European Outdoor Group maps out a bright future for OutDoor

The European Outdoor Group (EOG) has provided an update on its plans for the outdoor sector’s leading trade show, OutDoor. After a range of improvements to the event helped deliver a successful show this year, the EOG and organiser and host Messe Friedrichshafen are working together to deliver more enhancements for 2018. Meanwhile, the association is making good progress with its Vision 2020 project, which will establish the longer term future of Europe’s premier outdoor trade fair.

OutDoor 2018 will be held from 17 to 20 June at Messe Friedrichshafen, in what will be the 25th anniversary of an event that has grown massively since its foundation, and which has continuously adapted as the industry has matured.  The show dates were brought forward to June this year and that decision was welcomed by exhibitors and visitors alike.  Messe Friedrichshafen also took the opportunity to add new events and attractions to the schedule, and made some modernisations to the messe.  These developments were well received and OutDoor attracted 965 exhibitors and 21,412 trade visitors from 90 countries, as well as 1,019 accredited media representatives from 30 nations.  Visitor numbers were about level with 2016, despite challenging times for the trade.

Following feedback from this year, Messe Friedrichshafen plans to build on the varied programme of speakers at the show, which will reflect the changing nature and definition of ‘outdoor’.  The industry’s evolution will also inform the line-up of workshops and seminars.  Many of these will be hosted by the EOG under its new umbrella ‘OutReach’ banner, focusing on the increasingly interwoven elements of CSR and sustainability, conservation and the promotion of outdoor participation to the public.

Other key initiatives in the pipeline for OutDoor 2018 include: An expansion to the show’s online influencer engagement work, which saw 160 leading bloggers visit the show this year; and ongoing liaison with the local authorities and business community in Friedrichshafen to improve the visitor experience in and around the town for those exhibiting at and attending the show.

While plans for OutDoor 2018 are moving ahead at a fast pace, the EOG is also preparing for the longer term future of the show.  Extensive research has established that the industry has a strong wish and need for a summer trade show and that the successful OutDoor platform has even more potential if developed in the right way.  The association will push on with its Vision 2020 project during the latter part of 2017, with a view to making a decision early next year about the direction of OutDoor from 2019 onwards.

Mark Held, general secretary of the EOG, comments: “It is clear that OutDoor continues to be a vibrant and relevant show for our industry.  It becomes an incredibly important focus point every summer and has achieved that status by evolving and innovating as it has grown, all within the context of a maturing sector.  I am certain that Messe Friedrichshafen will ensure that OutDoor 2018 is another ‘must attend’ event for exhibitors and visitors alike, setting the agenda for the season.  It will also be the springboard that we must use to ensure that the OutDoor platform remains just as important and appealing as we head towards 2019 and beyond.”

For more information about exhibiting at OutDoor in 2018 visit www.outdoor-show.com/exhibitors-info2018.