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Outdoor trade shows:

April 2006

AIM Shooter’s Show: Outdoor products keep arms trade alive

24, 25 & 26 March. These dates have traditionally meant a time to feast the eyes, empty the wallets and drool over guy stuff exhibited at the Aim Shooter’s Show, reports George retailer ROSSOUW BOTHA

This year was no different, except for the fact that more and more ladies are taking part in shooting sports. It was good to see so many visitors of the much fairer sex coming to the show.

My first glance around the Kyalami Exhibition Center revealed less real guns, and more toys such as black powder, air guns and paintball guns.

The Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 has been responsible for much of the hardship felt by all firearm dealers since around two years ago. The display of goods at the Aim Show reflects the new trend of the few surviving dealers seeking alternative products to keep their livelihoods intact.

Rescomp Handgun Technologies were showing a range of Ring’s blue guns used for safely training with an inert firearm. Rescomp imports other well-known brands too. These include Aimpoint red-dot sights, Blackhawk tactical gear, Versa-Pod shooting rest systems, Para-Ordnance firearms and others. They are perhaps best known for their range of CR Speed holsters, built right here in SA.

Bushnell was showing some good scopes and other optics. Like all others in the industry, they are also diversifying. Their products are good and service levels are better than most. Speak to them for Bollé, Serengeti Eyewear, Tasco and, of course, Bushnell.

Bruce and Barbara Trethewey of Awesome Tools displayed the Leatherman Range. Bruce has been importing and distributing Leatherman from the start. He’s a great guy and few people I know care more about selling than Bruce. Talk to him, he’ll help where he can to help you make a success of selling the well-known pocket tool. The Awesome Tools stand also did repairs and maintenance on Leatherman tools while you wait.

R.M. Williams had a well-stocked stand. They "cover you from head to toe" in their imported Akubra hats, Driza-Bone coats, R.M.Williams’ boots and Blundstone. Perhaps on the pricey side, but very well made gear. I enjoyed visiting their stand.

Blades and Triggers were doing a roaring trade over all three days selling Tippman paintball guns, air guns and accessories. These guys carry big quantities of stock. Give them a call should you decide to venture into the paintball genre.

Steyr displayed their Scout Rifle, Truvello their new assault rifle and others also had some "real guns" on show. After all, one expects to see guns on a gun show!

Lights always seem to fascinate people, same on the Aim Show. There was a different make of flashlight on every stand.

Diversify or die

Redneck Tactical Supplies was selling light hearted satirical gun-rights related T-shirts and bumper stickers. Clint Smith reckons the prints drew laughs and comments. Most agreed the slogans were spot on!

Ramrod had a large variety of gear on display; but they do not supply the public. Their stand was very busy and all retail related enquiries were passed on to the retailers that were exhibiting.

Outside activities included air gun target shooting, bow shooting, food stalls, vehicle displays and pitched tents.

This year’s show was smaller than 2005’s, but more intense, with a more diversified selection of goods on display.

Like the Aim Show is doing, dealers must diversify or die.

October 2007

Camping comfort from Akals

The Akals range of outdoor products have grown substantially the past few years and several interesting new products were on display at their countrywide shows held during August. For example, no more falling around in the dark trying to pitch a tent with the Quecha…you simply throw the folded tent in the air and it unfolds before it hits the ground. What’s more, it can be refolded into a bag in less than a minute. Ideal for bikers and adventure trailists who do not want to do hard labour pitching a tent after a long day’s activity. The tent, bag and pegs weigh 1.3kg in total

Another new trend in the Akals tents are door openings that are wide enough for a double air mattress to fit, and tents that are easier and easier to pitch (e.g. the River 260)

New lighting products include a very strong and bright 37 LED torch and a lightweight 3-LED headlamp with batteries that can be recharged with a wind-up charger to ensure that you never get caught without light — or even a cell phone as it will recharge a Nokia long enough for emergency calls!

There is also a wind-up spotlight and a cordless rechargeable air pump that can pump an inflatable boat or double air bed in four minutes.

The queen-size airbed with double air pocket will appeal to more mature campers as the height of the mattress is close to that of an ordinary bed. A fairly sturdy zip-up clothes cupboard that can be folded and stored in a bag, as well as a new melamine table that can fold up into a carry case, further contributes to camping comfort.

China has become a major player in outdoor market

This year’s Asia Outdoor show in China, which took place between 23-26 August, had 215 exhibitors (174 in 2006) and over 10 000 trade visitors (6 743 in 2006) — 8 218 trade visitors from Asia

The growing interest can be partially attributed to the rapid growth of China’s outdoor market. China’s mountaineering and outdoor activities are rapidly gaining popularity due to 60% of all outdoor brand products on the global market being manufactured in that country — and the country having 5 000 mountain peaks that tower to over 6 000m.

China’s annual growth in domestic sales of outdoor products of 30%-40% makes it the largest growing market in the outdoor industry. Between 2001-2006 the number of outdoor retailers grew five-fold to 2 125, with an additional 290 single-brand stores. Market volume has grown from around R100-m in 2001 to about R1.2-bn in 2006 and predictions are for annual sales to grow between R3.8-bn-R4.5-bn by 2010.

The 2008 Asia Outdoor will run 7-10 August 2008.

June 2008

Friedrichshafen to set new records

The 15th European Outdoor Show in Friedrichshafen (17–20 July this year) is shaping up to break all records with 780 direct exhibitors from 40 countries showing more than 1000 brands in 11 halls at the exhibition centre. Of them, 80% will come from outside Germany, underlining the show’s global stature

This firmly establishes the show as THE place to watch outdoor trends or look for new brands to represent in categories like outdoor clothing, camping, climbing equipment, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, fabrics, footwear, boats and boating equipment and accessories.

Some of the well-known brands already represented in SA that will be introducing their latest ranges at Friedrichshafen are Black Diamond, Camelbak, Coghlan’s, Columbia Sportswear, Driza-Bone, Garmin, Helly Hansen, Hi-Tec, Karrimor, La Sportiva, Life is Good, Leatherman, Merrell, New Balance, Nike ACG, Nikwax, Petzl, Prince-ton Tec, Salomon, Silva, Steripen, Suunto… to name a few.

Some of the other activities at the show will include:

  • The 3rd OutDoor industry awards ceremony and fashion show on 17 July;
  • “The Challenge of Sustainability”, forum with discussion and debate;
  • GORE trail running course;
  • OutDoor Fashion Show (Hall A7);
  • OutDoor Campground (Halls A7 & B4);
  • Climbing wall with performances, events and competitions (Hall B2);
  • Bouldering wall with high-jump competition (Hall A5);
  • OutDoor movie night;
  • Messe-See (Trade show lake) with opportunities for testing;
  • OutDoor Party sponsored by Polartec on 19 July.

  • For more information visit or

    Aug/ Sept 2009

    SAFTAD 2009
    More visitors despite the recession

    Not the cold, nor the economic gloom could keep visitors from enjoying the 2009 SAFTAD fishing tackle show

    Early August has become a fixed date for retailers in the tackle trade: that is when the trek to the SA Fishing Tackle Trade Show in Gauteng occurs. This year, retailers again braved the freezing cold in larger numbers than last year (see right) to come and see all the new tackle products launched.

    For those not lucky enough to have made the trip, we give a short summary of some of the highlights of the show.

    Adrenalin Importers

    The many visitors to the Adrenalin Importers stand got an opportunity to feel the lightweight magnesium frame (only 170g) of the latest OMOTO baitcaster reel, the Cerveza 103A Low Profile 11 + 1 BB.

    Their Adrenalin range is aimed primarily at the average angler looking for products suitable for local waters, at affordable prices. The new 2-piece10‘ and 12‘ Adrenalin Havoc Carp Rods in composite graphite; the 9‘ Adrenalin Heavy 2-piece dropshot rod and the Adrenalin Shad Master — a light spinning rod specifically designed for shad (elf) fishing with a coffee grinder, in 10‘ and 12‘- attracted visitors’ attention.

    The new Adrenalin carp hooks 0.5 to #7 in packets of 100 were also well received.

    A J F Agencies

    AJF Agencies was recently appointed as agents to distribute Cressi products in SA, and retailers stocking snorkelling and swimming equipment got the opportunity to view the new products on their stand (Sunnyshore Investment still supply Cressi to the scuba stores).

    New products from Hardy & Greys also generated interest. The new Greys X-Flite 4-piece high modulus rods have enhanced user-friendly characteristics like top grade cork handles and an anodised metal reel fitting mounted on hardwood spacers.

    The latest X-Flite reels feature a die-cast main cage with barstock face plate for strength, lightness and saltwater compatibility. The tri-pillar assembly increases strength, while the high-impact GV4H metal replacement polymer mouldings reduce weight and improve long term durability. Spools can easily be changed or converted to left or right without the use of tools. They are supplied with three interchangeable spare spools. The new GRXi+ reels are also supplied with three additional spools and are fully interchangeable with previous models. The high impact GV4H metal replacement polymer mouldings reduce weight and improve durability, while the Rulon disc drag system with twin pads increases control and smoothness.

    Greys’ Platinum XD 4-piece saltwater rods feature twin, large diameter butt rings for rapid clearance of slack line, while the unique, one piece, saltwater-anodised reel fitting gives total protection. The 9’ 12-weight model comes with a fighting grip for shark or big tarpon.

    Hardy is introducing two Angel rods with fast tip action and incomparable loop formation with a low profile for improved power transfer. The slim profile blank reduces wind drag and the unique anodised reel seat has a texalium insert.

    Mustad’s new 4.3 point technology is designed to maximise both hook sharpness and strength, while creating a slimmer point.


