Paddleexpo reduced exhibitor space by more than a third, marking the first time in the show’s 11 year history that it has not expanded. The move enabled the trade show, which takes place in Nuremburg, Germany Oct. 2-4, to secure a more attractive venue and focus the show more tightly on hard goods.
A more intimate and focused event
With a space approximately two-thirds the size of the previous year, brands represented will number 251 compared to 271 in 2012. Smaller spaces were a compromise to accomplish “more business per square metre” in a busier and livelier hall.
These changes, however, speak to today’s changing paddlesports industry and its internationalisation as well as numerous changes in distributor organization. For example, Northwest River Supplies (NRS) is planning a European warehouse in the Netherlands, and importers such as Gatz Canoe and Tahe Outdoors are furthering their international expansion. Their thermoformed ABS kayaks made in the USA or Canada that sit low on the water are a new brand entry into a category that has been until now dominated by local manufacturers.
A stand-up paddle show-within-a-show at Paddleexpo proves attractive to professionals focused on the business of SUP with the ability to take hard look at the coming season’s plans. Globally known brands such as Naish, Starboard, BIC, Mistral and others organise their own international meetings annually at Paddleexpo. Even smaller cult brands like Makai Boards find their place. And the SUP Lounge located centrally to the SUP area helps movers and shakers involved in the growing trend meet, greet and mingle in a convenient setting. Of course, many broader paddle companies are also now marketing SUP boards and they are located throughout the hall.
Now a tradition, the Industry Retailer Party on the second evening remains a highlight with food and festivities, with a focus on honoring retailers. However, an additional honour is being added to the event in 2013. At this year’s party, the highly respected International Whitewater Hall of Fame prize will be awarded in a ceremony outside of the United States for the first time since its inception.
An additional benefit for show attendees are business seminars open to all. Offered daily by companies such as Jackson Kayak and Camaro, they cover for example, the kayak fishing market (“How to become a successful kayak fishing retailer”) or technical insights about products and materials (discussion of Camaro’s titanium material by its product developers.
Paddleexpo is a trade-only show that takes place every year in Nuremburg, Germany, does not admit consumers and attracts many U.S. paddlesports brands.