Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Nanjing, China and Friedrichshafen, Germany — Having achieved a positive response and strong attendance, the first Asia Outdoor (23-26 August, 2006) has drawn to a close. A total of 6,743 trade visitors from China and other parts of Asia participated. “We are very pleased that Asia Outdoor has been so well accepted as a trade fair for the outdoor sport and recreation industry in Asia,” declared trade show director Klaus Wellmann. Stefan Reisinger, Project Manager of OutDoor in Friedrichshafen, who was on hand for the debut, agrees: “Our partners in Asia have done a terrific job. They’ve really set a high standard for the trade fair industry.” Asia Outdoor founder Knut Jaeger considers the trade show to be “a milestone for the constantly growing outdoor sport scene in China, and for the Chinese outdoor sport industry”.
Asia Outdoor is a partnership initiative of Messe Friedrichshafen and the Nanjing International Exhibition Centre, and ranks as the first outdoor industry trade fair in Asia. Its debut received a strong response from brand-name manufacturers, retailers, suppliers and the media. Some 174 exhibitors occupied a floor space of over 215,000 square feet. Fifty-five percent of them were from outside China. Products offered were mainly for spring and summer 2007, while some companies presented their wares for the coming winter season.
Interest by the 6,743 registered trade visitors was high, and Asia Outdoor management reports strong sales activity. According to the trade fair’s official survey, 86 per cent of trade visitors were from China. The remaining 14 per cent came from neighbouring countries.
German trade fair specialist Messe Friedrichshafen remains committed to enhance the international orientation of Asia Outdoor, to support its marketing to international brand-name manufacturers, and to assist foreign visitors to the event. “Asia Outdoor is the continent’s first international trade fair for outdoor sport and recreation. It will help foreign brands gain a foothold in China while supporting high-quality Chinese brands abroad.
Asia Outdoor’s supporting programme created a festive atmosphere for outdoor sporting enthusiasts. Highlights included a fashion show featuring outdoor sports gear, a climbing competition, a design competition for outdoor sports equipment, a ‘tent city’ and campgrounds, a shoe testing trail, a development forum for the Asian outdoor sports industry, and a large party dubbed ‘Outdoor Night’. A survey found that 93 per cent of exhibitors were satisfied with the trade fair, and plan to attend again. In fact, fifty per cent wish to participate with a larger stand the next time. The response from Outdoor Asia visitors was also positive: 91 per cent expressed satisfaction, and 92 per cent plan to return to the trade fair in Nanjing next year.
It has been announced that next year’s Asia Outdoor will be held from Thursday, 23 August to Sunday, 26 August, 2007, and will be open to trade visitors only.
Lars Meindl, Meindl Ltd.:
We were highly impressed. Everything was very well organised and worked seamlessly. The framework was right on. Not all the companies necessary to build the market attended, but a good foundation has been laid for the trade fair to grow.
Werner Riethmann, LOWA:
Here’s to the organisers! I was very pleasantly surprised. The supporting programme, the atmosphere and the organisation were just right. It once again shows how quickly the Chinese learn and adapt ideas. The only drawback was that a few key outdoor companies didn’t participate as exhibitors.
Albrecht von Dewitz, VAUDE
From the beginning, VAUDE has been enthused about the prospect of an independent Asian Outdoor trade fair whose concept is very similar to that of Europe’s OutDoor. We were therefore pleased that Messe Friedrichshafen and Knut JÃ¤ger arranged the necessary transfer of know-how. The hard work of the trade fair team in Nanjing along with the strong support of the city’s mayor, Dr. Chen Gang, and the province’s governor were key factors behind its success. Knut Jaeger’s untiring commitment and his expertise gained from establishing and expanding OutDoor in Friedrichshafen were particularly helpful. The result is a trade fair that has been very successful right from the start. Over 170 brands represented, and all of China’s key customers as well as numerous ones from abroad â€“ it’s all been very positive.
A further breakthrough for the Chinese market was that for the first time local exhibitors were set up for advance ordering – which means orders were actually being placed at the trade fair. We at VAUDE are very impressed with Asia Outdoor’s success, and will absolutely be part of the next one.