Stephanie Beiswenger
Stephanie Beiswenger
Projektreferentin, Aussteller-Betreuung
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+49 7541 708-2410
Kerstin Moßmann
Kerstin Moßmann
Projektreferentin, Aussteller-Betreuung
+49 7541 708-416
+49 7541 708-2416
Stephan Fischer
Stephan Fischer
Referent Besucherservice
+49 7541 708-404
+49 7541 708-2404
+49 7541 708-307
+49 7541 708-331

20 Years of the OutDoor: Statements from retailers and industry about the leading trade show in Friedrichshafen

Retailer statements
Ekkehard Brahm, Managing Partner, Sack & Pack, Düsseldorf:

"The OutDoor has made a significant contribution to turning the small ‘outdoor’ niche market into the strong trend it is today. Even sport retailers, who slept through much of this, have now jumped on the bandwagon. Having its own trade show was also very important for the outdoor industry’s self-image. We don’t want to be sport’s little sidekick.”
Andreas Bartmann, Managing Director of Globetrotter GmbH, gets right to the point:
"The trade show made a contribution to bringing our industry out of the shadow of the sporting goods industry and giving it a clear profile of its own - and not only nationally but internationally as well.”
Gerhard Lauche, CEO of Lauche & Maas, Munich:
"For years I have always looked forward to this show ? from the opportunity to meet many old friends, to the international participants who make the show into an oasis of the market economy in a Germany increasingly organised along socialist lines, and including the many interesting developments.”
"For my employees, the show is a huge training event. It is our industry’s most important information platform. For example, here you can talk about the right way to deal with the Internet. With clear strategies it is of course possible to collectively confront the problems which have arisen with the development of the Internet.”
Rainer Angstl, CEO, Sporthaus Schuster, Munich:
"The OutDoor has fundamentally influenced the industry! From an initiative - laughed at in the beginning - of three visionaries, Arecht von Dewitz, Knut Jäger and Manfred Hell, it has grown into what is unquestionably one of the leading trade shows in sport.”
Guy Lorétan, Head of Communications, Transa, Zurich:

