of the European Outdoor Summit of the European Outdoor Group (EOG) into OutDoor by ISPO, with a variety of presentations that contribute to and inspire discussion about sustainability. This integration is proof of the close connection between EOG and OutDoor by ISPO.

The Innovation Labs also celebrated their premiere at OutDoor by ISPO. The solution-oriented Innovation Labs offered by ISPO and NOW.Partners support companies of all sizes in developing innovative and regenerative solutions for the current challenges of international business.
The development potential of the outdoor industry is great – and thus are demands on such an important trade show as OutDoor by ISPO are also increasing. Demands have now exceeded the capacities of the MOC.
In order to meet the demands of a rapidly growing market, Messe München and EOG have decided to return to the exhibition center in Riem in 2024. The exhibition halls in Riem offer OutDoor by ISPO the best conditions for the further development of the trade show in cooperation with EOG (European Outdoor Group). Numerous concepts are being developed to create an authentic outdoor atmosphere. Another advantage of the Riem location is that exhibitors can once again choose their stand size more individually and present larger concepts. During this year’s OutDoor by ISPO, various surveys were conducted to determine the needs and requirements of exhibitors and trade show visitors with regard to the move to Riem next year.

Stefan Rummel, CEO of Messe München, is more than satisfied with the success of OutDoor by ISPO. He said: “The outdoor market is facing many challenges this year. We are even more pleased about the clear commitment of the outdoor community to OutDoor by ISPO as the most important global platform for the industry, whose future importance will certainly continue to grow. We would like to thank the European Outdoor Group in particular for the good cooperation in a spirit of partnership.”

“We are absolutely overwhelmed by the response of the outdoor community, which has more than accepted our offerings,” said Lena Haushofer, Exhibition Director of ISPO Munich and OutDoor by ISPO. “Almost twice as much exhibition space as last year was sold, the return of important industry players and the participation of many interesting newcomer brands show us that we are on the right track. And with our main theme – circular economy – and the corresponding conferences and projects, we’ve hit the nail on the head. We are already very much looking forward to OutDoor by ISPO 2024 in Riem, where more space and opportunities will inspire us to further top performance.”

Matt Gowar, EOG President, said: “OutDoor by ISPO brought our industry together with a concept and delivery that clearly demonstrated how a trade show can succeed in this era. Since last year, the European Outdoor Group has worked hard with our partners at Messe Muenchen to refine and improve the event, and that has paid dividends. It was really encouraging to see the return of exhibitors who had stepped away from the show and I am sure that others will now be persuaded to join us again. Momentum is building nicely as we prepare for OutDoor by ISPO 2024 at Riem.”

Arne Strate, EOG General Secretary, added: “The feedback from European Outdoor Group members about this year’s OutDoor by ISPO has been very positive. There was a real buzz around the show – in the halls, atriums and in the outdoor display area. Brands were doing business, visitors were properly engaged, and every session in our extensive events programme was busy. The last two years of OutDoor by ISPO have created an excellent platform that means we can prepare for the return to Riem with confidence.

“We’re delighted that Messe Muenchen is pulling out every stop to fully utilise all of the outdoor space at Riem, in order to sustain and build the atmosphere and positive vibe that we’ve experienced this year. There are some exciting months ahead, as we collaborate with the messe team and other industry partners to further develop this important and vibrant platform.”

Exhibitor quotes

David Ekelund, Icebug, CEO and co-founder: “The nearly festive spirit speaks volumes about our desire to come together, exchange ideas, get an overview and strengthen relations that change and move the business forward. OutDoor by ISPO was and is the place to be!”

Jan Lorch, VAUDE, CSO: “We are absolutely satisfied with the way the trade show went, and we are very happy that we were able to welcome many partners at the booth and in the MOC showroom. This combination of two touchpoints works well for us. We had a constant flow of visitors as well as good conversations in the aisles. This shows that OutDoor by ISPO works as a meeting place for the industry. A lot of decision-makers are here, certainly from an international perspective. The panels were high-caliber and absolutely up to date. It is definitely a place that promotes exchange and cooperation. The industry needs to meet, and OutDoor by ISPO is the place to do it.”

