Europe’s OutDoor trade show, Jul. 16-19 in Friedrichshafen, Germany proved to be another success, drawing innovation and buzz to its packed four-day schedule.

"The outdoor sector is proving to be a lighthouse in a stormy economic sea. The increase in numbers of visitors at the fair is immensely encouraging and is another indication of the positive, forward looking attitude of the outdoor industry,” said Mark Held, Secretary General of the European Outdoor Group (EOG), at the conclusion of the 16th edition of the show.

Despite a global recession, Europe’s leading outdoor industry trade fair set a new attendance record: 19,300 trade visitors from 90 countries compared to last year’s 18,900. "OutDoor not only met everyone’s high expectations, but even managed to exceed those of many,” summed up Messe Friedrichshafen Director Klaus Wellmann.

With 810 exhibitors from 38 countries, this year’s OutDoor maintained the event’s record of sustained growth. It was also able to increase exhibition space to 85,000 sq. meters (915,000 sq. feet).

"The opening of the new East Foyer facilities is a significant milestone in the development of OutDoor, providing a world-class venue for the fair,” insisted EOG's Held.

After a two-year break, global player Adidas also returned to the event. "The reaction to our appearance and product innovation has been very positive. The support of Messe Friedrichshafen was excellent. We felt very comfortable here,” said Rolf Reinschmidt, Senior Vice President Global Outdoor.

Among the exhibitors in Friedrichshafen were the giants of the international outdoor sports industry. More innovative than ever, they came equipped with more than 200 world and European product debuts. Media participation was also abundant: 944 journalists (daily newspapers and specialized publications), TV teams and radio reporters from 26 countries travelled to Friedrichshafen to discover new products for the coming outdoor sports season.

A trade visitor survey undertaken by an independent polling institution underscored the international nature of OutDoor: 60% of trade visitors came from outside of Germany. Ninety percent estimated that the outdoor sports business would either develop "favorably” or remain "stable.” Asked if they would attend the next OutDoor trade fair, 91% responded positively.

OutDoor 2010 will take place Jul. 15-18, 2009 in Friedrichshafen.

—Regina Henkel