OutDoor by ISPO, or simply “ISPO” to outdoor industry insiders, was officially canceled yesterday amid both health and economic concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. ISPO had scheduled the show for June 28th to July 1st in Munich, Germany.
“Under these circumstances, it is not reasonable to go ahead with OutDoor by ISPO as scheduled—for health and economic reasons,” said Klaus Dittrich, Chairman and CEO of Messe München, who is responsible for OutDoor by ISPO.
ISPO states that management followed the recommendation of the Bavarian State Government, health authorities, the European Outdoor Group, and the OutDoor Advisory Board and exhibitors in their decision to cancel Europe’s largest outdoor industry trade show.
Mark Held, the President of the European Outdoor Group, said: “The outdoor industry is facing unprecedented stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that canceling OutDoor by ISPO 2020 will free up much-needed company resources that can be used to support employees, retailers, and other stakeholders along the supply chain.”
Outdoor enthusiasts in the United States are more familiar with the twice-yearly Outdoor Retailer shows that take place in Denver, Colorado. These trade events are the largest in the outdoor segment in North America and attracted a claimed 1400+ brands and 25,000 outdoor professionals at the summer 2020 event. By contrast, OutDoor by ISPO claims around 2800 exhibitors and 85,000 visitors, eclipsing Outdoor Retailer by a wide margin.
The economic fallout of ISPO’s cancellation is difficult to calculate; travel, accommodations, dining, and entertainment are just a few of the industries, both local to Munich, and otherwise, that will be directly affected. But collateral and downstream damage will surely follow with the curtailment of retail orders, lack of related media, and other factors, both tangible and not. But similar to other industries, community and global health come first.
As of this writing, the Outdoor Retailer still plans on hosting the Summer Market from June 23rd to June 25th.