The European Outdoor Group has announcing a restructuring, just as the management of the summer OutDoor show EOG owns has unveiled a series of upgrades to help make the show more attractive to the industry – and a more likely candidate to win the show contract when it’s up for vote by EOG members in a year.
EOG opens membership
At the annual general meeting of the EOG, which met at the ispo show in early February, members decided to open the membership to interested companies that meet the requirements in order to strengthen its representation of the industry. With the recent addition of Lowe Alpine, Salewa and Salomon, the EOG (www.EuropeanOutdoorGroup.com) now has 32 members. It was originally founded in 2003 with 19 members.
“It’s not just for the big brands,” said EOG executive director Mark Held. “It’s for everybody.”
As a part of the changes, the original invite-only membership has been re-named the “Founders Council,” which will act much like a board and meet twice a year to discuss business. Its members may also recommend other potential members.
Associate members include Germany’s outdoor group “Fachgruppe Outdoor,” the U.K.’s Outdoor Industries Association, the Scandinavian Outdoor Group and, most recently, the Italian Outdoor Group.
The group’s office is also moving to Canton Zug, Switzerland, from Seon, Switzerland.
Association for Conservation adds members
At the ispo show, the group continued its promotion of its Association for Conservation, launched at its 2006 OutDoor show, with its first two retail members – Bever Zwerfsport in The Netherlands and Platou Sport of Norway. In addition, Messe Fredrichshafen, which runs the OutDoor show, has also joined the conservation group. At the recent ispo show, the EOG showed the movie, “The Inconvenient Truth,” with donations for the association accepted. In addition, the Scandinavian Outdoor Group asked for one euro per beer handed out in its pavilion where drinks have in the past been free with all proceeds going to the Association for Conservation. And The North Face was asking for three euros for the lip balms on a cord it has in the past handed out gratis. No word was available about the amount of money raised.
SNEWS® happened to be standing at The North Face counter when an attendee whipped over to simply grab a lip balm out of a bowl without taking the time to read the note about the donation request. A girl at the counter simply stopped him and said, “Oh no, those are three euros,” without telling the attended WHY they cost three euros. He looked aghast and turned on his heel. Next time, much better coaching for those overseeing the bowl o’ lip balms is strongly advised … and a lower donation.
Although the current contract for the show’s location only runs through 2008, the EOG has also announced dates through 2010 in keeping with its policy to have dates three years in advance. Those are: 2007, July 19-22; 2008, July 17-20; 2009, July 16-19; and 2010, July 15-18.
A vote of the EOG members to decide on the show’s location as of 2009 will take place in a year, with the candidates locked in as Messe Friedrichshafen, the current operator, and Messe Muenchen, which operates the ispo show. EOG leaders are clear the Muenchen location has nothing to do with ispo, but rather only the management group that also happens to run ispo.
One conflict with finding enough close hotel rooms in Friedrichshafen has been the overlap of a nationally popular cultural festival on the lake, which attracts about 5,000 each day. But with the dates of the OutDoor show as announced, as of 2008, there will be no more conflict, freeing up about 500 more rooms closer to the city, said show director Stefan Reisinger.
In addition, the show group has hired its own hotel reservations agent to work directly with attendees and exhibitors, rather than continue to work with the city’s tourist agency. That in-house person will begin in April, Reisinger said.
“The best way in the future to get rooms is to call us and tell us what you need,” he added.
An upgrade that the industry will applaud is the addition of a wireless service that will not only blanket the show area in an expanded manner, but will also cost attendees nothing to access.
“It’s just part of everyday business to get on the Internet,” Held said. “I’m very pleased.
Added Reisinger, “It’ll be easier for everybody.