As we have already reported, the next Ispo Munich trade show will be in a digital-online mode for the first time in its 50-year history. Running for five days instead of four and accessible 24 hours per day, Ispo Munich Online 2021 is scheduled for Feb. 1-5. Bookings made by exhibitors so far are running at 10 percent of the level reached a year ago, according to one source, but exhibitors still have until Jan. 15 to sign up, and we assume that at least between 400 and 500 companies will finally take a place in the event - enough to interest a lot of visitors.

We now have a better idea what the new online fair will be like. Perhaps the most important feature of the new format will be the digital ”brandroom,” which is going to take the place of the traditional, expensive physical stand that exhibitors have been using until now to present themselves and their new products. Ispo calls it the “basis of your brand presence at ISPO Munich 2021 and a key component of every exhibitor package.”

Basic packages are offered at a minimum price of $2,499 and include the brandroom and an unlimited number of vouchers to invite customers to log in. Visitors can book a five-day ticket to visit the virtual fair for €49, or €90 if they also want to attend the conference program.

The package is split into three areas: About, Locations and Showroom. The “About” area provides a brief introduction to the company, with brand logos, contact information, links, product-independent images and videos, and product groups served by the company. Advanced or Premium Packages will have an additional button that leads directly to exhibitor’s digital presentation and meeting room. “Locations” presents an overview of business segments, showrooms and stores for each exhibitor, with pictures. The “Showroom,” finally, provides product presentations with text and unlimited images. Image clicks trigger pop-up windows with contact information and other stored information.

In addition to visiting the brandrooms in the so-called virtual “Expo Area,” visitors will be invited to attend a rich program of conferences. Typically, each day will follow an unvarying schedule: a morning introduction; networking and the discovery of new products and trends in the digital rooms of the Expo Area; workshops and masterclasses by exhibiting companies at midday; and presentations, talks and panel discussions on the main stage until 6:30 in the afternoon. Each day will explore one topic – creativity, digitalization, health and sustainability – through its slate of conferences and other presentations. A Running Symposium will be presented by Runner’s World magazine.

There will also be a series of “public streams” (training sessions, product tutorials, etc.) for end consumers in the evening, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. 

A key theme throughout, naturally, will be the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on sports and outdoor activity. People around the world have increased their engagement in both, and Ispo’s conferences will demonstrate how they can “help to overcome” such crises. The speakers will include representatives of the BMW Group, the Deutscher Industrieverband für Fitness und Gesundheit (the German fitness and health industry federation), Microsoft, Nielsen Sports and YouTube, along with athletes such as Kilian Jornet, the Catalan ultramarathon runner and mountaineer.

The announcement of the Ispo Cup winner will take place on Monday evening, during a so-called “Unveil Night.” Tuesday will feature Ispo Munich’s inaugural Sports Tech Conference Europe, which will be free for all ticket holders and cover the “interface between sports and technology.” Traditional award ceremonies for the Ispo Award, Ispo Textrends and Ispo Brandnew will also be held online during the show.

Adidas Terrex, W.L. Gore & Associates, Mammut, Icebreaker and YKK have agreed to be event partners of Ispo Munich Online. The virtual trade show will also have the support of associations and organizations such as Deutsche Sporthilfe, the European Championships Munich 2022, the European Outdoor Group (EOG) and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI).

The exhibitor list on Ispo’s website is updated more or less every week. The participants who have signed up so far are more than 200. They also include names such as Bogner, Bollé Brands, Columbia Sportswear, Equip Outdoor, Elan, Hyosung, Intersport, Jack Wolfskin, La Sportiva, Lowa, Marmot, MIPS, Original Buff, Polartec, Scott Sports, Super.natural, Sympatex, Toray and Vaude.