Outdoor trade show announces controversial move to Munich
In a surprising move, on 8th February the European Outdoor Group (EOG), the association of sport industry players, including brands, retailers and distributors, announced its decision to relocate the sector's main summer trade show. From 2019, the Outdoor show will be organised in partnership with Messe Munchen, making the Bavarian capital, which already hosts the ISPO winter show, the European sport industry's trading hub.
According to a press release by EOG, three destinations were considered: Munich, Friedrichshafen and Hamburg. A poll of 94% of the EOG members saw Munich win 65% of the vote, and after a quarter of a century on the shores of Lake Constance, the Outdoor trade show will move to a new location in Germany.
Some international visitors did appreciate Friedrichshafen for its lake and Alpine environment, but others were reluctant to travel there, as the trip wasn't the easiest. The management of Messe Friedrichshafen has not taken kindly to the decision. "We look at the vote's result with huge disappointment. The Outdoor show was born a quarter of a century ago on the shores of Lake Constance, and here we have written a unique success story for this industry," said the CEO of Messe Friedrichshafen, Klaus Wellmann. The organiser stated that, with the backing of some of the EOG's 96 members, it will still hold an event in the city.
Following this announcement, on Friday 9th February the EOG reacted by saying the poll "was wholly democratic" and that “Munich received three times as many votes as its closest competitor." EOG also justified the move as being consistent with its 'Vision 2020' for the European outdoor industry.
"Altogether, the Vision 2020 team carried out more than 90 hours of interviews. A work which enabled EOG to talk to 90% of the market in economic terms," said the association in a press release. It added that “the members of EOG speak for the entire industry. The association's market research programme, which is well established and respected, indicates that EOG members account for nearly 70% of the European outdoor market. These figures show that the decision on the future of the Outdoor show was not taken by a minority, but that it represents the interests of the sector as a whole."
The show's next edition, the 25th, will still be held in Friedrichshafen from 17th to 20th June, featuring nearly 900 exhibitors from 40 countries. The climate at the foot of the Alps risks being rather frosty, even for June.
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