The outdoor industry has many positive characteristics that make it special. One aspect that has always been very noticeable to me is how warm and welcoming our sector is. The industry was essentially formed by entrepreneurial outdoor enthusiasts and as it has grown, lovers of the activities that we support have always gravitated towards it. Even now, as a major global player, the European outdoor sector is populated by many people who share a huge passion for the activities for which our products and services are designed.
In my mind, we must use some of that passion to meet the challenges that we all now see ahead of us in business. Only by being more welcoming and enterprising than ever will we be able to inspire greater numbers of people (and crucially, the next generation) to participate in outdoor activities.
This all came into sharp focus during the recent European Outdoor Summit in Sheffield, where a succession of speakers and workshops addressed the big issues facing both our sector and wider society. As ‘Generation Z’ matures, it is clear that we are going to have to work very hard to reach millions of people and persuade them to head outdoors and become more active. There is huge competition for their attention, so our sector needs to be even more innovative and welcoming. The reach and success of the first phase of our #itsgreatoutthere campaign gives me confidence that, collectively, we can achieve this.
Together, we can grow participation and build the outdoor sector, for the benefit of all. So, please join us.
Mark Held, EOG General Secretary.
ISPO MUNICH 2016
Every year, the EOG always works closely with our partners at Messe München to organise a full programme of activity for outdoor businesses during ISPO MUNICH. 2016 will be no exception. The following events are open to all show visitors, but have limited capacity, so registration is recommended.
The European Outdoor Market: An overview and update on ‘State of Trade'
Date: Monday 25th January, Time: 11:00 - 12:00, Place: B32 above Hall B3
The EOG will provide an update on the performance of the European outdoor market using findings from its ongoing research programme.
EOG Sustainability Breakfast
Date: Tuesday 26th January, Time: 08:00 - 09:00, Place: Seeblick Restaurant
This year’s event will focus on selling sustainability to the end consumer and beyond. Sustainability requires communication, but who exactly should be communicated with and what is the most effective way to do that?
State of play for DWRs: Current and future (legal) challenges
Date: Tuesday 26th January, Time: 12:30 - 14:00, Place: B32 above Hall B3
Knowledge of the exact chemical compositions of PFCs is limited. Current research focuses on performance, human and environmental substitutes. SWEREA (Swedish Research Institute for Industrial Renewal and Sustainable Growth) will provide information about the latest state-of-play in this field, the legal plans of the EU and the Stockholm Convention.
For more information about the EOG at ISPO MUNICH and to register for the above events (recommended) click here.
European Outdoor Summit
The 2015 European Outdoor Summit (EOS) was a very successful event. It attracted over 300 delegates, high profile speakers and was packed with very well received workshops, networking opportunities and outdoor activities. Many thanks to the Outdoor Industries Association for organising this year’s event, and to the city of Sheffield for hosting it. You can watch a short film about the summit here.
On the final day, we were delighted to announce that EOS 2016 will move to Barcelona and we will organise it in partnership with the Spanish sports industry association Afydad. The event will be held from 29th-30th September and further details will be announced soon. Meanwhile, there are sponsorship opportunities available at the event, which will once again bring together senior figures from Europe’s outdoor industry, along with guests from other parts of the world. If you would like to discuss the possibility of sponsorship, please contact Penny Taylor on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EOG recently supported a study into durable water repellent finishes (DWRs) by De Montfort University (School of Fashion and Textiles) in Leicester, UK. Other project partners included the German Sporting Goods Association (BSI), the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA USA), Outdoor Sports Valley (OSV) and Zero Discharge for Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC). The project focused on consumer and brand perceptions and attitudes to DWRs in relation to product features, usability and aftercare. The final report from the study has been completed and is now available to download here.
The first phase of our #itsgreatoutthere campaign comfortably exceeded expectations. During the three hashtag competitions that ran over the summer, we reached over 15 million people across Europe with positive messages about outdoor participation. Many thousands of people mentioned #itsgreatoutthere on social media or posted photos with the hashtags. All of this helped us to create a real buzz around the outdoor sector during the first European Week of Sport in September, and demonstrated to policymakers in Brussels how our sector can play a big role in addressing the inactivity crisis that society faces.
This was just the beginning. We are already planning the next phase of #itsgreatoutthere and will announce our intentions during ISPO MUNICH 2016 in January. The campaign will continue to be fuelled by the support of outdoor businesses across Europe – if you would like to get involved in this vital and dynamic project, you can read more about the initiative here and get in touch by email here.
Meanwhile, please continue to help us spread positive messages about outdoor activities by engaging with the campaign on social media and using the campaign hashtag:
European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)
Once again, EOCA’s biannual public vote to allocated funding to conservation projects was a huge success, reaching over 36 million consumers during 2015. Over the years, the vote has been discussed on Nepali national radio, on the BBC website, tweeted by Chris Bonington, supported by the Costa Rican president, an American embassy and even a Welsh rugby team!
This all goes to highlight the high regard with which the public vote is held, the effectiveness of EOCA in showcasing its members and its work to consumers worldwide, and the great importance of the work the European outdoor industry is carrying out together. Projects that were awarded support this year include the protection of gorillas in Nigeria, tigers and rainforest in Malaysia, and birds in Spain, as well as path restoration in Scotland, saving forest in Sweden, conserving red pandas in Nepal and restoring birch forests in Iceland. This list demonstrates the excellent value of EOCA membership.
2015 is the first year that the running of EOCA has been financed by its Sustaining Members. EOCA extends a huge thank you to these seven members, who enable the association to put 100% of all membership fees into vital conservation work world-wide: Patagonia, KEEN, Nikwax, Pertex, ISPO, OutDoor and the EOG (which is also the founder of EOCA).
To find out more about the work of EOCA and how to join visit the website here.