It doesn’t come as a shock really that ISPO Summer Trade Show”, created by the massive marketing and communications company Messe Munchen GmbH in Munich, Germany, announced on March 6th that they would be canceling their summer sports trade show. After attending last year’s summer show, including their attempt at a sporting lifestyle show called Sport & Style, it was clear to Label Networks that attendance was down and the old-school format of trade shows in general was a dying breed -even though they are able to have a more lively show for ISPO Winter (thanks in part to their Boardsports section and lounge). Sadly, this news comes as a 2nd hit to Germany since Bread & Butter moved from being in both Berlin and Barcelona, to only showing in Barcelona as of last year.
According to Messe Munchen, there’s such segmentation between their summer sections including action sports, running, kayaking, and sourcing, that it’s resulted in very different markets and demands. ISPO Summer always had a relatively strong running section, and technology and sports innovation section, and it looks like they’re going to continue with the running segment in a new platform called the Running Order Show as a B2B show. In addition, they’ll host a Sports Source Europe show.
But coming from an action sports and youth culture background, it was clear to us that they never quite got boardsports or streetwear lifestyles -at least the summer sports version. What’s interesting is that Messe Munchen is restructuring their show in partnership with the owners of Action Sports Retailer’s (ASR) parent company Nielsen Business Media creating new trade fairs to pop up in 2009, including separate shows with individual themes.
The cancellation of Summer ISPO means there is a niche to fill in European trade fairs in terms of a sporting streetwear lifestyle show, particularly as it centers on skateboarding, surfing, BMX, wakeboarding, and even inline. The bright spot that’s been taking up the slack in this arena is Brighte trade show which many streetwear brands from America attended earlier this year. Smaller and more intimate with a handle on the skateboarding scene in Europe, the show is quickly becoming the place to be for brands interested in expanding into European boardsports and streetwear boutiques.
While it’s quite monumental that ISPO Summer is closing, this could mean new opportunities for smaller, niche shows that are more effective in the growing arena of sports and streetwear lifestyles to take hold in the future.