    This year Akals had a dominant position at the show. With their stand spanning almost the width of the hall, there was sufficient space for the constant stream of visitors to view and inspect their many new product launches.

    Among the highlights was the new Okuma saltwater spinning reel, Beachcaster Legend, which features five stainless steel ball bearings and screws and an Alum spool. It is available in sizes 20 to 80. Okuma’s new multiplier, Classic Pro, with and without ball bearings, as well as the new boat reel, the Okuma Soltera, also generated interest. The latter features stainless steel forged gears, a forged Alum spool, oversized drag washer system and machined Alum power handle knobs. It is available in SLR15, 20, 30 and 50.

    The attention of freshwater enthusiasts was attracted by Okuma’s Longbow 11Carp baitfeeder, which features a graphite body, 6 ball bearings, an Alum spool, EOS system, machine cut pinion gear and double balanced handle. It is available in sizes 40 and 50. Gear tester Gilbert Foxcroft was on the stand to demonstrate the benefits of the new Gilfox Carp reel with its graphite body, 7 ball bearings, machine cut brass pinion gears, worm shaft system and aluminum spool.

    For bass anglers there is the new Loomis Creman reel with a brass pinion gear and Alum forged spool with a point hole. It is available with 3, 6, and 9 ball bearings, with a gear ratio of 6.3:1 and 7.0:1

    The new Okuma Integrity Large Arbor fly reel with its die-cast Alum frame and spool, features a multi-disk cork drag washer. It is available in sizes 5/6, 7/8, 8/9, 10/11.

    Saltwater rods of interest are the Elbe Power Spin and Power Cast boat rod, available in spinning and casting, with a solid glass power tip; and the Loomis & Franklin saltwater surf rods with improved guide wrapping, all available in new colours. The 2-piece models are now also available in spinning from 10’ to 13’.

    In freshwater rods the new addition to the Gilfox carp range drew attention: the 12’ Titanium features a 40ton carbon blank, slim line butt, titanium guide inserts and has a 3.5lb test curve. The Gilfox Endurance is now available in 12’ with 2.5lb and 3lb test curve. Loomis & Franklin have introduced new mid-range level bass Trigya rods in spinning and baitcast.

    Okuma joined in the latest trend of catering for the ladies by introducing new pink and purple matching rods and reels in their Crystal Combo set, available in 6‘, 7‘, 8‘ and 10‘.

    There is a new range of Okuma braid and monofilament nylon lines, including fluorocarbon nylon, manufactured of Japanese quality material, available in various lengths and breaking strengths. The new range of Elbe Fly lines are available in sinking, floating, intermediate and multi-density. Braided loops, tapered leaders and tippet material are also available.

    A new range of Catch Dropshot Lures have been introduced in popular colours at competitive prices.

    Akals now also offers a new range of Japanese hooks for bass and carp under the brand name of Maruto.

    The new bag ranges for carp, bass and saltwater were well received.

    Basil Manning

    Two exciting new developments from Assassin attracted visitor attention on the Basil Manning stand: the limited edition Bronze Series of the Beachmaster, with top end fittings at a very good price; and the new Surf Special in “Toray Graphite”, with “amazing graphite features,” says Barry Wareham.

    A new range of Daiichi sport-fishing hooks in great packaging, including the new stop-gap bait stop technology, also generated interest.

    The CID range of lures, as featured on the “Off The Chart” TV show, was a huge attraction for the salt water lure fishing fraternity. The range includes surface lures, top-quality painted jigheads with eyes and a very comprehensive range of long-casting, fast and slow action spoons.

    Brentoni Distributors

    Another regular exhibitor, Brentoni Distributors, have every year expanded their ranges aimed at the fishing community. This year, they introduced 28 new knives in their Dogs of War and Maple ranges — including new bait and filleting knives, a new yachting knife and hunting knives.

    Showing that anglers can also be trendy, Rob Beamish sported the cool new white Ballistic frames with blue flash mirrors, which drew the attention to their extensive range of Brentoni and Ballistic polarized eyewear for watersport enthusiasts.

    They also introduced their new full-time representative in Gauteng, Charles Gordon, to the retail trade.

    C1-D2 Tackle Traders

    The impressive wooden frame display boards on the C1-D2 Tackle Traders’ stand was the ideal backdrop for displaying their new Halco lures. “This is a glimpse into a future trend with the introduction of the first Halco clear body ABS lures,” says local distributor Cobus van Biljon. These finesse style lures have been designed to look extremely lifelike with the new R33 Jelly Prawn colour sporting a subtle orange/brown back and holographic scale like sides.

    Preliminary fishing results have been extremely encouraging, says Van Biljon, and the colour looks set to be a big hit amongst anglers this summer.

    The R33 Jelly Prawn will soon be available in Laser Pro 45, Sorcerer 35, 52, 68, Poltergeist 50 and 80, Night Walker and Night Walker Nano.

    Carp World

    Bernie van Nieuwenhuizen and Marianne Brits are very keen anglers who saw the opportunity to make their hobby their living when the Carp World Mealiebom Manufacturing Business came on the market a few years ago. Since buying the business, it has grown tremendously due to the demand for their products.

    They now offer a wide selection of feeds and baits — everything from specie specific to general floats, mealie bombs, dips, doughs, tigernuts, boilies, particles and the new giant maize. Prepared particles and target series bottles are very popular, says Van Nieuwenhuizen, who is very happy with their reception since last year’s exhibition.

    DAM South Africa

    The new owners of D.A.M. SA Wholesale had plenty of interesting new items to show visitors on their stand. An example is the new Mad range from D.A.M., a carp-specific range designed by top international anglers, “which has great specimen carp terminal tackle display boards, carp accessories, Realtree clothing and an awesome cammo 10 ball-bearing baitfeeder,” says Samantha Geyle. Another example is the new Magicflex supernatural and Kicks spinners in the D.A.M. Efzett lure range.

    The Mann’s Bait co’s HardNose baits (reinforced plastic nose) range has been extended, offering grubs to wonderworms, toads and snakes, plus 12” jellyworms. The full range of crankbaits and Stretch saltwater plastic lures are also now available in SA.

    “Silstar also has loads of great premium fresh and salt combos, that did well,” says Geyle.

    Goya Trading

    Goya Trading, who has just moved to Durban from Cape Town, has added several new brands to their stable. They are the pro-designed and tested quality MiHatchii/Yuvella pro bass hooks for fresh and saltwater; scented Kamakazee baits, each made with a specific kind of plastic suited to its use; Seaguar flourocarbon line and leaders with an unique double structure technology to improve both knot and tensile strength, with all aspects of the line made in their own factories; JJs Magic garlic dip with the “magic” formula that allows the colour and scent to penetrate soft baits and last longer; and Mend-It-Glue to repair most soft plastic baits.

    They also showed several new products from their existing brands, for example the Spro BBZ 4” shad swimbait, with its realistic scale pattern and eyes, that was the runner-up in the hard bait category at EFTTEX. They have introduced four new baits and a quick snap and swivel from Spro; four new lures from Salmo; three swimbaits from Tru-Tungsten, including the Depth Shad designed by Angler of the Year Mike Iaconelli, and a spinnerbait, spinnerbait skirt, jig and jighead from Picasso.

    Four new models were introduced in the Solar Bat eyewear range — including a sun goggle and high visibility goggle.

    “Goya is known for working hand-in-hand with anglers at the top of their craft to test and create innovative new lures, and we have done just that with our 2009 product ranges,” says Preston Dale.


    Another first-time exhibitor, Hennie de Beer of Henkor, showed “the largest variety of imported specimen carp products available in SA”. Their ranges of quality European specimen carp tackle and baits for beginners to advanced anglers include the complete range from the British manufacturer Gardner Tackle — from carp luggage, rig accessories, indicators, metalware to a complete range of boilie baitmaking equipment. The Gardner Covert range of terminal tackle was launched as a show special and their baitmaking range was complimented with a range of boilie base mixes and ingredients from various British suppliers.

    They also launched the complete range of boilies available from Mistral Baits, one of the oldest bait manufacturers, as well as a range of barrel boilies, the latest innovation from the Specialist brand.

    Top quality electronic scales, thermometers and depthometers were on display from British supplier Reuben Heaton, as well as a huge range of imitation plastic baits from Enterprise Tackle.

    JW Apex

    JW Apex, who launched 40 new reel models at the show, offered visitors a “one stop shop” for reels, as they had something across the spectrum for all needs and price points.

    They also introduced several new brands.

    The sturdy reels from their new Fin-nor brand had been used worldwide by anglers setting 381 world records — including a marlin weighing 182 lb. Specialising in boat reels, Fin-nor was the first manufacturer to make a marlin reel. JW Apex will bring in the whole range, which includes vertical jigging, ski-boat reels for off-shore, and even coffee grinders to be used on boats or kayaks. The reels are very strong, but come at an affordable price.

    Another new brand that they have taken on, Quantum, offers top quality reels for the high end, discerning, bass and saltwater anglers. In the US it is extensively used on the Tour. The range, with sealed bearings and a corrosion-resistant coating, is ideal for the sea fisherman. “This is good for the SA market, where tackle often get wet as anglers walk out onto rocks,” says Howard Joscelyn.

    Their new Rovex brand offers a full range of lines, jigs, etc. at very good price points, in addition to the Nitrium carp reel that was popular because it offers good value for money. The fixed spool reels, used for drop shot and vertical jigging, were also popular.

    The Watersnake trolling motors are always popular — especially now that they can offer a 2.3m inflatable boat and 34lb trolling motor for R3 000 wholesale, due to the favourable Rand/$ exchange rate.

    Jandi Trading

    Xplorer Flyfishing has spent the last year developing and testing some new fly fishing gear and the new products they launched at the show attracted a steady stream of interested visitors.

