ISPO continues to be the pre-eminent winter sports show globally with significantly more visitors than any of the other major continental sports shows. Last year a record 2,645 exhibitors (3% increase) and over 86,000 industry professionals (6% increase) attended the show. This is where an event the scale of ISPO offers real value. ISPO is still the biggest sports show on earth; even North America doesn’t have a single show to rival it. With all these different sports communities and nationalities congregated in one place ISPO uniquely offers opportunities and connections to develop your retail and brand business and for retailers to find the products of the future.
For 2018 the show stays with its the traditional Sunday to Wednesday schedule but moves forward a week from last year’s show to start on January 28. The key focus topics for ISPO this year are Digitalization, Women, CSR and Cross Industry. Women in Sportsbusiness will be cantered around the Munich lounge with B2B and B2C events for female trade visitors, exhibitors, journalists and influencers. Digitisation with over 1000 sq metres in A4 under the banner ‘Digitize by ISPO Academy’ will have an ISPO Academy with interactive forums, a Retail Lab and a Digital Readiness Check station where retailers can see how prepared they are for this new type of business. The CSR Hub and Sustainability Kiosk in Hall A3 will be run by Greenroom Voice and Brands for Good and with sustainability now more than just a trend the subject is also considered in the ISPO Awards.
For boardsports companies the key changes this year are as follows: The merging of snowboarding into the snowsports halls, with the positioning of the snowboard brands moving more central to the show as they have switched from B6 to B4; the move of skate hardgoods into the Urban Hardgoods hall and the moving of surf to next to SUP in hall A4. The Longboard Embassy and Skate/Scooter Hub in A5 will be run as always by Alex Lenz from 40inch Longboard magazine. In A3 the Snow and Safety platform will examine safety on and off the piste, in A4 the Watersports village is where the surfing and paddle sports industry will be demonstrating its latest products and trends in a large water tank, in B2 the newly launched Wool street platform is cantered around natural wool and related products made from processed wool fibres. In C3 it’s Textrends – the platform for performance textiles, always a busy destination for manufacturers, designers, and product managers and in B4 it’s the 30th anniversary of ISPO’s Brandnew, the world’s largest competition for sports start-ups. This year it has been given an entire village of its own including a Walk of Fame, giving visitors an idea of the winning products from over the years.
The enthusiasm for winter sports shows no sign of slowing down. In the Snowsports area halls B2 to B6, brands will show off their entire product range for winter sports: from snowboarding to skiing, freeskiing and snowshoe hiking, cross-country skiing and sled riding. The ‘Welcome to Snowsports’ platform in B4 will display on trend new products grouped by category for ski and snowboard, best practices of events and retailers and resorts, the state of trade of these sports and will also include a bar and lounge area that can be used as a focal meeting point for brands and retailers.
ISPO is Europe’s one opportunity to see all that’s new in winter sports. All other trade events are either niche focused offering opportunity only for the already converted or are purely national in scope. So action sports retailers – no matter what their specialization – should make the trip to Munich to keep themselves at the forefront of market developments.