The 2023 European Outdoor Summit (EOS) has been hailed as a big success. Hosted in Berlin, the two-day event had the theme ‘The New Era: Business and Beyond’ and explored a wide range of major topics that face the outdoor industry, and business and society in general. The event was organised by the European Outdoor Group (EOG), in partnership with the Bundesverband der Deutschen Sportartikelindustrie e.V. (BSI), and attracted over 200 senior executives from around Europe.
The 2023 EOS was held on 28 and 29 September at Festsaal Kreuzberg, an eclectic events and concert venue situated in the Treptow-Köpenick district, the largest and greenest neighbourhood of Berlin. The busy summit programme covered a diverse range of topics, from how to manage transformative change, retail trends, digitisation and AI, to carbon reduction, sustainable packaging, durability, and improving diversity and inclusion in outdoor participation. As well as hearing from expert keynote speakers and participating in panel discussions, delegates were also given numerous opportunities to network and continue conversations that started during summit sessions. EOS lined up leading figures, both from within the outdoor industry and representing other sectors which provided different experiences and insights of value.
Arne Strate, EOG General Secretary, comments:
“We packed a lot into two days and there were some common threads that connected all of the topics that we covered under the main theme. In every case, it was clear that pre-competitive collaboration is the most effective way forward. When tackling the big issues that we all face, the best solutions can be found by working together. The outdoor industry already understands this, and the summit was a living, breathing case study that once again demonstrated the truth of that.
“At each European Outdoor Summit, we aim to deliver a programme that informs, inspires, challenges, and provokes debate. I believe that this year’s summit achieved that aim better than ever, and I was really encouraged by the passionate contributions from delegates throughout. There was some excellent, robust discussion, and that continued outside of the formal sessions.”
The 2023 European Outdoor Summit was moderated by Margo de Lange, Secretary General of the It’s Great Out There Coalition, and Keme Nzerem, co-founder of Opening Up The Outdoors, who also participated in panel sessions. The event was sponsored by some of the leading brands, events and organisations in the outdoor sector, including W.L. Gore & Associates, Dometic, Bleckmann, OutDoor by ISPO, Outtra, YKK, myclimate, IWA and Sporting Insights. Media partners included: EDM Publications – Outdoor Industry Compass, Suston, Mountain Blog, SAZ Sport, Outdoor magazine, outdoor.markt, Outdoori, 4Outdoor and SportLink.
In the final session of the summit, the EOG announced that next year’s event will be held in Cambridge in the UK, in partnership with the Outdoor Industries Association. It was also confirmed that the 2025 event will move to BeNeLux, the first time that the summit will be held in that market.
The 2023 European Outdoor Summit took place during the Week of Sports, with many delegates attending a special Night of Sports event while in Berlin. In closing the summit, EOG General Secretary Arne Strate noted that the outdoor sector is embracing and leading on making changes that are required by business and society in the context of the climate crisis, and to promote participation and get citizens more active. He highlighted the many proactive projects that the EOG undertakes with its members and partners to address these agendas, and made a plea to politicians to take note, engage in a sustained and meaningful way with the sector, and develop and implement policy that supports this work.
Matt Gowar, EOG President, adds:
“The success of the European Outdoor Summit is down to the hard work of a great team, with a lot of essential support. The EOG Board backed the vision of our executive team, who worked with our colleagues at the BSI and other partners to deliver an excellent event at a really interesting venue. We’re indebted to our sponsors and of course, none of this would have been possible if delegates didn’t attend. EOG members and others from our industry once again signed up in big numbers and were actively engaged throughout the summit. We’re already excited about how we can build on this year’s success for Cambridge in 2024 and then BeNeLux the following year.”
Stefan Rosenkranz, CEO German Sporting Goods Industry Association (BSI), comments:
“Right now it is important that we as a sports and outdoor industry show our range of services to politicians in Berlin. As an economic sector, we are not only responsible for many jobs in Germany and Europe, but also for the long-term health and sporting development of our society. We would like to see more political responsibility from the federal government for sports and physical activity in Germany and Europe.
“We were overwhelmed by the positive feedback on the Week of Sports that we received from numerous participants, but also from representatives of the German Bundestag. Many of the challenging issues in our industry were presented comprehensively and impressively in the various formats. A big thank you for the valuable cooperation between the European Outdoor Group, SAZ Sport and the BSI - this is how perfect cooperation works! Because of this great feedback, we are of course also thinking about repeating this week of sport in a few years back in Berlin.”