15th Edition of OutDoor Trade Fair

Outdoor is 'in'. Bolstered by ever-increasing popularity, the outdoor industry keeps on finding new applications for the 'outdoor' lifestyle. With a record number of exhibitors on hand, the OutDoor trade fair at Lake Constance will play host to the industry's 'who's who' on July 17th to 20th, 2008. Along with the presentation of products and a supporting programme tailored to the outdoor scene, the 15th edition of OutDoor will particularly serve as a platform for the subject of environmental sustainability and ecology from the 'outdoor perspective'.

With over 750 exhibitors (up from 731 in 2007) from 38 countries, OutDoor continues to climb to greater heights of success. The increased number of exhibitors and an international participation rate of approximately 80 per cent ideally position OutDoor to become the world's trade fair for the industry. In a recent analysis of the outdoor industry, management consultancy BBE Retail Experts forecasts that it will continue to grow in coming years, fed by greater sporting activity, more leisure time spent in nature, and a rising interest in physical exercise. Overall, sales in Germany are expected to increase by almost 7 per cent by 2011. "OutDoor has developed into the leading trade fair for all sports activities that take place outdoors. It's become a must for manufacturers and trade visitors alike, " emphasizes trade fair director Klaus Wellmann.

A number of premiers and innovations will also take centre stage at the 15th edition of OutDoor. Numerous companies including the industry's 'Top 100' will present their newly developed products to stockists and the media for the first time and, for the most part, exclusively at OutDoor. European Outdoor Group (EOG) membership will be almost completely represented.

As the outdoor industry dramatically grows, so does the floor space of its presentation venue: OutDoor 2008 will have at its disposal one of two new exhibition halls at Messe Friedrichshafen. "We're very pleased not only to be able to accommodate new exhibitors this year, but also to fulfil the demand from our existing clientele for more exhibition space, " explains OutDoor project director Stefan Reisinger.

"The new Hall A7 will house part of the tent city as well as the stage where fashion show and other events will be presented. Due to ongoing construction work on the east side of the trade fair grounds, there will be two access points to this year's OutDoor: the entrances to Halls A7 and B4." With addition of the new hall, this year's 'natural phenomenon' will take place in a eleven exhibition halls with an increased total floor space of 75,000 sq m (18.5 acres). And expansion will continue: By July 2009, the industrial and commercial centre of Friedrichshafen will be home to a trade fair facility with twelve halls with an exhibition space totalling 85,000 sq m (21 acres).

The outdoor industry's future depends on an intact wilderness. "We want to encourage discussion about ecology among experts from sport, industry and related associations, and have therefore given OutDoor 2008 the thematic title of 'The Challenge of Sustainability', " explains trade fair director Klaus Wellmann. In collaboration with the EOG Association for Conservation, a series of workshops and lectures will be offered to industry and retail participants. As well, awards will be given to 'genuine' outdoor projects. EOG President Rolf Schmid underlines the important role outdoor sports can play in setting environmentally-friendly examples: "We really want to see the outdoor industry become a role model in this area, and get the message out about sustainability by supporting worthwhile projects."

As part of the OutDoor 2008 INDUSTRY AWARDS and for the third time, a jury of experts will award gold, silver and bronze prizes for the most innovative products in different categories. The awards act as a seal of approval to help consumers orient themselves in the outdoor sports and leisure marketplace. Those receiving the awards will not be informed until they are presented on July 17th during the trade fair. A 'Concepts' category has been added this year, allowing designers, companies and students with experimental proposals for products and studies to take part. Once again, the title 'OutDoor Celebrity of the Year' will be bestowed on the person who has made an extraordinary contribution to the outdoor scene.

IDEAS Active Sports Design Network will attend OutDoor for the first time. The association of 22 freelance design studios specialising in sport will present their sport colour chart for summer 2010 at their own exhibit stand. On Friday, July 18th at 11 am, the designers give a two-part seminar on new clothing trends.

The number of exhibitors from Scandinavia continues to grow. Several members of the Scandinavian Outdoor Group (S.O.G) will be located in Hall A1, while products nominated for the Scandinavian Outdoor Award will be on display in the expanded Scandinavian Outdoor Village in Hall A5.

The OutDoor Fashion Show will take place three times each day at 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm on the presentation stage in Hall A7. Leading outdoor companies will present their latest collections in the 30-minute show.

Two movie nights, two nature blockbusters! Immediately following the trade fair on Thursday and Friday, visitors to the OutDoor Open-Air Movie Nights on the exhibition grounds can catch two nature documentaries that could hardly be more different. With his production "The 11th Hour, " Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio aims to shake viewers up about our threatened environment (Thursday, July 17th at 6 pm). With extraordinary footage, "Earth" captures nature in all its splendour (Friday, July 18th at 6 pm).

Among the perennial hits and established highlights at OutDoor are the fashion show, Tent City, the climbing wall and the OutDoor Party on Saturday, 19th July. In Hall B2, climbing competitions in all the classical alpine disciplines (mountaineering, climbing, ice climbing and 'expedition') provide for exciting diversions from the business of the fair. A popular spot is the overhanging climbing wall, where exhibitors and visitors can try their hand at climbing. At noon on Sunday, 20th July, the bouldering wall in Hall A5 will be the site of the 'High Jump Contest'.

Thirty-three companies from around the world will present a complete overview of the latest tents at the OutDoor 2008 Tent City, covering 8,000 sq m (2 acres) of exhibition space (Halls B4 and A7). Consisting of over 700 assembled tents, the exhibit is unique in terms of format, clarity and scale.

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