    They have completely redesigned their technical packs and bags and added some new waterproof bags, vest packs and flats packs — to name a few. They also added a few new waterproof fly boxes to their range, now boasting the largest range of fly boxes available on the local market.

    The new Xplorer Guide II fly rod, packed in a carbon rod tube, was launched at the show — a complete upgrade of the popular Guide Series fly rod with all new fittings, cosmetics and some 4-piece models.They also generated interest with a range of new Xplorer fly lines.

    They also showed two new float crafts for the upcoming season: a new V-shaped craft and a pontoon boat. These are just a few of the new items for the 2009/2010.


    Clint Voigt and Leon Kadley, who were impossible to miss in their bright yellow and red Killerdeals tops, were very happy with the orders they received at the SAFTAD show. “We try and source unique products and offer them at a good price,” says Voigt.

    Their National Geographic professional weather station, for example, costs about a third less than many others in the market, he says. When connected to a computer, you can download stored info and view weather patterns via graphs. We have just taken on the Yatching fish finder range; the New wireless baitboat fishfinder with a wireless distance of 300m.

    Their water safety products were also popular — namely, a strobing light that is attached to a life jacket (soon it will be compulsory for all life jackets to have lights) and a floating keyring with a strobing light that can burn for 100 000 hours (that is 11 years). Out of the water, the latter can be used as a torch. It would retail for about R125.

    More and more tackle shops are also doing very well by stocking marine radios, says Voigt, who distributes the Navstar and Gme marine radio at a competitive price.

    Kingfisher (The)

    Apart from “a massive new range of rods and reels” — especially the Daiwa rods and reels and Kingfisher Poseidon rods — shown on the Kingfisher stand, several other products attracted attention.

    For example, the new locally made dropshot lure from McCarthy showed that dropshot lures don’t have to cost huge amounts of money to catch fish, says Mike Philip.

    The Kingfisher Pro Jig range of jigging spoons are available in three styles, five sizes (150, 200, 250, 300 and 400g) and six colours. The erratic action of the Pinnacle range ensures bites, while the Reef Raider’s thin taper and heavy bottom ensures speed to the bottom, and the Depth Charge has has a glow strip on the side for deep water jigging.

    They also introduced the hand moulded Safari Chiller cooler boxes, reinforced with a fibreglass outer and inner casing, filled with high density polyurethane foam — hence offering excellent insulation that can keep fish or bait fresh for up to a week if packed correctly.

    Outdoor 365

    The impact made by Sebile lures at this year’s ICAST and EFTTEX Shows was repeated on the Outdoor 365 stand at SAFTAD. At ICAST Sebile lures won both the best new soft bait category (Magic Swimmer Soft Pro) and hard bait category (Spin Shad). At EFTTEX the Spin Shad was runner up in the new metal lure category, while the Flatt Shad was runner up in the hard bait category and the Stick Shad Hollow in the soft bait category.

    The Stick Jacket (trademarked) knitted plastic rod sleeves in bright colours that can be removed with a flip of the rod, were very popular with visitors and even other exhibitors.

    Mias (S.I.)

    As always, the Mias stand was a hub of activity with retailers viewing and discussing the new products they introduced to their already substantial ranges.

    They have further enlarged their own Pioneer range, aimed at the more budget-conscious customer, to ensure that they have a product available for every need. They have added a saltwater lever drag reel to this range, the PLD25, “which offers fantastic value,” says Abdullah Mia. New HMG 36T high modulus graphite 3-piece surf rods and Granite graphite composite series spinning combos further complement the existing Pioneer rod and reel offering. They have also introduced hi-abrasion 600m lines and carp specialist lines in three popular colours.

    In the higher end Predator range, the Elite IM9 tournament series bass rods were very well received, as were the component upgrades to their ever popular range of Predator rod pods.

    Other products that received a lot of attention were the new Fish X carp specimen accessories, and the new Tenki range of flooks, soft frogs and soft mice, ideal for bass fishing.

    Pro Angling Equipment

    The bright red shirts of the staff on the Pro Angling stand contrasted well with the greyness of the weather — and set the tone for the new colours, shapes and sizes introduced in their bass lure ranges.

    New products from the Zoom Bait Company are the Magnum Ultravibe Speedworm (5 colours) and the Magnum Finesse Worm (5 colours). New colours that were introduced in selected Zoom baits are Watermelon Candy Red and Green Meenie.

    The Cotton Cordell Super Spot, which lures fish with sound and vibration, has four new colours, namely Foxy ShadTM, Foxy MommaTM, Baby Bass and Royal Chrome.

    Several new models and colours from Heddon attracted plenty of attention: for example, the Super Spook in two new colour patterns, Foxy Shad and Foxy Momma, and the Rattlin Spook (5 colours) with a new rattle chamber containing tungsten that intensifies the sounds of panicked and fleeing baitfish. It also makes it easier to produce smooth walk-the-dog retrieves. The Heddon One knocker Spook (5 colours) has a single tungsten rattle, contained in a sound-intensifying chamber, which produces a loud thump that draws bass from long distances.

    In the Yum range, the Money Minnow Weighted Swimbait hook comes in three new sizes — 3/0, 6/0 and 7/0. There is also a new Yum Money frog, in four beautiful hand-painted colour patterns, that attracts bass in a variety of ways over any kind of terrain. The Money Hound (5 beautiful colours) with high-flotation material is a weedless topwater that walks the dog.The belly slit ensures positive hook-ups when rigged Texas style.

    The new Booyah Micro pond magic spinnerbait (5 colours) is a tough, durable, unique, fish-catching bait with realistic 3-D eyes and a high quality Mustad® round-bend hook.

    Rapala VMC

    The Rapala VMC South Africa stand was once again a hub of activity as retailers were introduced to the new brands they have added to the extensive selection they distribute, as well as new products in their existing ranges.

    New brand Slam with Ultrabite is a fully biodegradable environment-friendly lure range that has been treated with pheromones, which dramatically increase the strike rate, and also attracts specific species.

    Rapala VMC are the new distributors of the Sufix line range of quality fishing lines. New products are the fluorocarbon and monofilament Wind-on leader (30lb to 500lb), the Zippy shockleader (up to 300lb), Supple link freshwater leaders, the IGFA-rated Key Lime range in pre-tested line classes and the Dacron line in greenspot, black and high-visibility yellow in 30, 50, 80, 130 and 200lb breakage strengths. New supple braided lines in the range include the Performance Braid, Tru-Braid, Matrix Pro and Gyro Braid. Other specific application lines in the range also includes Black Silt, Camo Skin, Synergy, Siege, Elite, Cast ’n Catch, as well as a Duo Core sinking line. Sufix also offers an unique line marking braid Knot-It to pre-mark your monofilament for bank angling applications.

    The hard bait category at this year’s EFTTEX fishing tackle trade show was won by the Rapala Max Rap, not yet available locally. Rapala VMC has, however, introduced several new models, colours and sizes that are currently available in their freshwater Countdown, Jointed, Floating, Original, Shallow Magnum, Jointed Shad Rap, X-Rap Shad, X-Rap Deep, X-Rap Shallow and X-Rap Slashbait series. In the saltwater range there are new colours, models and sizes in the Shallow Magnum, Action Jointed Shad, X-Walk subsurface and in the X-Rap 15, 20 and 30 series.

    The Rapala accessories are always popular with visitors and make ideal gifts — new tools include new model digital scales, a transparent counter box that holds 30 scissors, and the giant Rapala lures that makes an impressive above counter or bar counter display.

    Rapala’s new fishing and travelling bag range offer backpacks, duffel bags, sling bags that can take a computer, hip pouches, lure bags (lure trays in a padded bag) to meet all possible needs for transporting gear, extra clothing or food when fishing, enjoying the outdoors or even going to work.

    The Shimano Stella SW won the best spinning reel category at EFTTEX and the Shimano Stradic CI4 won the best freshwater reel category at the American Sportfishing Association’s ICAST show. There are several new Shimano products that are currently available in the local market: the new Baitrunner XTRA in a 6000, 8000 and 10 000 and the new Curado baitcaster 200E5 and 200E. The Shimano Torsa is also now available in a 20lb and 40lb model.

    The new Shimano Aerocast 2.7m three-piece extra heavy drop shot rod with an oval blank offers more sideways action for the angler that wants extra heavy leverage was on display and will be available soon in tackle stores. The Nexave rods have undergone a major cosmetic change.

    The winner of the new saltwater rod category at 2009 ICAST was the Pro Green 882S from G. Loomis, a brand also distributed by Rapala VMC. They also distribute Plano tackle boxes, whose Liqua-Bait Locker System won the new tackle management category at ICAST.

    Russell Keeny Adventures

    Russell Keeny s is marketing Lite-Optec products specifically aimed at the fishing retail trade and this first-time exhibitor had a busy time showing their extensive ranges to visitors.

    Highlights included the Bug Button and Super-Band Insect repellents, a small disk or wristband that keeps all bugs at bay when pinned to a garment or worn around your wrist.

    Among their wide range of headlamps, lamps and torches, the Lite Xpress Liberty 115 fishing headlamp, with an extremely bright beam, generated plenty of interest. “The headlamp range is extensive and there is a torch for every possible use, but visitors were very impressed with the fishing headlamp, it has the brightest beam I’ve yet seen,” says Keeny.


    Arno Laubscher of ScientificFly expanded his range of SciFlies to include various new fly patterns for the coming season for trout, small- and largemouth yellowfish. The range will be expanded even more over the next couple of months.

    Retailers are also able to select from the 150 000 to 180 000 flies that he keeps in stock at all times -ensuring quick and easy delivery.

