Outdoor Fair celebrates 20

Mid-July will see the 20th birthday of the Outdoor trade show held in Friedrichshafen on the shores of Lake Constance in Germany.

Over the course of its 20-year history, the trade fair has grown from a speciality fair with a modest 231 exhibitors in 1994 into a leading global trade fair and central meeting place for the international outdoor industry, with more than 900 exhibitors today.

Visitor numbers and especially the international relevance of the OutDoor have also grown dramatically.

The English expression “outdoor” has since become widespread in France, Germany and Italy.

When leading German brands like Deuter, Big Pack, Jack Wolfskin, Lowa, Meindl, Salewa, Tatonka and Vaude initiated the first OutDoor, the industry found itself somewhere between camping, hiking and mountaineering.

Political changes in Europe, an increasingly global supply chain, as well as strong competition among brands and with other trade fairs level brought with them new challenges for the young and growing industry.

To meet these challenges, the European Outdoor Group was founded, holding its first in-person meeting at the OutDoor show.

The growth in exhibitor and visitor figures – average annual growth has averaged about 8 percent between 2003 and 2013 – continued to be paralleled by the growth in the industry.

When the 20th OutDoor opens its gates on July 11, the expected 20,000 trade visitors will come together with 900 exhibitors across over 85,000 square metres, but they will also encounter an industry full of vitality, dynamism and innovative power, says organisers.

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