Stefan Reisinger - division manager Outdoor Friedrichshafen

We talk to Stefan Reisinger, the division manager of Outdoor Friedrichshafen. In 2017, the trade fair will take place a month earlier in the year for the first time and with a new sequence of days - how is this going down with exhibitors and visitors? Messe.TV presenter Groh talks to him about trends and developments relating to outdoor and the outdoor industry in general.

Outdoor Friedrichshafen 2017 with earlier date and new sequence of days

Jürgen Groh: Mr. Reisinger, how did your first day go, are you satisfied? Stefan Reisinger: Yes, we got off to a very good start yesterday. We started earlier this year and with a new sequence of days, so it's still a bit unusual for everyone. This year it started on a Sunday, but we are expecting very good visitor numbers from retailers today and the next two days. We are already very satisfied with yesterday. Jürgen Groh: What was the reason for bringing it forward by a month? Stefan Reisinger: There is an overwhelming desire on the part of the industry to hold the trade fair earlier in the year and thus focus more on the new products, trends and preview aspect. We have responded to this. We are doing this in close cooperation with our partner, the European Outdoor Group, and have accordingly brought the date forward to mid-June and are taking place at this earlier date for the first time this year. Jürgen Groh: What is it like for you when the first day is a success? How relieved are you that it worked out again?

Stefan Reisinger Division Manager Outdoor Friedrichshafen
Trade Fair Outdoor Friedrichshafen

Outdoor 2017 off to a good start and of international importance

Stefan Reisinger: Yes of course, that's a good feeling. We work more or less all year to prepare for this event. When it gets off to a good start and our customers have settled in and met the dealers, that naturally gives us a good feeling, although we are out and about a lot at the trade fair, talking to customers and already making the first plans for next year. Jürgen Groh: How strong is the international trade fair? I've also met people from the USA. Is it across the pond or across Asia, how is it developing? Stefan Reisinger: Outdoor is a highly international event. Of course, we mainly have retailers from Europe, but the Asian markets and the USA are very important. Overall, around 60 percent of our visitors are not from Germany and come from all over the world. From 90 countries, usually around the globe. This makes it one of our most international events in the trade fair calendar. Jürgen Groh: Yesterday I saw people who already had computers attached to their upper arms and were typing on them. Is that a new trend? What are the new trends? Stefan Reisinger: Yes, digitalization is of course also an important topic in the outdoor industry. Smart devices that are used for sports and outdoor activities, but it's also about the networking of retail and industry, how the end consumer shops today. Changes are underway and these are also having an impact on the outdoor industry.

The outdoor theme is reaching an ever wider audience

Jürgen Groh: I realized that outdoor used to be something for freaks like mountaineers or runners. Today, everyone wears an outdoor jacket at work. Is that also a trend? Stefan Reisinger: Yes, definitely. Outdoor has become much more suitable for the masses and broader, but it has to be. With the extreme mountaineers and their expeditions, the current volume of business would not be possible. That's why the outdoor sector is broad and has become suitable for the masses in recent years. I don't think we've reached the end yet. It will go even further in this direction in the future. We have to reach people who have fun and spend their free time outdoors in the fresh air and offer them the right products and the right themes. Jürgen Groh: In your opinion, what are the future development risks for industry players and what do companies need to watch out for? Stefan Reisinger: Certainly not to oversleep this digital trend. Consumers today are used to shopping differently than they were 10 years ago. The Internet is omnipresent, consumers are often highly informed because they have already done their research on the Internet. They know where to look for products, they know where to get the best price. This is a challenge. Both for specialist retailers and for the industry. There is certainly still a long way to go for the sector to really position itself well in the future.

Digitalization is an important topic in the outdoor industry

Jürgen Groh: What has been your highlight so far? Stefan Reisinger: My highlight so far has been a successful first day at the trade fair in good weather. We had a huge media response yesterday and the day before. We took 120 journalists on a tour of new products on Saturday. Yesterday we had a large international press conference with a very good turnout. Overall, the media coverage of Outdoor has been outstanding. We have invested a lot in social media. There are a lot of bloggers here, it's about using the platform as a media event and I think we've got off to a very good start. Jürgen Groh: The trade fair generally has a very casual feel. Is that a trademark of yours? Stefan Reisinger: Yes, it is, it's a casual industry. I think that's part of it. You will hardly see anyone here in a suit and tie. Most people here wear casual or outdoor clothing. It's a very pleasant environment to be in, and it's also a pleasant way to interact with each other. Jürgen Groh: And that's exactly how it should stay, Mr. Reisinger.