    All the flies are tied on Grip Hooks, designed and developed by ScientificFly, which have become very popular in both SA and abroad. ScientificFly has registered Grip Hooks as a trademark in the US and Europe, as well as in other major markets.


    “This was our first time on the show and we have found it very interesting,” says Robin Lavery of Senqu. “Our objectives were to showcase our performance range to tackle retailers, meet new stockits and to strengthen relationships with existing account holders , and from that perspective it was very successful.”

    The Senqu Aquatex range, made from 100% nylon rib-stop fabric, generated plenty of interest. The garments are light weight, quick drying and tough. All pockets are mesh bellowed, making them self- draining. Styles include vented short and long sleeve shirts, the Thundershower waterproof windbreaker and self-belted shorts and zip-off pants for men and ladies.

    Also on show was the Senqu Solarex range of UV and moisture management short and long sleeve fishing shirts in plain and camo printed colourways, with a new addition: short sleeve check shirts.

    Another new range, launched in SA for the first time, the UV and moisture management short and long sleeve t-shirts and golfers, elicited a good response. They are made from 100% combed, lightweight cotton.

    “On the fly fishing side we are really excited about the new Wader Jacket…. this lightweight , waterproof breathable ribstop jacket is a winner!” says Lavery. It tucks comfortably into waders, and has a double storm flap and fold away hood option. “ Vertical zips allow quick access to chest packs and fly boxes, cuff adjusters seal off unwanted drops of cold water and when you’re done, it folds away into neat little bag…”

    Renowned fly fisherman and author Tom Sutcliffe tested the proto-types and had this to say about the jacket: “The consensus is uniform, this is a lovely wadding jacket and I checked it with seven serious anglers. It scores 10 out of 10 for lightness and seal against rain. Its virtually bullet-proof in this regard.”

    Sensational Angling Supplies

    The large Sensation booth was again full of life and well displayed in a retail store format, with all customer needs catered for: from food and beverages, to a place to sit and best of all, an opportunity to test bass rods, reels and lures on live bass in a pool. No wonder visitors spent so much time viewing their huge range of new innovative products.

    The stand layout reinforced Ridwan Dockrat’s philosophy that retailers should display categories together (e.g. bass, carp, fly etc.) instead of products (rods, reels or lines), to show customers the full extent of ranges available.

    “The customers seemed to be more than impressed because they were able to buy complete ranges from Sensational,” says Dockrat.

    In carp, new ranges of rods, bait-runner reels, storage systems and accessories drew much attention. A sure hit was the innovative rod stands alarms, adaptors and muti-boxes, which seemed to fill a huge gap in the carp market. “Customers found the systems to be well thought out and also potentially highly profitable,” says Dockrat.

    The specimen carp Docks brand seemed to have gained much momentum with the addition of a huge range of terminal tackle. What makes the brand attractive for retailers is the fact that all the products fit on three display boards — supplied by Docks — with a well worked out range in high class packaging. The range includes readymade hair rigs, carp systems, hooks, swivels, hook links, end tackle,carp tools and PVA. “Clients were really taken by the affordability of the product,” explains Dockrat.

    Their new range of bass equipment had bass tackle dealers excited as they tested them in a large casting pond. The Sensations swim minnows, with realistic colour and swim action available in 3-6”, were especially popular. Bass tackle bags and boxes were available in a large range for various purposes and Damiki, Strike Pro, Eagle Claw, Gamma and Hayabusa were also featured very strongly.

    There was a new range of 3-piece drop shot rods, supplied in a tube, available in up to a 9` to throw bigger baits. The new Hollow minnows drew much attention featuring 3D eyes and very natural swim action. The well-designed Drop Shot Pro bag also elicited much attention.

    In rock and surf the new ranges of paddle ski and multi piece surf rods seemed to gain much favour amongst stores. The rods are very well finished and well priced.

    Stealth Fly Rod & Reel

    On the Stealth Fly Rod and Reel stand Dave Levene and Gary Preston were kept very busy with a constant flow of visitors seeking information on their new products and catching up on news. They were very happy with the reception of their new products and the show in general… bar the icy weather.

    One of their new sole right products that created major interest, is the Cumberland float tube. “The customers were not just impressed with the price, but their interest was mainly roused because of the design and quality.” This would be a one of their main selling products, predicts Levene. The extra high foam seat offers good visibility and makes it easy to cast, while the hydrodynamic hull keeps you steady. Nice touches are the ruler for measuring your catch on the stripping apron (easy to release), additional backpack straps for carrying, the many pockets and two drink holders.

    Other products that they are confident will be doing well are the new Hatch fly reels and the extended Accurate range of reels, with new sizes to fit the needs of serious anglers going after big game fish.

    The versatile Hatch, in the higher price level, has already done very well in the US and initial responses show that this popularity will be repeated here. It is distinguished by a stacked disc drag system (stainless steel and Rulon) that gives you a braking surface on both sides of the stainless steel discs, ensuring that the material wears evenly. The larger braking surface area ensures a smoother, more durable drag and reduces start-up inertia, and because heat is distributed over multiple surfaces, stick slip problems caused by extreme heat are eliminated. “I am quite certain that Hatch will become a household name, especially amongst those who are looking for absolute quality,” says Levene.

    “The Accurate reels that we introduced at the show last year have become more popular, due to the lower price created by the better exchange rate,” he adds.

    “Our new medium priced fly rod, the “Adventure” has come in at the right price point, and that too was very well received, as well as the new Mid Arbor Stealth Reels.”


    The talk on the Tecni-Sport stand was all about line, in particular, the new Perlon lines introduced to visitors. The new Perlon Superbass is made of purest grade co-polymer, which gives the line exceptional linear strength. It stretches minimally, allowing for immediate response to a bite, while the ultra-low memory of the limp line enables for accurate casting. The superthin diameter ensures a better overall feel.

    Another new introduction that generated plenty of interest, is the Perlon fluorocarbon — a 100% fluorocarbon line made of the highest grade of polyvinylidene fluoride, which has a faster sink rate than monofilament. It matches the light refractivity of water making it virtually undetectable by fish. They have also added thinner diameters to their braid — ranging from 0.12-0.50 in diameter (10-100 lb).

    T-Line Pro

    For the past ten years Mike de Gouveia has established T-Line as a local manufacturer of quality monofilament line with a high production capacity and the flexibility to fulfill specialised needs of customers. This is borne out by the interested visitors to their SAFTAD stand.

    A tapered leader for rock and surf angling is a new introduction that is expected to be highly popular with local anglers, especially as it is the first to be manufactured in SA. The leaders have the advantage of being thin at the end that is tied to the line on the reel. This allows for a small knot with high knot strength. The small knot produces less friction when it passes through the line guides and is therefore much easier to cast. The thicker part of the leader, to which the terminal tackle is tied, has a high breaking strength and can absorb the force of the cast. The stronger part of the leader can absorb much more friction from rocks while landing a fish.

    The leaders are produced in 8 different sizes ranging from 0.45 — 0.80 mm to 0.95 — 1.80 mm and in two different packages containing one and five leaders respectively. They are all 9m long and are produced in high abrasion clear mono filament.

    T-Line Pro also manufactures I.G.F.A.-standard high performance monofilament for competitors, a high-abrasive extra strong titanium line for the bigger catches, a high abrasive stepped leader and their Classic high abrasive line.

    Vivtek Fishing Equipment

    Apart from the locally manufactured quality products that made Vivtek Fishing Equipment famous among local anglers, visitors on their stand were also introduced to some interesting new imported products.

    One of them is a lightweight, kink-resistant, 7-or 1-strand titanium leader for tigerfish, cuda or any toothy fish. “It stays straight, no matter how you scrunch it up, and lasts much longer than the standard leader,” explains Charmaine Foster. The wire is coated with a black oxide so that it can be drawn through the die to get the required wire diameter and break load — which makes it very slippery and difficult to attach a sleeve. This slippery problem was solved by putting on stainless steel sleeves with a hydraulic press and covering them with plastic covers.

    The patented German manufactured Sharkfin reel has a uniquely designed spool that casts further without the tangles or “birdnests” so often encountered with spinning reels. The “fin” design reduces friction and line stress when casting, allowing the angler to cast further and with greater accuracy. It also retains the line loops to release them freely on the next cast, eliminating tangles.

    W.E.T. Sports Importers

    Andrew Wentzel (jnr) and Patrick Frank of W.E.T Sports and their agents once again enjoyed exhibiting at the annual SAFTAD show, where they met their many friends and clients in the industry and showcased their growing product range.

    New additions at this years show included a selection of Mustad tools, metal spinners and an electronic scale.

    They have continued the expansion of their popular Prohunter range of hooks, swivels, scales, knives, tools, guides and tips, spinners, lures and accessories.

    Prohunter has an exciting new range of Bardi Grub Minnows, which made their first appearance in SA at the show. They are also bring in a new inexpensive bait knife, which was well received.

    They also launched the new LAV MD spinner range, which attracted plenty of attention, it is a great quality range at very competitive prices.

    October 2007

    New outdoor brands shown

    Ram Mountaineering and Adventure Inc recently arranged a joint exhibition for their Gauteng based customers at the Delta Environmental Centre in Victory Park, Johannesburg

    Ram Mountaineering already have in excess of twenty outdoor brands, including the well known Black Diamond headlamps, their own e3 Gear, Jetboil and water purifier Steripen. Apart from showing additions to their existing brands, their exhibition also included an entirely new brand, GSI Outdoors.

    It consists of a range of innovatively designed cookware, tableware, chef’s tools, percolators, glasses, Dutch ovens, storage boxes and water bottles.

