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Germany's PADDLEexpo 2013 Kicks Off Global 2014 Season

The goal is to consciously maintain an intimate trade show focused exclusively on hardware for its international audience, avoiding other trendy or fashionable products such as sun block, flip-flops and other related but niche items found easily elsewhere.

Germany's PADDLEexpo markets to an international, core-paddlesports market. Photo by Peter Lintner.
Now the leading paddlesports-only show globally, the 11th annual PADDLEexpo takes place this year Oct. 2-4, returning to a brighter -- albeit smaller -- hall.

Based on overwhelming demand from exhibitors and attendees, the show will occupy a reduced space to take advantage of an atmosphere judged more comfortable, although late registrants faced a waiting list or lack of availability.

With a hall approximately two-thirds the size of the previous year, brands represented will number 251 compared to 271 in 2012. Many took smaller spaces in the 97,000-square-foot hall as a compromise to accomplish "more business per square foot" in a busy and lively hall. The goal, per director Horst Fürsattel, was to consciously maintain an intimate trade show focused exclusively on hardware for its international audience, avoiding other trendy or fashionable products such as sun block, flip-flops and other related but niche items found easily elsewhere.

These changes, however, speak to today's changing paddlesports industry and its internationalization as well as changes in distributor organization. For example, NRS is planning a European warehouse in the Netherlands, and importers such as Gatz Canoe and Tahe Outdoors are furthering their international expansion.

Internationality is key: Last year 54 percent of participants came from 47 countries, having gradually replaced a formerly regional group of importers. Exhibitors now come from France Italy, Iceland, Korea, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, China, Taiwan, the Czech Republic, the U.S. and Germany.

Business seminars open to all will also be offered daily in conference rooms by companies such as Jackson Kayak and Camaro, covering, for example, the kayak fishing market or technical insights about products and materials.

Global SUP pros gather

A stand-up paddle (SUP) show-within-a-show at PADDLEexpo looks attractive to professionals focused on the business of SUP with the ability to take a hard look at the coming season's plans. Global brands such as Naish, Starboard, BIC, Mistral and others organize their own international meetings annually at PADDLEexpo. Even small cult brands like Makai Boards find their place. And the SUP Lounge helps players involved in the growing trend meet and greet in a convenient setting.

Whitewater Hall of Fame award

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 highlight 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 U. S. for the first time since its inception.

Begun in 2003, PADDLEexpo is now the leading paddlesports-exclusive trade fair globally where all the newest products and trends are found, from kayaks and canoes, stand-up paddle and inflatables, to apparel and accessories. The fair has also become a global meet-up and networking event for buyers, manufacturers, importers, retailers, media and associations. PADDLEexpo also functions as a major point of information distribution regarding rentals, event management, incentives and watersports tourism. PADDLEexpo takes place annually in Nuremberg, Germany, in partnership with the German Canoe Federation. PADDLEExpo is a trade-only show. Industry professionals may attend at no cost with pre-registration available by going to www.PADDLEexpo.com.

 
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