The OutDoor gathering will move to Munich from next year. Photo: Messe Friedrichshafen

The OutDoor gathering will move to Munich from next year. Photo: Messe Friedrichshafen

A major outdoors trade show will switch venues from next year.

OutDoor, which is run by the European Outdoor Group, will move to Munich from 2019.

Its 25th gathering will be the final one to be held at Friedrichshafen on the shore of Lake Constance in southern Germany.

From next year, OutDoor will be staged at Munich, which already hosts the other main European outdoor trade show ISPO.

The change follows a vote of its members conducted by the EOG, which includes some of the biggest outdoor brands, including UK-based Berghaus; Equip Outdoor Technologies, which owns the Lowe Alpine and Rab brands; Mountain Equipment and Vango, as well as the umbrella body for the UK, the Outdoor Industries Association.

Three venues, Friedrichshafen, Munich and Hamburg made presentations to EOG members. In a subsequent poll conducted by Electoral Reform Services, Messe München, owners of the Munich exhibition centre, received more than 65 per cent of the votes, more than three times the number of the next popular.

Friedrichshafen, popularly knowns as Fred by many outdoor industry visitors, has less developed transport links than the Bavarian city that has been chosen. The two main European trade shows are used by many brands to reveal new models and developments to their ranges.

EOG president John Jansen said: “We are grateful to all of the applicants for their efforts in what was a hard, but fair competition.

“We would also like to single out a truly special mention for Messe Friedrichshafen, who have worked hard with us over the last years to present a great platform for our sector. This year is the 25th anniversary of OutDoor in Friedrichshafen and while it will undoubtedly be tinged with sadness, we look forward to it being a brilliant celebration of all those years.”

Mr Jansen said the process on the future venue had been democratic and transparent. “We have communicated openly and frequently with a huge number of people and organisations, and that led to the presentation of three very strong and distinct proposals,” he said.

“The final decision was taken in a truly democratic manner and the strength of the vote for Messe München is a clear sign of unity and determination from the membership. We therefore look forward to building the new show with Messe München from 2019 onwards.”

The Friedrichshafen venue hit back by saying it will stage its own outdoors show in 2019.

The 2017 OutDoor meeting. Photo: Messe Friedrichshafen

The 2017 OutDoor meeting. Photo: Messe Friedrichshafen

Messe Friedrichshafen chief executive Klaus Wellmann said: “We view the vote with great disappointment.

“After all, the OutDoor was born at Lake Constance and has been here for a quarter of a century. We have written a unique and successful chapter for the history of this industry.

“Our location, and in particular our concept for a new direction for the leading show, has good support from many EOG members, plus backing from numerous other outdoor industry players.

“Friedrichshafen will continue to offer a unique trade show atmosphere, where international outdoor experts set the course for the future of the business and celebrate their commitment to the outdoors.

“As such, we’re nevertheless confident and well prepared to enter a new outdoor trade show era at Lake Constance from 2019.”

The EOG, defending the decision, said it had set up a project to look into the future of its event some time ago.

A spokesperson said: “The EOG began the Vision 2020 project over 2½ years ago and as part of the process commissioned the biggest piece of research on the subject ever done in the European outdoor sector.

“Through that, the association compiled information from hundreds of retailers, brands and suppliers, and from every country in Europe and many others around the world. In total, the Vision 2020 team completed over 90 hours of face-to-face interviews with stakeholders.

“Through this work, economically speaking, the EOG surveyed around 90 per cent of the market and simply put, that stands for something.

“The EOG membership itself is fully representative of the whole sector and includes brands, retailers and ingredient brands. The association’s own well established and highly respected state of trade market research programme puts the economic size of the wide EOG membership at around 70 per cent of the total European outdoor market.

“These two points together show that the decision that was taken about the future of OutDoor was not made by the minority, but is representative of the interests of the whole sector.”

“This was a fully democratic process, as the EOG believes that it is the members of the community who should decide on their own future. They have done that with an overwhelming majority and the EOG is certainly not trying to divide the sector on this matter.

“The intention has always been the opposite and that has been reflected in the actions that have been taken at every stage of the process. Ultimately, the result of the vote was definitive and clearly represents the will of the industry.

“We look forward to the entire outdoor sector uniting behind this decision, and to building an exciting and dynamic OutDoor together with Messe München.”