    Adventure Inc also have a number of well known outdoor brands in their stable — Buff, Montrail, Mountain Hardware, Bodyglide and Julbo — but also added a new outdoor brand to their range. Sea to Summit consists of a range of outdoor products designed for all altitudes, from sea level to the summit of Everest. The range includes a wide range of products from sleeping bag liners, towels to dry sacks and bags.

    June 2007

    New venue for tackle trade show

    What started 8 years ago as a small, informal exhibition has evolved into a popular tackle trade show with exhibitors vying for space and retailers from more than 200 stores across Southern Africa often spending 2-3 days to place orders. This year the SA Fishing Tackle Trade Show will move to a new venue

    An ever-increasing demand for exhibitor space and the inability of the Eskom Convention Centre to provide the necessary resulted in the popular annual SA fishing tackle trade show this year relocating to the Cross Media Conference Centre in Honeydew over the weekend of 4-6 and 6 August.

    "We booked the Eskom venue in early February for this weekend and were advised that there were no other bookings, but when we went to measure the hall sizes and to discuss the quotation, we were advised that the ANC Women’s League had access to the two auditoriums and the foyer for the same weekend, even though their booking came in after ours," explains John Pledger, chairman of the SA Fishing Tackle Agents and Distributors (SAFTAD) association, that organises the show.

    Since the foyer is essential to accommodate the growing number of exhibitors, this meant that SAFTAD either had to pay a hefty surcharge to ensure exclusivity — which would have resulted in a 57% increase in exhibitions stand prices — or change the dates of the show, which have always been during this first weekend in August. None of these options were viable.

    The new venue, The Cross Media Conference Centre in Laser Park, Honeydew, has many benefits, says Pledger — it is very affordable, easily accessible, there is a cafeteria, there will be no other show over the designated weekend, all exhibitors will be in one hall and accommodation is available on site. The downside is, however, that the total available floor space is less than the floor space occupied by exhibitors at the SAFTAD show last year.

    Although exhibitors will have to make do with less floor space than before, this new venue is popular with the proposed exhibitors we contacted.

    "Eskom actually did us a favour by giving preference to the ANC Woman’s League as they compelled us to go and seek something else — as a result of which we wound up with a superior venue," says Alan Cunningham of Purglas. "It is certainly no less accessible, there is more than adequate parking, good catering is provided and the Muslim community can bring in their own food. Available space is a problem, but if everyone shrinks by 10% we will do it easily. The cost of the venue is also significantly less."

    According to Howard Joscelyne of JW Apex the new venue is "very pleasant and the catering and accommodation seem to be above average."

    One big venue will be great for all of the exhibitors, says Pieter Strobos. "I was never in favor of the separated scenario created by the Eskom centre, so I am pleased."

    The new venue keeps the cosy, intimate feel of the old show and is perfectly positioned half way between the Pretoria/ Krugersdorp Highway and the N1, adds Mark Pledger of Rapala VMC SA. "Catering will be substantially better than in the past, as the new venue has a fully functional kitchen."

    While the general sporting goods industry has lost the battle trying to sustain a trade show, the low-key fishing tackle industry show, organised by a committee of enthusiastic distributors, has developed a life of its own with exhibitors re-booking year after year and others clamouring to find exhibition space. This resulted in the number of retail visitors, who know they can view just about all the new launches in one venue, growing year by year.

    "The SAFTAD Show has become a premier event which all retailers that want to stay in touch with the latest trends and want to generate a good working relationship with their suppliers should attend," says Andrew Wentzel of WET Sports. "I feel that the show has been, and will carry on being, popular because it is a show about the products available and business is done when you attend this kind of show — there is no fanfare to distract you from doing business. Both the suppliers and retailers realise that this is the opportunity to get to know each other, to get a feeling for the product ranges carried, and to forge relationships for the future."

    "This trade show doesn’t dilute its focus: we are the fishing industry for the fishing industry," confirms Mark Pledger.

    "It is run by the industry for the industry with equitably split cost and we do not hire people from outside who do not understand the industry," adds Cunningham. "With the exception of Akals, the whole trade gathers together in a joint push. As a result, it is the perfect decision making opportunity for the whole trade. Anyone, however small, who doesn’t come is losing out on a marvellous opportunity."

    The tackle show must remain a show that connects the buyer with the distributors, emphasises Joscelyne. "Part of the success is also because the tackle business is not dominated by few large players, but by independent retailers."

    Just a word of advice to retail visitors from Mike Philip of The Kingfisher, one of the original exhibitors that got the trade show off the ground: "A one day visit will leave you confused and exhausted, give yourself at least two full days to work through all the exhibitors thoroughly."

    All exhibitors agree that the fishing tackle market is growing at a healthy pace.

    Mark Pledger believes this is due to the fact that "fishing is definitely receiving greater recognition with big business now using fishing in their lifestyle advertising."

    Joscelyne ascribes the above average growth in the fishing tackle industry to new methods of fishing, such as dropshotting and jigging, being developed, as well as different and new rod constructions.

    Another reason for the growing interest are the television shows featuring fishing, which also stimulated the market, says Strobos.

    He believes that products produced in the East created new opportunities for local distributors, which resulted in more exhibitors showing more products — "although it is not good that copies had been made by a number of them," he adds. "I do believe that most of the tackle trade is driven by passion, not only to catch bigger and better fish, but also to get better equipment for the task and that stimulates interest."

    Some exhibitor highlights


    The president and MD of Halco Tackle company Australia will attend the show this year. "Neil and Ben Patrick will come and show the all new Halco Max lure," says local distributor Cobus van Biljon. "This new exciting lure is taking the international fishing trade by storm."

    Max is a super stable high speed lure with an aggressive action.

    JW Apex

    "Undoubtedly our main attraction will be the launch of the Watersnake Electric Motors from Jarvis Marine," says local distributor Howard Joscelyne.

    Other launches that should be of interest to the trade are new camouflage braids and monofilament from Sufix and a new range of International Reels from Penn.


    Daiwa have new reel and rod ranges for the salt water drop shot and verticle jigging applications, bass gear for the more discerning angler, plus the new ultra light Steez baitcaster containing ultra-precision components with a 12-bearing system, says Mike Philip. The Excellor 7’ and 8’ drop shot rods will compliment a series of reels with the Daiwa air bail feature, a super strong lightweight hollow bail with no protrusions to snag line.

    The Siglon stable offer 200m of fluoro carbon leader, with an additional hot pink monofilament in the range.

    Wave bass lures impregnated with Molopo juice and the salt water sport traces include a variety of slide bait traces using fishmate carbon coated wire power swivels and Mustad Big Gun hooks.

    Pieter Strobos

    "Previously our products were aimed at a very selective market, very specialized, but this year our exhibition will be aimed more at the broader market, but not lose focus of the specialist market," says Strobos.

    Things to look out for are the comprehensive Eagle Claw range, including hooks, swivels, floats etc also packed in bulk.

    They will also launch the Composite Development range of blanks and specialist rods for vertical jigging and popping, as well as the Diva fly Rods for female anglers from the same brand. Other new brands and ranges that will be launched are the Carpenter range from Japan for vertical jigging and popping and terminal tackle from Rita fishing tackle in China for vertical jigs etc.

    The latest products from Ande monofilament and Alutecnos, big game fishing tackle, will also be launched.

    Rapala VMC SA

    "With the help from our "World Leading" suppliers we will be able to launch most of the 2008 product early for our season," says marketing director Mark Pledger. "This means that the South African dealer will be receiving new products before most of the European dealers will even have a chance to see the products."

    WET Sports

    "Our Suicide and Octopus long shank hooks will be available in pre-packs this year," says Andrew Wentzel. "We will of course still have them available in boxes of 100 too."

    They are also bringing in new multipurpose pliers that can be used to open splitrings, cut braid and crimp sleeves and will also be launching two models of LED headlamps ( 5 bulb & 12 bulb)

    "On the STUMPJUMPER range we will have some new and exciting colours and so too on the AUSSIEJUMPERS."

    Aug/ Sept 2009

    OutDoor Europe shows industry is healthy

    Sustainability is a growing trend in the outdoor industry with more brands incorporating it into their manufacturing, the 2009 OutDoor Europe trade show at Friedrichshafen showed

    There was little sign of the global recession as visitors to OutDoor Europe in Friendrichshafen set a new attendance record: 19 300 trade visitors from 90 countries — compared to last year’s 18 900 visitors.

    With the opening of the new eastern grounds expansion the 810 exhibitors from 38 countries could be accommodated in 85 000m2 exhibition space in twelve halls, where they launched more than 200 new products.

    “The outdoor market is booming and its best days are probably yet to come,” dr. Eike Wenzel, editor of Zukunftsinstitut, a future-oriented business think tank, told delegates.

    “But, the industry will need to monitor emerging trends closely, while opening their employee’s minds — and their display shelves — to product innovations.”

    Unique experiences in the outdoors, far away from mass consumerism, are an escape from the pressures of high-speed lifestyles, said Wenzel. Nature becomes the setting for unique and exciting experiences and successful companies need to identify their customers’ needs as they emerge.

    “Personal health, renewed environmentalism, customisation and demographic change are the major trends that are set to have the greatest impact on the outdoor industry. Media reports on the impending horrors of climate change have enhanced nature’s aura of vulnerability and uniqueness. Manufacturers who have made sustainability the cornerstone of their corporate philosophies are therefore in demand.”

    According to Zukunftsinstitut five key trends will shape tomorrow’s outdoor industry:

  • The outdoor market will become integral to consumer lifestyles and will be seen as a source of pleasure.

  • The outdoor industry will merge with other cross-over industries, including the personal health, food, tourism, services, fashion and, in particular, technology industries.

