Under pressure from the European Outdoor Group (EOG) to improve its act in order to retain the OutDoor fair, Messe Friedrichshafen has announced a “Retail First” initiative for its next edition of the show. Scheduled to take place on June 17-20, 2018, it may be the last one to be held on Lake Constance if Messe München or another trade show organizer in Europe comes up with a better solution before the EOG takes a decision on the future venue on the eve of the Ispo Munich fair next Jan. 27.

Accreditation, accommodation and program contents have all been overhauled to ensure that key retailers from all over Europe will be at the show in Friedrichshafen, independently of the EOG's decision next January, and that they will get more benefits from their participation.

The invitation process for the visitors will be more targeted. Instead of a rather generic approach that was used in the past, the team of the OutDoor fair will centralize invitations for specialist retailers. It will directly offer free tickets to specific individual retailers to encourage them to attend the show. To compensate for this, entry prices will be adjusted upwards for all other trade visitors.

Messe Friedrichshafen will seek to improve the program contents by extending the new OutDoor Plus themes – Lifestyle, Running, Water Sports and HangOut – that it has introduced lately. It's particularly keen on further developing the new Running area, organizing a wider range of running-related events and workshops.

The program of conferences during the show will be extended, covering the latest issues and trends. Featuring some top international speakers, the conferences were well attended at the last show, says Messe Friedrichshafen.

The organization of the OutDoor show is being steered by a new, dedicated project director, Dirk Heidrich, who was previously working for another division of Messe Friedrichshafen. He is taking the place of Stefan Reisinger, who was recently promoted to take care of this and other trade shows in the city, including Eurobike.