IWA OutdoorClassics, the International Trade Fair for Hunting, Shooting Sports, Outdoor Activities and Security, will take place in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg from 3 to 6 September 2020. Because coronavirus continues to spread, NürnbergMesse has decided not to hold the trade fair in March as originally planned but to postpone it until autumn. Petra Wolf, Member of the Executive Board of NürnbergMesse, and Rebecca Schönfelder, Exhibition Director IWA OutdoorClassics, talk about the change of schedule and the new concepts the exhibition team is currently developing.
What was behind the decision to postpone IWA OutdoorClassics 2020?
Rebecca Schönfelder: Because coronavirus is continuing to spread, we held in-depth talks with exhibitors and industry representatives to examine the potential repercussions of this global situation on IWA OutdoorClassics 2020.
Petra Wolf: Based on this feedback and considering the risk assessment principles for major events set down by the German Government’s crisis management group, and also the current recommendation by the Bavarian state government for international trade fairs, NürnbergMesse ultimately decided to postpone IWA OutdoorClassics from March to September 2020. In the current situation, it would have been impossible to achieve our goal of creating a special experience for both exhibitors and visitors and making it easier for them to develop and expand all kinds of business relationships.
What will postponing the event until autumn mean?
Rebecca Schönfelder: It was clear from the outset that postponing IWA OutdoorClassics at short notice would represent an unprecedented challenge for everyone involved. As we looked for an appropriate alternative date, autumn seemed to be the best option: manufacturers with large inventories would have the opportunity to assemble year-end sales packages for dealers and boost their Christmas business. Holding the event in September also clearly separates it from the Shot Show in Las Vegas, which spreads the load for our customers in an otherwise event-heavy spring. And for exhibitors who develop products in a six-monthly cycle, a trade fair in autumn offers an opportunity to present their new developments to a broad professional audience and begin the first half of the new year with orders already in place.
Petra Wolf: These timing benefits offer major opportunities for the industry, so when we announced the new timing for IWA OutdoorClassics 2020 we told everyone that the switch to an autumn schedule would be permanent. We received many reactions to the timing announcement – not only positive acceptance, but also some critical opinions. IWA OutdoorClassics is the international industry platform, and we are striving to take it to the best possible level of quality. That’s why we take feedback from our customers very seriously. As a result of this feedback, we are keeping both spring and autumn dates open in our in-house planning for 2021 and beyond. That gives us the opportunity to work with our customers to establish the best possible permanent schedule.
What refinements have already been planned for IWA OutdoorClassics 2020?
Rebecca Schönfelder: We view the unusual circumstances this year as an opportunity to extend the concept underlying IWA OutdoorClassics. We are therefore organizing a “Special Edition” for 2020. One initial idea we will be discussing with our customers is to open the trade fair for end customers for two days.
Petra Wolf: Our in-depth talks in recent weeks have shown that far-reaching decisions affecting an industry platform as important as this one can be taken only in consultation with the industry as a whole. That’s why we decided to initiate an international IWA Customer Circle at a decision-maker level. Representatives from all product segments covered by the trade fair, target visitor groups and the trade press will be included in our planning considerations even more in the future and will meet regularly – the first time as early as in March 2020.
Where to from here?
Rebecca Schönfelder: As organizers, our main focus is now on offering our exhibitors the best possible support as they prepare to attend the trade fair. We would like to thank everyone for the understanding they have shown and their encouraging feedback, and we are looking forward to enjoying the continued success of IWA OutdoorClassics together. For 2020 we firmly believe we have found a beneficial alternative date for the industry. During the planning stages it’s extremely important for us to continue interacting with our customers regarding the next steps in the process. If we all pull together we’ll make it happen!