  • Markets with flat hierarchies, such as the outdoor segment, must more than ever address the concerns of a critical public that is in the midst of forming a new consumer market marked by ethical consumerism.

  • Consumer demand for the outdoor lifestyle is no longer subject to any dogma and will create a mass market within the next five years.

  • To win over new customers, the outdoor industry must find them where they are: in their 24/7 high-speed lives.

  • (A full version of the study is available at

    Light, robust and sustainable

    About a dozen outdoor companies have already committed themselves to the BlueSign Standard, signalling sustainable business practices — among them leading companies like Patagonia, The North Face, Vaude, Deuter, Mammut, Haglöfs and Helly Hansen. Many fibre and fabric manufacturers have also signed on to the BlueSign process.

    Apart from sustainability, several other trends emerged at the show.

    In outdoor clothing, the trend is to make products light and robust. Breathability, compressibility, cooling and UV-protection characteristics were features that stood out in the new ranges, but there was also a strong emphasis on lightness.

    Salomon, for example, showed a compact Trend Minim Light Trekking kit consisting of a Gore-Tex Pro Shell jacket, a T-shirt, softshell trousers and a rucksack that together weighs only 1.525 kg.

    Many new clothing ranges reflect the new awareness of sustainability, with recycled materials, natural fibres and sustainability-based functionality seen everywhere. Textile functionality is a another important factor — while moisture management and odour protection have almost become standard functions, a high degree of UV protection is now also valued.

    Versatility in footwear

    Weight is also a factor when it comes to tents, sleeping bags and rucksacks and Vaude won an industry award with their two-person tent weighing only 1kg.

    More than 120 leading brands showed their new outdoor footwear ranges. Versatility was a definite trend, with multi-purpose footwear currently accounting for almost two thirds of outdoor footwear sales in Europe, and lightweight is still a focus area.

    The multi-purpose trend was seen across all footwear categories, even outdoor sandals, which are now less made for rough terrain and more for everywhere wear.


    October 2006

    Outdoor feature strong at ispo China 2007

    The next ispo China Winter sport show will take place from 14 to 17 March 2007 in Beijing (Peking). The ispo China show that was due to be held in Shanghai from 20 – 23 August this year, was cancelled because the organisers felt that there was insufficient time to do justice to a show on this scale, and because the show has a stronger orientation towards winter sports

    The new venue brings ispo China closer to the big skiing areas and main tourist centres, as well as the home of many Chinese key retailers and the many international brands that have headquarters in and around Beijing.

    Currently, over 3 000m² exhibition space of the 13 500m² available at the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre has already been booked. Ispo has already signed 3-year contracts with major exhibitors like W.L. Gore, Halti, Lowe Alpine, Quiksilver, Sympatex and Toray, and some companies that have previously exhibited with ispo are booking even larger stands than in the past, indicating their interest in the Asian-Pacific market.

    The Chinese market recorded an increase of $102-bn in business turnover in 2005, according to the Xinhau News Agency. The organisers expect around 300 national and international brands to exhibit at the show.

    The ski and outdoor industries will be having a more prominent presence, with brands like Atomic, Fischer, Nordica, Rossignol and Volant already confirmed.

    Ispo China winter will have a new area where exhibitors with products and services relating to ski resort equipment will exhibit – and in conjunction with this the organisers are also publishing the "Ski Resort Guide", which will include information on China’s 250 ski resorts.

    The Asia Pacific Snow Conference and the Outdoor Retail Conference, which will be held in conjunction with W.L. Gore, will be held during the exhibition time. The WGSN (Worth Global Style Network) seminar will again forecast trends.

    October 2007

    OutDoor grows and grows

    OutDoor Europe 2007 saw a 9% increase in visitors over 2006 with a total of 16 900 trade visitors from 70 countries

    This show has become one of the major vehicles for launching new outdoor products and 731 companies from 39 countries exhibited this year.

    They launched a total of 165 innovations and world premières of outdoor products.

    June/ July 2009

    OutDoor has grown in leaps and bounds

    The 16th OutDoor will take place 16-19 July in Friedrichshafen. The transformation of OutDoor from a small-scale trade fair that began with limited prospects in 1994 to a mega-event with worldwide impact has been no coincidence — not least when one considers that many industries have been losing their appetites for elaborate trade fair events

    The Friedrichshafen trade fair’s ability to counter that tendency at an unyielding rate has been based on at least three factors: the uncompromising focus of trade fair organisers on meeting industry needs, the vitality of the outdoor business itself, and the unabated trend away from all-encompassing, generalised trade shows to high-profile, specialised events.

    When OutDoor first opened its doors in 1994, there were only 231 direct exhibitors and fewer than 5 500 trade visitors in attendance on the former trade fair grounds in Friedrichshafen. By 1997, the number of direct exhibitors had nearly doubled to over 450. That year, there were already more than 7 700 visitors.

    Once the former trade fair grounds near Friedrichshafen’s central district had reached its growth potential, the city fathers and trade fair organisers decided to start the new century with a new trade fair venue. “The move in 2002 was a quantum leap,” explains Messe Friedrichshafen Director Klaus Wellmann. “As a result, we’re now the home of several leading international trade fairs, such as Fakuma, OutDoor and EUROBIKE.”

    By last year’s 15th edition of OutDoor, the number of exhibitors had risen to 787, and that of trade visitors to 18 900. The reasons for this rapid growth are complex, and can partly be found among commercial customers. Despite the sustained process of consolidation in the retail sector, a healthy structure of small- and medium-sized stockists specialising in outdoor goods remains. The demand exists among these businesses for an industry event that, while proficiently offering the major outdoor goods providers, also provides a venue for the many small, innovative and specialised brands. Furthermore, it has become increasingly worthwhile for general sporting goods stockists to attend the specialised OutDoor trade fair, as they continue to allot more floor space to the lucrative outdoor segment.

    A pivotal factor in the success of OutDoor as a specialised trade fair was the increasing globalisation and internationalisation of the industry in recent years, which Friedrichshafen has strengthened in its role as a worldwide outdoor industry showcase. “When OutDoor was established, it was primarily supported by German brands, which were mainly doing business in German-speaking countries. These brands subsequently became increasingly active abroad, and meanwhile a growing number of foreign brands began to penetrate the central European market,” explains Project Director Stefan Reisinger. As a consequence of these developments, the sponsorship of OutDoor conveniently changed hands from the German industry group Outdoor 2003 to the newly founded European Outdoor Group. The EOG represents essentially all brands that are recognised and respected across Europe, and support the progressive internationalisation of OutDoor.

    The opening of the 16th edition of OutDoor on 16 July will also mark the inauguration of the expanded trade fair grounds. In its role as a vibrant centre of business, Friedrichshafen will then have a state-of-the-art trade fair venue to offer with twelve halls comprising an exhibition area of 85 000m2. This year, with an anticipated 19 000 trade visitors from around the world, OutDoor is on course to set a new attendance record.

    For further information, please visit

    Innovate in hard times

    Messe Friedrichshafen and the Zukunftsinstitut, a future-oriented business thinktank, will present the key principles of the future of the outdoor market at the OutDoor 2009. The complete presentation Innovation in Difficult Times will take place on 16 July in the ‘Berlin’ Conference Room at Messe Friedrichshafen.

    The financial crisis has captured the attention of the media and the markets like no other issue. And although it is impossible to rationalise away the recession, now is the perfect time to actively shape the future. After all, crises are normal and economies have always been affected by the downturns and upswings of entire industries. The outdoor industry in particular can emerge from this crisis as a winner — if social developments, trends and opportunities are recognized in time.

    The financial crisis — although not entirely — is to a large extent also a direct reaction by consumers to obsolete technologies and purely profit-maximizing objectives. As a matter of fact, it is precisely those markets and sectors that are innovative, authentic and engaged in an ongoing dialogue with customers that are now also producing positive results. This has allowed, for example, the ecological sector to effectively resist the recession, and the pioneers of the pleasure market are also still making profits. Innovative concepts for the outdoor market of the future are based on the following principles:

    1 The new consumer demands regarding health, neo-ecology and individualisation offer outstanding opportunities for the outdoor markets.

    These megatrends go far beyond the mere desire, at every age, to take responsibility for one’s own body, spirit and soul, as well as new approaches to adopting personal lifestyles vs. leading standardized lives. Such trends also have to do with a new understanding of the great outdoors. Nature is no longer perceived as something that is boring, passive and detached from everyday life. People’s new relationship to the great outdoors is active, functional and conscious. The outdoor market is becoming an integral and pleasurable part of everyday consumer life.

    2The outdoor markets must closely observe and reflect on the influence of leading industries.

    What does this mean for the outdoor industry? In view of these megatrends, the outdoor sector cannot see itself as an independent segment, which exists isolated from other markets. If there is anything that we can say about future boom markets, it’s that the economic drivers of tomorrow will be cross-industries. The meta-markets of the future include cultural industries, the care cluster, smart tech and energy markets. Just like the health, food, tourism, service, fashion and primarily the technology industries, the outdoor sector will integrate into the new cross-markets.

    3 The outdoor customers of the future are not an isolated target group — they are engendered by the LOHAS lifestyle.

    Consumers are increasingly demonstrating their power with their purse strings. Instead of cheap is cool, the new consumer motto is ethical is in. This emerging widespread awareness of ecology and ethics is commonly referred to as the lifestyle of health and sustainability, or LOHAS for short. Current forecasts indicate that in the future over a third of the population will “operate” this way. This primarily requires that markets become more transparent and honest. Hierarchically flat markets, such as the outdoor segment, must therefore increasingly address the concerns of the critical public that constitutes the new ethical market.

