Five organizers of trade shows have been officially selected by the European Outdoor Group (EOG) as potential candidates to hold the European OutDoor show from 2019 on. Confirming an earlier report, aside from the Milan fair, the four others are all German. In addition to the trade show organizations in Friedrichshafen and Munich, those in Hamburg and Stuttgart have also been allowed to participate in the race.

Their detailed proposals are now being evaluated by an external, independent committee of experts to check whether they meet the criteria established under the EOG's Vision 2020 review program, first launched at the beginning of 2016. The committee's findings will be presented to the EOG's board of directors early next month, and those that pass the screening will be invited to present themselves to the members of the association at its annual general meeting in Munich on Saturday, Jan. 27, the day before the start of the Ispo show.

The suspense will linger on for a few more days, however. The EOG had previously suggested that the members would vote for their favorite candidates during the annual meeting. It has now decided that they will be invited to do so a few days after Ispo for a variety of reasons, using a European provider of electoral services to carry out the balloting process.

This is because some of the members may not be able to attend the annual meeting because the dates of the new Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show in Denver, scheduled for Jan. 25 to 28, will slightly overlap this time with those of Ispo, which will run from Jan. 27 to 30. The conflict of dates will make it difficult for many companies to have a suitable presence at both shows.

After Ispo, where they will probably be very busy, the EOG's members will therefore receive videos of the individual presentations by the candidates for the future organization of the OutDoor show to help them to decide and then voice their preferences before a certain deadline, which has yet to be set.

In providing this update on its Vision 2020 program, the EOG pointed out that OutDoor will still be held in Friedrichshafen next June 17-20, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the fair, and that it will introduce some enhancements such as:

- The German Bouldering Cup will take place at the show

- Highlighting outdoor fashion trends for the wider consumer market, the Lifestyle Collection will return to the fair with more exhibitors, segments and fashion shows, and with contents that can be shared with bloggers and the media

- The Eriba City will be expanded by 30 percent to provide affordable accommodation options intended to raise the number of major retailers attending the show from the level of 480 reached this past June

- Dedicated networking opportunities for retailers will be introduced along with an apprentice day, a new store of the year award, a new price structure for ticketing and downloadable conference contents

- The shuttle service will be expanded to help exhibitors and visitors commute to and from the fair more easily and from more locations

- Catering will be improved with the addition of a new sustainable supplier and the provision of more whole foods

- In line with the development of the outdoor market, the fair will do more to showcase suppliers of equipment for backpacking, trail running and stand-up paddling.

- The EOG will host a program of speakers, seminars, workshops and other events under its new ”Outreach” banner, focusing on corporate social responsibility, conservation and the promotion of outdoor participation.

Meanwhile, Messe Friedrichshafen is hoping to attract more companies to its new Running Center, which was inaugurated last June, featuring a handful of companies including On Running.

It will strengthen the concept next June with a space for international running experts to present new developments and a specially created marketplace where the latest trends will be showcased. There will be a community area with supporting events, including product testing and workshops. The OutDoor Run & Trail Summit, which attracted more than 100 people last June, will be repeated.