Alexander Nicolai, LOWA, CEO: “The conversations we’ve had so far at the trade show, have confirmed across the board that LOWA has hit the nail on the head with its new shoes and ideas. This is certainly also evidenced by the always well-visited stand, which was noticeably fuller again on the second day of the trade show. All in all, we are very satisfied with the course of this year’s OutDoor by ISPO in Munich.”

Jerome Le Belle, MERRELLE, EMEA Marketing Manager: “Thanks to the OutDoor by ISPO team for the great show. We’re excited about the show being bigger and more international than last year. With winning not only one but two ISPO Awards for our highlight products, we’re excited to be very visual and present here. We had some important meetings with existing customers and new prospect. As for next year, with OutDoor by ISPO being back at “Messe München”, we hope to meet even more international – especially European – retail, media and other partners from the outdoor industry.”

Mario Alkov, EQUIP, Country Manager DACH: “OutDoor by ISPO has been a great success for us so far. It’s a great platform for meeting our clients and other industry stakeholders and for driving exchange on how we as an industry can work together to reduce our overall impact.”

Thomas Gröger, HANWAG, Managing Director: “After the topic of Covid was still omnipresent at last year’s trade show, I am all the more pleased to see that this year’s focus has shifted to future issues and business aspects. There is a certain mood of optimism. The compact setting of the MOC site creates a very familiar and pleasant atmosphere. In addition, everyone appreciates the proximity to the city of Munich. Another positive aspect: the combination of booth and showroom gives us as a brand the opportunity to present the entire collection in a variety of ways.”

Michael Schupp, Berghaus, Senior National Account Manager DACH: “We were very pleased to join again forces with ISPO to strengthen the outdoor community backbone, even in the current conditions, which are not easy at the moment. But during conversations with a lot of our partners and friends, we worked on solutions and developed future strategies. OutDoor by ISPO is the perfect touchpoint for that.”

Lars Föll, Gregory Europe, General Manager: “Three days full of appointments, networking and good conversations – OutDoor by ISPO was a great success for Gregory. We were able to use the trade show as an ideal platform to launch our new Camp Gear line! We were positively struck by the significantly higher number of renowned, international buyers. A date outside the Pentecost holidays would certainly have a positive effect on the German visitor numbers.”

Joe White, Helinox Europe, Head of Marketing: Camping, outdoor and van life continue to be segments in high demand at OutDoor by ISPO. Both the frequency at the booth and the quality of the appointments were high. For us an absolutely successful trade show!

Caroline Faidherbe, DOMETIC, Head of Outdoor EMEA: “Thank you very much for the great trade show. It’s nice to be back again. We feel at home here and appreciate meeting our colleagues from the industry to discuss trends, outlook, and challenges, so we can collectively inspire more people to spend time outdoor. The ISPO Award has been for us a fantastic recognition and give us further confidence that providing such unique solutions is the key to make outdoor living accessible to more people. We look forward to the next edition of OutDoor by ISPO.”
Voices of the visitors
Pieter de Bodt, Yonderland, Central Buyer: “We are really surprised about the wide range of brands exhibiting. And we noticed above all that – despite the difficult market conditions we are all facing at the moment – you can feel an absolutely energetic and good mood at the show!”

Andreas Bartmann, Globetrotter, Managing Director: “Procrastinators and doubters were taught better the days at the outdoor trade show. No, trade shows are not dead and trade shows are not superfluous. Personal exchange, networking, partnerships and strategies were the focus, which are so important right now in challenging times.“

Martin Stolzenberger, Bergzeit, Managing Director: “Am positively surprised by the large number of exhibitors, the very good atmosphere and the good exchange also with international partners.”

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