    June 2008

    Outdoor industry depend on healthy environment

    More than in any industry, those who enjoy outdoor activities depend on the environment staying healthy — or, at least, not deteriorating. Sustainable manufacturing will therefore become increasingly important. But this should not come at the expense of quality, says European Outdoor Group president ROLF SCHMID

    Worldwide, the outdoor industry depends on the preservation and protection of pristine wilderness environments and the animals who habitat them. How to save the earth have been topics of heated discussion in many fields. The outdoor industry is becoming increasingly aware that it is also up to manufacturers and consumers to protect the future of outdoor sports by acting more responsibly. The European Outdoor Group (EOG) and Messe Friedrichshafen have therefore designated The Challenge of Sustainability as the central theme of the 15th European OutDoor Trade Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

    “Along with our customers, we’re into relaxation and adventure in a natural environment — but humans have been straining nature to a worrying degree for quite a while,” says EOG president Rolf Schmid.

    “Increasing concerns about climate change and, for instance, factory working conditions are clear signals that the outdoor industry needs to take its ecological and social responsibilities more seriously. This means that we have to act now to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy an intact wilderness while using our innovative products.”

    According to him, members of the outdoor business began to understand a while ago that their products could have negative effects on the environment.

    “We still have a long way to go before consistently sustainable products are established in the marketplace,” he says. “For one thing, providers still have a lot of homework to do on ecological and social issues before the global and extremely complex chain of production conforms to sustainability criteria from A to Z.

    It will, however, take time before a critical mass of consumers actively start demanding such products — and, what’s more, are prepared to pay more for them.

    Schmid believes that the fast-growing so-called LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) consumer segment should encourage the industry to develop high-quality, innovative products and services that meet the demands of this new environmentally and socially conscious clientele.

    “After all, sustainability must not come at the expense of quality,” he says. “There are already sustainable manufacturing standards and interesting products out there like bluesign, organic cotton and sustainability-oriented recycled materials.

    “These kinds of things are going to have an ever-increasing market presence.”

    The industry promotes sustainability by sensitising manufacturers about the importance of adopting these measures through initiatives like the Association for Conservation. The EOG can coordinate incentives and motivate more of its members to commit themselves to addressing social and ecological issues, says Schmid.

    “Verifying sustainability is one of the industry’s biggest challenges. Just as with any social change or trend that offers commercial opportunities, there are companies out there wrapping themselves in green just to make a fast buck from the buzz about sustainability.”

    “Their existence makes it even more important to develop standards that will effectively separate the wheat from the chaff, and thereby clearly identify genuine, ecologically sound products and commitments.”

    June 2006

    OutDoor show focus on women

    The 2006 OutDoor Show, held from 23 – 26 July at the exhibition grounds in Friedrichshafen, is focusing on women who love to walk

    More and more women are taking to the great outdoors these days: over 5-m female Nordic walkers have picked up their poles and are contributing to healthy sales in the sector. Everything is geared to OutDoor Women as potential customers: from the new collections of women’s clothing, to fashionable backpacks and female-friendly sleeping bags — even the new sleeping mats are specially designed with women in mind.

    EOG Secretary General, Mark Held, is convinced that women have long played a key role in outdoor issues.

    OutDoor Women, this year’s special OutDoor show created by Cologne’s EHI (Eurohandelsinstitut), focuses on retail store design and visual merchandising. Display proposals will be presented showing how women can still be in fashion while mountaineering, and how specialist dealers can support female customers by providing choices that offer style and character.

    The OutDoor Friedrichshafen show sets the pace on an international level, with 79% international companies among the 660 exhibitors from 40 different countries. They will contribute to this gigantic outdoor event with 29,500m2 (a new record) of display space. Nearly 100 top industry brands will be represented exclusively in Friedrichshafen.

    Presented for the first time this year, the OutDoor Industry Award recognises products that combine innovative outdoor technology with high functional and design quality. This competition is open to all outdoor industry companies.

    Winners will be announced on Sunday, 23 July 2006 and the award-winning entries will be displayed in the Foyer West area at the OutDoor trade fair.

    On the first day of the exhibition, the European OutDoor Group (EOG) will launch a new initiative that focuses on the protection of nature and the environment.

    Classics in the trade fair’s supporting programme — the Fashion Show, Tent City, Climbing Wall, OutDoor Party — are important meeting points for trade visitors. Climbing competitions like the OutDoor Speed Cup in Hall B2 provide plenty of excitement and variety. This is where suppliers for alpine disciplines, ranging from mountaineering and rock-climbing, to ice-climbing and expeditions come together. The focal point is a climbing wall where exhibitors and trade visitors can test their skills.

    Tent City offers trade visitors a complete market overview of more than 700 tents of every brand and style that will be on display by 42 manufacturers.

    The OutDoor Fashion Show is presented three times daily by brands like adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Salomon and VAUDE.

    June 2006

    Why is SAFTTA so successful?

    For the past six years, growing numbers of fishing tackle traders have been converging on Johannesburg in August to view the goods on show by all the major fishing tackle brands vying for space at the Eskom Training Centre. Last year, nearly 200 retail companies sent representatives to the SA Fishing Tackle Trade Association show (SAFTTA) — 36% more than the retailers that visited the international EFTTEX Show in Warsaw, prompting the question ...

    Adhering to the principle Why fix it, if it ain’t broke, this year’s SA Fishing Tackle Trade Association will be run along pretty much the same lines as previous years. This seems to meet with the approval of most former — and forthcoming — exhibitors we have spoken to.

    "In my opinion, the Tackle Trade Show has become more professional and more comprehensive each year, and I am sure this trend will continue, to the benefit of supplier and retailer," show veteran Alan Ross sums up the feeling of most exhibitors.

    This has been accomplished without a professional show organiser, without a PR company, glitzy professionally built stands, or entertainment to draw visitors.

    Instead, the wares are exhibited in conference rooms or uniform cubicles. An industry committee, consisting of busy tackle distributors, each get tasks allocated and without too much fuss or bother, the show just happens over the long weekend in August (although there are some exhibitors, like Preston Dale of Goya Trading, who wish that a wee bit more can be done to enlighten retailers about the benefits of attending such a show — for instance, price reductions, latest releases in the sport fishing market etc).

    But, in general, most exhibitors are very happy with the relatively low exhibitor rates and exceptionally high retailer attendance.

    The main reason for the success of the show lies in the fact that it is so strongly supported by the tackle buying industry, is the view of Andrew Wentzel of WET Sports.

    The reason why so many retailers attend is because they have the opportunity of seeing and feeling all the latest products that are coming into the market — as well as discussing business opportunities with suppliers, says Barry Wareham.

    "All the leading suppliers have been present in the past — or been nearby, like Akals — so customers can source all their needs over one weekend," explains Ross.

    "Also, this show is purely for the fishing trade, so exhibitors and customers all have time to talk to each other about their common interest. There are no members of the public, nor other products to distract."

    And that is a major benefit, because every visitor is part of the exhibitor’s target market. "We normally go to shows that are open to the public and you just get a lot of non-users coming on to your stand, wasting time," adds Rob Allen of the Dive Factory.

    Talking fishing

    At the tackle trade show, the talk is about fishing, fishing and fishing … and the social aspect is for many just as important as the selling opportunity. For a local manufacturer like Viv Foster of Vivtek, whose Knysna workshop is far from the majority of retailers, the show is the ideal chance to catch up on news and talk to his customers face to face.

    At the exhibitors’ meeting during last year’s show, former chairman Allan Cunningham of Purglas asked to be relieved of his duties because he felt he needed to devote more time ot his own manufacturing business. John Pledger or Rapala (formerly Tatlow & Pledger) was recently elected the new chairman of the association.

    That automatically places him in the hot seat for the show as well.

    "I have made arrangements to increase the exhibitors’ area, if required; but this will depend on the bookings," he says.

    "The format will not be changing from last year, as it was successful. We did, however, foresee a problem with having the show on Friday, because many of our clients are Muslim and they will not attend on Friday."

    He has had discussions with exhibitors about changing the show days, as there is a SA vs Australia Tri-Nations match in Sydney on the Friday as well, but the majority seem to favour a Friday to Sunday show. The SASGAM Show, as well the Akals Show, is also on over that weekend.

    "We were rather reluctant to split from the Akals Show as we would be trying to get some of the dealers back to the Midrand area on two separate weekends, which might have affected the numbers," he says.

    SASGAM weekend

    "As far as SASGAM running on the same weekend, we were not particularly worried by that, as not many of our specialist tackle dealers are sports dealers. It might entice some of the smaller ones that do have a small tackle counter in their sports stores to do the SASGAM Show, and then pop across to us, so it could be supportive of our show, as against disruptive," says Pledger.

    This is a view shared by several of the exhibitors we spoke to.

    "I believe it should improve retailer attendance and I do not believe that it will impact on the time that the retailers spend at the show as they will allocate their time according to their priorities," says Barry Wareham of Basil Manning Fishing.

    But others, like Arno Laubscher of Scientific Fly, are concerned that the SASGAM Show could result in retailers — who often spend a full three days at the fishing tackle show — will now have less time to devote to fishing.

    One solution will be – as some SASGAM exhibitors have suggested — to combine all the shows.

    "That way we will be able to put forward a consolidated face to the retail market. It would also no doubt help to boost sales and interest," suggests Wentzel.

    June/ July 2009

    Why retailers love to visit the SAFTAD show

    What started off as a handful of fishing tackle trade suppliers coming together and showcasing their products eight years ago, has grown into the industry’s only surviving trade show where exhibitors compete for a space to exhibit and hundreds of retailers visit to place orders for new ranges, meet new suppliers, compare products and literally do a all their fishing tackle business in one go. NELLE DU TOIT asked retailers what it is about the show that keeps them flocking back year after year
    The 2009 SAFTAD Tackle Trade Show will be held from 1-3 August in the Unisa training centre in Vinton Road, Ormonde, Johannesburg.

