After a 5am breakfast bap from Pret, flight over to Zurich and a ride around Lake Constance, I soon arrived in Friedrichshafen to meet up with Dan & Vicky who had been over in Berlin for Bright. Here’s what OutDoor had in store for us….
As soon as we arrived, it was clear to see that SUP’s and inflatable watercraft were set to make a big impact at OutDoor 2014. With SUP being the fastest growth watersport and a strong forecasted future trend, it’s no surprise that so many brands wanted to display a strong variation of boards and essential SUP accessories. The SUP cart by Australian brand Sea to Summit made it to the top of our wish list. Definitely think we need to invest in one for Brandwave HQ, especially for those super low tide days at the beach!
Sea To Summit’s XT SUP Cart
OutDoor organisers, please bring back the demo lake in 2015, we didn’t get chance to give it a go this year and burn off some of the lunchtime Schnitzel mit frittes!
OutDoor Show Gallery – SUP Lake
The inflated theme doesn’t just end on the water. Advancements in inflatable technology also seem to be making a strong emergence on the tent scene. Brands such as Heimplanet seem to be leading the way with their very clean branding and latest range.
Traveling across Europe to every major sport and outdoor tradeshow means we’ve seen a fair few brands both successfully and not so successfully enter the action cam market. Stand out cams from this year’s OutDoor would definitely be the ultra compact Shimano Sport Camera and the revolutionary Garmin Virb.
Wondering how high you jumped off that kicker or how quick you went through that particular bit of trail is a thing of the past with the Virb, thanks to its real time data overlay capabilities.
The Shimano Sport Camera
The next level Garmin Virb & Virb Elite
Interactivity Is Key
As always, interactivity proved to be a great success for those brands that had integrated interactive elements on stand. Whether brand building, inline with hero stories or product test related, interactive elements on stand are most definitely something to consider for future builds. From the larger players in the market down to the young entry brands, having even that subtle hint of interactivity is paramount for engaging and educating visitors to your stand. Notably, this year’s Mammut stand caused an interactive stir, with an abundance of OutDoor visitors wanting the 360° vision Matterhorn experience.
#Project 360 presented by Mammut
Thule also hit the interactive nail on the head with their sleek looking glass test zone as they continue to make waves in the backpack segment of the market.
Thule’s technical backpack test zone
Checking In – Best Stand
I’ve seen some very well designed stands and booths appear in Friedrichshafen but my stand of the show goes to Nordisk and Yeti for their airport inspired concept. The departures board to the luggage cart all the way through to the airhostess uniforms contributed to a fantastic stand with amazing attention to detail!
Checking in at the Nordisk & Yeti stand
All aboard the Nordisk & Yeti luggage cart
A Touch Of Mexico
Hats and Sombreros off to the team at Osprey for their Mexican themed booth party. A healthy dose of Chili, a burrito and a full Mariachi band to boot was a perfect end to day three.
There was also a larger presence of bike at this years show with the likes of Shimano, Scott and Brooks all exhibiting. There’s naturally always been a similarity between the outdoor and bike target demographic but this would suggest these markets and audience are increasingly intertwining.
A huge congratulations goes to our client Berghaus who were nominated for three awards and picked up a highly coveted Gold award for their Hypersmock 2.0 jacket! For anyone in the industry you’ll know just how prestigious these annual OutDoor awards are. It was great to catch up with all of the Berghaus team and pretty cool to see our latest Hydroshell campaign brought to life on the stand.
Now it wouldn’t be very traditionally British of me to forget about the weather would it? It was nothing short of awful! The heavens were open most of the show with only the odd moment of sunshine allowing you to briefly enjoy the Gore-Tex beach before the next downpour. One mans loss is another mans gain as they say and I’m sure the likes of OutDry and other technical waterproofing ingredient brands will be hoping this unseasonal weather plays into their hands ahead of the next summer season!
Any shelter from the rain was a bonus for our friend Tim Pallin from Australian outdoor retailer Paddy Pallin.
After years of coming to Friedrichshafen and missing the infamous closing party, we finally made it in 2014! The torrential downpours didn’t dampen spirits and were perfectly complimented by a well-timed cover of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’. Our official verdict, it most certainly didn’t disappoint!
Until next month and EuroBike, we’ll see you then Friedrichshafen…