"Transa buyers used to travel to far-away countries to discover new products. This gave Transa an advantage and we were able to offer exclusive new products. With increasing globalisation and the rise of new trade show formats like the OutDoor, that makes less and less sense. In this sense, the OutDoor has advantages and disadvantages for Transa. It simplifies scouting and the buying process, but on the other hand puts all competitors on an equal footing in terms of information.”
Erik Bohlander, CEO of Viking Adventures, Trier:
"After some initial competition with the summer ISPO, the OutDoor persevered to establish itself as the industry’s leading trade show in Europe. All of the important players in the market are here and all of the important new products are presented in Friedrichshafen. The OutDoor sets trends that are closely followed in the media and the general public. In this way, the OutDoor helps move classic sport and clothing retail more in the outdoor direction.”
Manfred Bachmann, CEO of Ergo, Wiesbaden:
"Personally and as a retailer, I was not enthusiastic when the OutDoor launched as an independent trade show. It turned the outdoor scene into a mass market, which attracted many market entrants ranging from Aldi to Adidas. In that process, the field has lost its innocence and many small shops - which were dedicated to the product - have now disappeared or will disappear. Of course, the show has helped the market itself.”
Philipp Schweizer, CEO, Adventure Company, Freiburg:
"The OutDoor is a super service provider for the industry and reflects it. At the beginning everything was more home-made; there were no closed stands. Then it got louder, faster, fuller and flashier. You waited to see when the ‘Reef Girls’ were going to present climbing belts. Now it’s pulling itself together again.”
Industry statements
Thoma Gröger, Country Manager, Fjällräven Deutschland:
"There is a reason why the OutDoor at Lake Constance is the centre of the global outdoor world year after year. It is a first-class address for nice, friendly exchanges within the industry and an excellent platform for cultivating contacts in all of the relevant business areas. And above all, the OutDoor is just fun.”
Bernd Kullmann, CEO Schwan-Stabilo Outdoor:
"Over the years, the OutDoor has become the world’s leading trade show for outdoor equipment. Without this show, and without the support of Messe Friedrichshafen in the person of Rolf Mohne, the outdoor business in Germany, and indeed in all of Europe, would not have developed as quickly and intensely as it did. Everyone needs a stage. The OutDoor is the stage for our products and should be a must for every retailer who is active in the business in a more or less serious way.
There is no topic that you won’t see addressed at this show. But despite all of the economic success and business taking place, the show has retained its charm and authenticity. That is also due in part to the location, ideally situated in a region perfect for outdoor activities.
Marc Fischer, Head of Outdoor Adidas Outdoor DACH:
"All of the important global brands are represented, making the show very attractive from an international standpoint. The OutDoor continues to be the most important meeting for retailers and the industry alike.
Maurice Gowen, Brand Director Europe, Cascade Designs:
"It is the most important show in Europe and is critical for our company’s success in launching new products for the following season to our new and existing customers in Europe. We service and welcome customers from all over Europe on this show. The OutDoor trade show is the perfect platform to meet with new and existing customers and keep abreast of the developments in the Outdoor market in Europe.”
Udo Heyder, International Area Manager Central Europe The North Face:
"It is still the most important show in Europe and more global all the time. The OutDoor show is the platform of the outdoor community. You can see from the number of brands booked for the OutDoor that the European Outdoor Market is important and seen as a long-term growth market. You also see a lot of global retailers and brands coming to the OutDoor to see the latest in technology, product innovation, colours and fashion.
The OutDoor show is...
- … the most important fair of the outdoor business
- … not just business. It is where the community comes together
- … friendly and relaxed atmosphere
- … professional work
- … very well organised”
Carolyn Budding, Marketing Director Terra Nova Equipment:
"The OutDoor is the major European outdoor show which now encourages buyers from places further afield than Europe. It remains an important show for our export business. We have seen a reduction in the number of independent retailers coming from the UK because of the recession. "
Peter Schöffel, Managing Partner, Schöffel Sportbekleidung:
"The OutDoor always offers good opportunities to inform yourself about what is happening in the international outdoor scene. Certainly, you could say that there is room for improvement in terms of internationalisation. We use this show and others to talk about campaigns and marketing activities with our retail partners.”
"The OutDoor is a specialty trade show which, because of its geographic location, hits a special nerve in the industry. With the foothills of the Alps as a backdrop and an international outdoor audience focused on what are sometimes very exotic niche offerings - there is a very special atmosphere developing here.”
Harald Schreiber, Public Relations, Mammut Sports Group:
"The OutDoor is the ideal platform to meet important partners and exchange views with them in just a few days. Otherwise it would take weeks to conduct so many meetings. The OutDoor has also established itself as a known quantity on the international stage, but with something of a focus on Europe. Thus, for example, the main language is German.”
Thomas Strobl, CEO Invia:
"It is in fact the most important motor of our industry in Europe. In Asia and America too, the outdoor industry would not be where it is today without the impulse generated by the OutDoor in Friedrichshafen. That is due to the strong profile of this special trade show which has not been watered down over the last twenty years, to the Messe Friedrichshafen team’s great expertise and willingness to cooperate, and the largely unified commitment of the industry. Thank you very much, Messe Friedrichshafen team!”
Marscha Aaldering, Marketing Mountain Hard Wear:
"From a practical perspective it is a selling show, so there are a huge number of business deals and agreements are made there. It also allows for all brands to gauge the state of the industry and of their competitors. It also provides an opportunity for many regions and many countries to come together and discuss and celebrate the activities we all enjoy and make products for.”
Sarah Seeger, Marmot Mountain:
"The OutDoor, as a central platform for communicating with partners, customers and the media, is always a must in our yearly schedule. It continues to be one of the most important measures of the mood in the entire industry, and one which leads the way in fundamental trends and developments.”
Philipp Galewski, Marketing Manager, CEP:
"The OutDoor is the most important trade show for the market here. Product developments are planned and timed to coincide with it, so it offers a perfect overview of the future market.”
Theresa Frigger, PR Manager, Falke:

"What started twenty years ago and is now represented as such an important directional force, is simply condicio sine qua non. We can only congratulate you on that and are looking forward to the next twenty years.”
Jan Molander, CEO Scandic, German general importer, Woolpower:
"As a marketing instrument, the OutDoor continues to be an important tool. In particular, it represents a very good opportunity to cultivate international B2B contacts, both to customers and to distribution partners. The discussions with colleagues in the industry are also important for getting a general picture of the mood in the business. But in terms of customer relationships and the acquisition of (pre)orders, the show has been steadily shifting into the background for us. That work is increasingly conducted in showrooms, at order days and during in-site visits to customers.”
Nol Gerritse, Marketing Manager Europe Keen:
"The OutDoor show is the no. 1 trade show in Europe for the Outdoor business with a fantastic atmosphere. We always meet with many partners, both German and international from across Europe and even the world! The OutDoor trade show is the favourite event of the year! And an inspiring, vibrant place to spot trends, walk around and meet many friends and industry ‘colleagues’.”
Stefan Müller, Head of Sales, Meindl Germany:
"The OutDoor has become the leading international trade show. Because of the diversity of exhibitors, the show will become even more important in the future. For us, the OutDoor is a very important show with a national and international orientation. We’ve been here since the very beginning and will also be here in the future.”

Zur Übersicht