    While trade shows all over the world are experiencing strain, the SAFTAD show has been growing and keeping the interest since its inception in 2000. The 2008 SAFTAD Tackle Trade Show attracted 450 retailers from nearly 200 different retail companies with a record breaking 54 exhibitors showcasing their product ranges.

    The visitors came from all over Southern Africa, even though the majority (30-40%) of retailers came from Gauteng.

    Based on the feedback we received, as many — if not more — retailers can be expected to visit this year’s show.

    The majority of retailers contacted in our snap-survey said that their main reason for attending the SAFTAD show is so that they can see first-hand what the new tackle trends will be and keep up to date with the new products that could become big sellers in their businesses.

    Top reasons why retailers visit the show:

  • To see new tackle trends and compare products between different suppliers

  • Meeting new suppliers

  • The opportunity to raise business concerns with the distributor or manufacturer

  • It’s run by the industry itself and it’s business only

  • A chance to order all their tackle ranges

  • Meeting old acquaintances

  • The show is timed so that suppliers can exhibit the latest products launched internationally and introduce the new technological advances. This offers retailers the chance to source the new products best suited to their customers’ needs from all major tackle suppliers.

    As Grant Bailey from Knysna retailers Grant’s Sport and Surf Culture says “it’s a one stop shop. Comparing products and finalising your range for the season [makes it] a brilliant platform to do all your buying.”

    Especially smaller retailers from remote areas where agents don’t often visit, find it advantageous to visit SAFTAD.

    SAFTAD show specials are amongst the best reasons to visit, several retailers commented. But since it is a once-a-year trade show, you completely miss out if you are unable to attend this weekend. Some retailers have commented that they really want to attend, but are unable to because of prior business commitments.

    Anthony Pretorius of the Tackle Shack, for example, says that he really wants to attend this year but he will be out of the country that particular weekend and will therefore miss out on show specials and all the other advantages of attending the show. He suggests that exhibitors make their specials and new products available to retailers unable to attend through the internet (e.g. a SAFTAD website restricted to retailers) or e-mail.

    Regular exhibitors at SAFTAD

  • A J F Agencies

  • Akals (Midas Group) — they joined last year

  • Bantam Distributors

  • Basil Manning Fishing

  • Blue Marlin

  • Brentoni Eyewear

  • C1 D2 Tackle Traders

  • Carp World

  • Cats

  • DAM

  • Dive Factory

  • Goya

  • Jandi Trading

  • JW Apex

  • Killer Deals

  • Lions Tackle

  • Morrison Angling

  • Pro Angling

  • Rapala SA

  • S.I. Mia

  • Scientific Fly

  • Sensational Angling

  • Stealth Fly Fishing

  • Tecni Sport

  • The Kingfisher

  • T-Line Monofilament

  • Vivtek

  • W.E.T. Sports Importers

  • Every year, new exhibitors join — for example Henkor Products and Bar Global Trading, that will be exhibiting for the first time this year.

    Of course, an online SAFTAD page won’t be the same as the actual show, but it might provide business opportunities to the retailers who already know what they want to order, but can’t attend the show.

    Some first time visitors find the show overwhelming and exhibitors recommend that they spend at least two days at the show to properly work through all the stands and the products available. Most retailers contacted say that they spend about 2-3 days at the tackle show before placing their orders — however one retailer mentioned that he is still in a rush to completely work through all the stands even if he spends two days at the tackle show every year.

    New tackle retailers also find the show tremendously helpful as they have the opportunity to gather information and meet contacts to get their businesses off the ground. Not only can they order their year’s supply at the show but they will probably find it at the best possible price there as well.

    Even long-established retailers still find new suppliers when visiting the show — the majority of retailers we contacted indicated that they go to the SAFTAD show because they know they will always find new suppliers.

    The same applies to suppliers: as regular SAFTAD exhibitor Andrew Wentzel from W.E.T. Sports Importers says: they have met new customers at every trade show they exhibited at.

    nother reason why retailers enjoy visiting the show is that they can directly raise issues of concern with the business owners themselves.

    More than half the retailers who responded to the snap-survey said that one of the main reasons they visit each year — and wish to attend in coming years — is because the show is run as an opportunity to do business, without noise, music and other distractions. This all-business approach assures retailers that the time spent (often the entire time the show is running) is worth the time being away from their stores, as they are building business relations.

    When asked whether they’d prefer a show with more entertainment, one retailer asked that SAFTAD should please not be turned into a marketing show as he considered this one of the reasons why the last SASGAM shows failed.

    The retailers were, on the other hand, positive about the organisation of the SAFTAD show. They believe the fact that the trade show is organised by people in the industry themselves, and not a professional show organiser, adds to the success of the show as it really caters for people in the tackle trade.

    “The SAFTAD trade show is most certainly well organised from a visitors point of view and I think that the organizers are putting in a tremendous effort to have this show running so successfully. The setup of the venue is very well organised and professionally done. Thumbs up for that!” says Allester Dronia of Swakop Sport.

    Most suppliers exhibit

    Suppliers, in turn, feel that they have to be at the SAFTAD show as all their competitors will be there. This adds to the appeal of the show as the customer can make an informed purchasing decision because all the major suppliers are showing their ranges.

    It also offers suppliers the opportunity to discuss their new product ranges with retailers in a focused environment. The fact that almost all the visitors to the show are retailers, benefit the exhibitors as all the visitors on their stands are potential customers, not mere browsers.

    For more information regarding the SAFTAD Tackle Trade show please contact Mary-Ann Hodgskin on Tel: 011 943 4921, Fax: 011 943 4859 or Cell: 083 795 5588 or

    August / September 2008

    Why the OutDoor Show is growing

    Stefan Reizinger explains why the OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen grows more popular each year

    While trade shows worldwide are attracting fewer visitors, the Outdoor Europe show held once a year in the holiday town of Friedrichshafen, is growing rapidly. This year 18 920* visitors — 12% more than last year — flocked to towns along the Bodensee to see what Europe’s top 100 outdoor companies are introducing to the trade.

    Why is this show so successful?

    There are two major reasons,” says Stefan Reizinger, OutDoor Project Manager for show organisers Messe Friedrichshafen. “The European Outdoor Group (EOG) decided to continue with the show in Friedrichshafen till 2013 and that sent a clear message that the industry is behind the show and that they have confidence in its future. There has been a lot of interest in the show and we have more media people here than ever before (841 journalists).

    “A second reason is that since the ispo Summer show had been cancelled, this is the only platform for summer outdoor sports in Europe.”

    While some sports may have problems attracting participants, the outdoors has become a daily lifestyle (see Fashion with Function).

    Over the past five years the OutDoor show changed a lot, says Reizinger. “In the beginning it catered more for the extreme outdoor adventurers and mountaineers. It now appeals to a much wider audience with much more emphasis on clothes worn in daily life, rather than for climbing. You need about 2% technical performance to maintain the image as a high performance brand, the rest is everyday clothing.”

    Besides, Friedrichshafen offers much more than a normal trade show — the whole lake area (Lake Constance bordering Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Itlay) is geared to cater for holidaymakers who flock to Medieval towns like Lindau and travel along the picturesque train or ferry route to the showgrounds, or make use of free shuttle services provided by the organisers.

    What started for the outdoor industry as a little side show to ispo fifteen years ago, has become the annual meeting and partying place of not only the European outdoor industry, but also from all outposts. “I cannot believe it, wherever I turn, I run into a South African!” exclaimed a New Zealand visitor to the show.

    About 65% of the visitors are from outside Germany, says Reizinger — although about half of the visitors are German speaking (from neighbouring countries like Austria and Switzerland). “There are many visitors from Asia and America too,” he says.

    Planes from Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Dresden, Graz and Vienna now land at Friedrichshafen Airport, while Zurich Airport has excellent transport connections with the Friedrichshafen exhibition centre. This year direct flights to the airport in Memmingen — 45 minutes from Friedrichshafen — were introduced. There is a free shuttle bus service from all three airports, bringing visitors directly by bus to the exhibition centre.

    There is currently no point in launching an initiative similar to ispo’s “Brand New” concept that offers smaller companies an opportunity to showcase products at Friedrichshafen, as there is such a high demand for exhibition space from existing companies, he adds (787 exhibitors from 40 countries were housed in an expanded exhibition area of 75 000m²). ”This year there were fifty more exhibitors than last year.” They are in the process of building two more halls to add to the twelve existing large exhibition halls at the showgrounds.

    To give an indication of the size of the Friedrichshafen show: the exhibitors were housed in ten halls, each as big as the Good Hope Centre, with a tent city in another hall and fashion shows and award ceremonies held in the twelfth hall.

    This year the major theme of the show was sustainability — see Sustainability 1: Meet your new customer: Older, richer and more aware of the environment — and the lecture series emphasised the need to cut down on travel and use products longer before discarding. Surely a trade show of this nature contradicts these objectives – people from across the globe flying in to see new trends and products that will inevitably lead to others becoming obsolete?

    “When we discussed the idea of having sustainability as the main theme, we were aware that we’ll be asked this question. It is true, it is not sustainable to do trade shows. But, the idea is to make sure that the topic of sustainability is given a platform so that the industry will start thinking about what challenges lie ahead in the future and what their future focus should be.”

    * International shows count each day a visitor visits as a separate entry. At the local SAFTAD show each visitor is counted once, whether he or she attend the show three or one days.

    *Read our copyright notice before making use of this article

    © SA Sports Trader