Representatives from the sporting goods industry came together for the OutDoor Show in Friedrichschafen, Germany on the beautiful Lake Constance last month and the message was clear – to stand out from the crowd bold moves had to be made.
Sports Recruitment International's Frederic Lagneau and Josie Lahey were present for the four-day conference where over 900 exhibitors showcased their products and innovations and specialty retailers, trade visitors and media representatives where present from around the globe in full force.
Attendance records were broken once again with 21,730 trade visitors and experts from all fields of nature-oriented sport putting their point across through presentations, movies, hands on demonstrations and fashion shows. More than 100 conferences, seminars and workshops took place throughout the duration of the trade fair.
The key focus of the 19th installment of the trade show was to discuss how Europe could remain an industry power and all who were present had their own ideas and opinions.
Reflecting on the conference, Lagneau said that the general feel was that the economic future of the outdoor industry was “improving or stable”.
“The show went well. Although you can certainly sense some uncertainty in the entire industry right now, the general feel was that this will soon pass and that everything outdoor will remain the mega-trend that it has been in recent times,” Lagneau said.
It was clear from the conference that companies were taking positive steps forward to establish their place in the ever-competitive sport market with Lagneau noticing specific progress being made in the areas of marketing and communication. Designers were evidently putting more consideration into the public perception of products with clothing, footwear and accessories being a myriad of bright, flashy colours.
"While key players in the European market fight to maintain their reputation and stronghold on consumers, the OutDoor Show also highlighted the up and comers with Chinese suppliers impressing as a result of the high quality manufacturing of products," said Lagneau.
At the conclusion of the conference, Lagneau said that despite some causes for concern with the current performance of the industry, there were clear strategic options available to ensure longevity and success in the market.
“Companies should continue to achieve good margins by controlling and optimizing their supply chain,” he said.
“To customise – shift away from internal sales workforces. More and more companies are willing to internalise their sales workforce. It is evident that the successful companies are outsourcing sales through specialised agencies.”
For more on the OutDoor Show, visit the official event website – www.outdoor-show.com.