The European Outdoor Group (EOG) has held its annual Summer Meeting at Messe Friedrichshafen, ahead of OutDoor. The association’s best ever attended assembly saw over 90 representatives from the EOG’s 93 full members and 10 associate members gather for updates and discussions on a range of key industry topics.
In the last two years, the EOG has extended the criteria for membership to allow retailers and technology brands to join. New members from all parts of the outdoor industry attended the Summer Meeting. With attendees from every region of Europe at the event, the latest EOG meeting was truly representative of the whole sector.
Key outputs from the European Outdoor Group (EOG) Summer Meeting:
- The latest market research data was presented, including an overview of the State of Trade 2015 results, showing modest growth in value and volume during the year. A recent market snapshot of the year to date indicates slightly stronger growth during the first half of 2016. A separate market research press release is available. If you have not already received it, you can request it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Details were revealed about the future direction of the EOG’s consumer facing campaign to grow outdoor participation. A working group of the association is preparing plans for the long term funding and delivery of the project. Meanwhile, #ItsGreatOutThere (IGOT) will continue to be the public brand for the initiative and the second half of 2016 will see EOG members roll out a series of grass roots activities designed to take new people into the outdoors. Successful pilot projects have already been run by Berghaus (UK), Keen (Netherlands) and Ternua (Spain), and other members will be holding events in the lead up to the European Commission’s European Week of Sport (EWoS) in September, when the EOG will be a key partner. IGOT is an open source campaign and all outdoor companies are encouraged to support it and participate. Find out more at www.itsgreatoutthere.com.
- Members were given an update on the EOG’s expanding programme of work in CSR and sustainability, including areas such as the Sustainability Charter, sustainability tools, and the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), which was recently published by Textile Exchange and which the association helped to develop. The EOG will invest more resource into CSR and sustainability, including the employment of an in house expert to help guide the association and wider industry on issues relating to chemical use in outdoor products.
- More details were revealed about the programme and speaker line-up for the 2016 European Outdoor Summit (EOS) in Barcelona. The summit will focus on three themes: Get Out – growing participation; Change Up – doing things better; Think Up – creating value by doing things right. The speakers and breakout sessions will reflect those – full details can be found at www.europeanoutdoorsummit.com, where places can be booked, with an early bird discount rate available until the end of July.
- The 10th birthday of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) was marked. The EOG was the founding member of the organisation and continues to support its work. EOCA has now raised and invested over €2m in conservation projects in 39 different countries, with many beneficiaries selected through a public voting process. The work of EOCA has reached over 82.5 million consumers and the 10th birthday will be the launch platform for a campaign to plant or regenerate two million trees in locations around the world. To find out more about this and the other work of EOCA visit www.outdoorconservation.eu.
- Guest speaker at the EOG Summer Meeting was Emma Arnesson, CEO of ‘Hej Främling’ (‘Hello Stranger’), a project that has used sport and the outdoors to help integrate refugees and economic migrants into society in Sweden, using a grass roots approach that aligns well with #ItsGreatOutThere. Find out more at www.hejframling.se.
John Jansen, EOG president, comments: “As has become the norm at our gatherings, the EOG Summer Meeting covered varied and complex topics. That is now a fact of life and the association – and wider industry – should embrace that. It reflects an industry that has truly come of age on a global scale. The approach of this association and its members clearly demonstrates our sector’s continued willingness to collaborate on the issues where we have a shared interest, growing outdoor for the benefit of all. The EOG board and I are grateful for the sustained contributions of everyone who helps drive our priority initiatives, such as market research, CSR and sustainability, and the promotion of outdoor participation. These are all vital areas of work that the association undertakes to support, represent and promote our sector, and help build long term success.”