Asia Outdoor 2017: New themes and trends
12th Asia Outdoor ends; 19,373 trade visitors attend - New lifestyle trends - New theme: outdoor tourism
The 12th edition of Asia Outdoor, the Chinese outdoor industry’s biggest and most professional trade show, concluded successfully on July 2nd in Nanjing China, after setting new trends and introducing new themes. On the 48,000-square-meter fairgrounds of Nanjing International Expo Center, 617 exhibiting brands (2016: 705) presented their products and innovations. During the four-day show, 19,373 trade visitors (2016: 19,502) from all over the world attended the show. Following his visit to the 12th Asia Outdoor in Nanjing Ludwig Meier, marketing director of Messe Friedrichshafen, remarked: "It’s a great show, especially this year. There are new innovative products, and it’s clear that outdoor is changing. It’s going more urban – getting closer to city living. We’re also seeing an interesting side to camping. So, there are some new sectors involved, and I hope they provide a path to future success. I can only say that it’s been a perfect show. Next year, everybody has to be part of it."
China’s outdoor industry has been coping with a slower rate of domestic economic growth, which has been caused by the global economic downturn. The Asia Outdoor trade show is currently attaching greater importance to identifying and setting new trends for the industry. "Asia Outdoor is not only a platform for products, but also a meeting place for the whole outdoor community, and an opportunity for transferring information and knowledge,” said Richard Li, project manager of Asia Outdoor. “To attract more visitors, Asia Outdoor 2017 has developed more themes, and organized more forums and seminars. Asia Outdoor will continue to focus on the outdoor sector, while exploring potential opportunities in outdoor-related fields." Mr. Sheng Faqiang, chairman of the China Outdoor Association (COA) and president of the Toread Holdings Group, added: "Asia Outdoor has an impressive team and has achieved sound results in China. As it has in the past, the COA will be fully supporting the show’s development."
On the first day of Asia Outdoor, the COA released its 2016 China Outdoor Industry Report, containing detailed figures and analysis. According to the statistics, the Chinese outdoor industry will recover in 2 or 3 years, and double-digit growth is expected by 2018/2019. From this perspective, the outdoor industry is optimally positioned for a bright future in China.
On June 28, one day prior to the show, the 3rd COA Outdoor China Summit took place in Nanjing, and was very well attended. Its theme was "Innovation and Cooperation." COA members were also very supportive of the summit. Five core topics presented by outdoor industry experts from brands, retailers and digital consultants were very well received. "The good attendance of the COA Outdoor China Summit demonstrates the necessity of marketing. I'm happy to see that the Summit has gained great recognition among the members of the outdoor industry and that they found it informative," said Ms. Zeng Hua, founder of Scaler. Mr. Zhong Chengzhan, vice president of the COA and founder of Kailas, agreed: "The COA Outdoor China Summit is a key communications platform for the outdoor industry. I think it is the most important summit in the outdoor sector in China today."
During Asia Outdoor 2017, the outdoor lifestyle of the future was reflected in exhibitor presentations, as well as the show’s supporting program. The outdoor products portrayed a continuing tendency toward light-weight design and a style that incorporates more urban and fashion elements, while fulfilling the original demand for functionality and professional performance.
Another key element of the outdoor lifestyle is outdoor tourism, including camping. The Outdoor Tourism theme in Hall 6, which was perhaps be the biggest highlight of Asia Outdoor 2017, was presented in three parts: brands & products, forums about the connection between the outdoor lifestyle and camping, and business networking, in particular with respect to outdoor tourism. This enabled multiple information resources to be shared and combined, including those on the topics of camping, tourism, outdoor clubs, RVs and self-driving vehicles. This provided an efficient platform for campsite owners, outdoor brands, activity organizers and educational institutions. To promote the camping lifestyle, a demo campsite was set up in Hall 6, featuring all kinds of outdoor equipment and activities for visitors to try out. This allowed them to experience the wide array of campsite possibilities.
Mr. Wang Wanyu, founder of Lehero, was very supportive of the efforts made by Asia Outdoor to promote outdoor tourism: "I very much like Asia Outdoor and its innovative approach to presenting the theme of outdoor tourism. The show is attracting new types of visitors, such as investors from the tourism, sports, outdoor and even agriculture sectors. This will enable them, as well as traditional outdoor-industry insiders, to learn more about the camping culture, while affording us potential cooperation partners." Wowocamp was also very satisfied with the new theme at Asia Outdoor. Mr. Wang Qi, founder and president of Wowocamp, said, " Asia Outdoor has met our expectations. We had in-depth discussions with outdoor companies, as well as during the five-hour camping forum, which we were very inspired by. It provided us with suggestions regarding camp coordination, as well as outdoor activities and education."
Running Village at Asia Outdoor has always been popular with exhibitors and visitors alike. This year, the running-related forums and experience-sharing sessions that were held there were particularly well received. "Running Village is very suitable for branding and marketing premium sports brands. The whole atmosphere is great and the supporting program – including the Top Ten Running Group Award Ceremony, sharing event-organizing experiences, and even product-related training sessions are very practical both for the brands and visitors," said Mr. Shi Weijie, product director of 361°.
Once again, products with the “China Design” designation were a stand-out at the Asia Outdoor Industry Award Ceremony. Altogether, 16 of the 27 products honored were from Chinese brands.
Also popular on the program were experiential activities, such as the COA Cup Kailas Bouldering Competition, the Asia Outdoor Morning Run sponsored by Nathan, slacklining, and kayaking.
To promote outdoor culture and content further, Asia Outdoor introduced more online live broadcasting in cooperation with exhibitors, big names in the outdoor scene, and online media partners. The response from visitors was very positive.
According to those surveyed, 95% of trade visitors were satisfied with Asia Outdoor, and 94% of them confirmed that they would attend Asia Outdoor again, next year.
The 13th Asia Outdoor trade show will take place from June 28 to July 1, 2018, in Nanjing, China. For further details, visit www.asian-outdoor.com.