Replicating what has already happened with many summer shows, the organizers of various exhibitions and their clients are rethinking their programs for the next few weeks and months in reaction to an unexpectedly virulent second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in many parts of the world. The Eurobike Special show in Friedrichshafen and Norspo in Oslo have been cancelled, the ÖSFA show in Salzburg will be split into two events, and the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Denver is going to go all-digital.
With new restrictions being imposed in Europe as well as in Germany at the federal and regional levels on travel and accommodations, the special Nov. 24-26 edition of Eurobike has been cancelled, although the organizers had collected many registrations. Messe Friedrichshafen will automatically reimburse visitors for purchased tickets via the payment method chosen at the time of purchase. The physical event was going to complement a virtual event that was held at the beginning of September.
For the same reasons, Messe München announced on Oct. 12 the cancellation of the Expo Real Hybrid Summit for the real estate sector, which was going to take place on Oct. 14-15. The organizers said they took the decision on the same day that Munich was declared a risk area, after many participants decided to take part in the event. All fees and tickets already paid will be reimbursed.
The announcement calls into question the future of the new hybrid version of the big Ispo Munich show, scheduled to run from Jan. 31 through Feb. 3. We shall promptly inform our readers as soon as we find out about any changes.
While the Norspo trade show is also several weeks away, its organizers have already decided to cancel its winter edition, which was scheduled for Jan. 10-11. They say they feel that many Norwegian suppliers have learnt to cope with a no-show after the cancellation of its summer edition, holding virtual sales conventions or multiple in-person product presentations with small groups of selected buyers.
Unlike with Ispo, there will be no virtual or hybrid version of the fair. Norwegian equipment suppliers will have another chance with the On Snow demo in Geilo, which is still planned for March 7-8. A small trade show is generally part of the event, but the focus is on testing the products.
In Austria, the ÖSFA show, which usually takes place after Ispo in Salzburg, will be split into two events to reduce the number of people in the exhibition areas of the fair. Scheduled for Jan. 24-26, ÖSFA Start will give some companies a chance to present their products and collect orders earlier than usual. The regular ÖSFA will then take place on Feb. 23-25 at the same location in Salzburg’s permanent showroom run by Brandboxx.
In the U.S., meanwhile, OR will switch completely from the in-person format that had been planned for Jan. 27-29 to an online format, expanding on the features of the virtual OR Summer Market held in July. The organizers will add artificial intelligence to the already tested tools to help customize the show experience for every participant, suggesting vendor matches on the basis of a buyer’s likes and dislikes, while generating data-driven lead generation in real time.
The organizers plan to improve and streamline the communication, offering live video conferencing and live one-on-one chats, and the B2B platform will continue to operate after the show.
Snowsports Industries of America (SIA) and the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) will cooperate with the organizers to develop educational programs and offer business tools. Traditional events like the Outdoor Retailer Innovation Awards will remain on the agenda.
Stay tuned for more on the topic!