Full stands, important talks - that's the first balance after the restart of Ispo Munich after almost three years of forced break. The importance of the trade show as an industry meeting point cannot be reduced to exhibitor numbers. Nevertheless, the format will be discussed.





"The event has exceeded our expectations,” said Stefan Merkt, managing director, Schöffel Sport, speaking about the specialized sports show Ispo Munich. Of the same opinion were Vaude and Jack Wolfskin, along with Ortovox, Houdini, CMP and more.






In total, around 40,000 trade visitors from 117 countries attended Ispo Munich on November 28-30, 73% of whose from abroad. The top five countries of origin of its visitors were Germany, Italy, France, The UK and Austria.





Almost 90% of the exhibitors came from over 50 countries, mostly from Germany, Italy, France, China and Taiwan. About 20% of them were at Ispo Munich for the first time.






"We see our customers here, with whom we make 80% of our sales," said Schöffel’s marketing director Reiner Gerstner. "But that is, again, part of the truth, just 20% of our customers. And especially for the others, it would be important to visit a trade fair again and get inspired."






The fact that at least the weather cooperated to some extent again and finally brought cooler temperatures in the weeks leading up to the trade fair helped with discussions about planning for the coming year after a very challenging October.






Main topic of the show? Trade shows
It's always a little idle to talk about trade shows at a trade show. But at this year's Ispo Munich, the question of the event's future plays a bigger role than ever before. New date, new formats - but above all: significantly fewer exhibitors.





The fact that ski hardware suppliers have unanimously decided not to participate in Ispo may be consistent from the supplier's point of view, but it weakens the trade show. Because it annoys the visitors. And it led not least to the fact that other halls were also significantly thinned out. Big players like The North Face, Columbia and Adidas Terrex were absent, as were long-time Ispo exhibitors like Mammut and Bogner.






Not only exhibitors profit from Ispo appointment
However, the fact that almost all companies were at Ispo at least as visitors and used the appointment to meet customers or hold own events shows how important and strong this show is for the entire industry. But financing it is causing resentment among some exhibitors.





"The talks here are hardly about the new collections at their core. But they are important," emphasizes Volker Simon of CMP. "If a retailer stops by the booth without an appointment and presents to us how he plans his space in the future, then of course it's very valuable to be able to talk about that directly here and be part of that."






“Fear of missing out - that's what all the companies that decide not to participate in the event should actually have,” said Werner Riethmann, senior director, Lowa. However, he asked whether the classic trade show format is the right one for this. Which format with which investments is the right one for the participating companies will certainly be discussed intensively now.






New formats well received
The new centerpiece of the trade show, the Future Lab in Hall B2, was particularly well attended. With discussions on the Main Stage, the Sustainability Hub and the Brand New Area. Very pleased with its placement in this hall was Berghaus, the Pentland Group's outdoor brand, which introduced its new Stock Rotation program at the show. A program that allows retailers to return up to 30% worth of invoiced merchandise, for up to 210 days. In exchange, there is a credit that can be redeemed not for re-pulling racers, but also on the next pre-order. 






"We want to set long-term planks for partners and take as much merchandise pressure out of the dealer as possible," explains the new DACH manager, Michael Schupp. He added that the program has been running successfully for many years at Pentland's Endura brand.






Focus on sustainability
The strong focus on sustainability was also evident at the booths in the other halls. For example, at the outdoor supplier Rab. "We are concentrating our appearance here on our Material Facts project," explains company spokeswoman Sarah Kampf. "We want to provide customers with transparent facts, comparable to a nutrition table. This information - in the first step, on the exact content of recycled materials, the content of fluorocarbons and information on the production location - can be accessed via a QR code on the product,” she explained.






Whether the proportion of recycled materials then meets the customer's requirement for a more sustainable product is enough needs to be discussed. In any case, the program has met with interest from retailers, and Rab now wants to talk to other suppliers about it in order to develop it further together in the best case scenario.






In any case, Houdini CEO Eva Karlsson is pleased about the industry's openness to cooperation. "This is a huge opportunity for the outdoor industry. We can really take a leadership role there and show how good things can be achieved together."






This article was published on 1 December 2022 by textilwirtschaft.de




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