Successful indoor advertising for outdoor activities31.01.2019 - 12:00
When the two-day Cycling and Hiking Holidays exhibition closed its doors in Stuttgart on 13 January, the figures were very impressive: 362 travel organisers, destinations and hardware suppliers met around 40,000 interested visitors. "There are no doubts whatsoever that the Cycling and Hiking Holidays exhibition has become established as a meeting point for nature lovers and active holidaymakers in southern Germany," was the conclusion drawn by Roland Bleinroth, CEO of Messe Stuttgart, at the end of the event.
"The number of hardware and accessory suppliers among the exhibitors increased substantially compared with the previous year's event," summarised Senior Project Manager Anja Frey. She also said that the number of test drives on the test track rose considerably: just under 1,400 test drives were recorded over the two days of the exhibition. One other innovation: "We are pleased that the winners of the Design and Innovation Award were presented at the exhibition for the first time," said Frey.
Offers for trade visitors for the first time
This underlined the growing important of the event – just like the progressive extension of the programme for trade visitors: "Rad-Runde", a congress for cycling tour operators, was held for the first time on Friday, 11 January 2019. The focal points of this congress were cycling tourism as an economic factor and specific measures relating to product development and marketing. This was certainly one reason why the number of trade visitors at the exhibition has now risen to ten per cent. The Hiking Pavilion, the large number of independent advice points and the varied stage programme also went down very well. "500 people crowded around the stage alone during the talk by the extreme climber Thomas Huber," summarised Frey. The "Thermals" area also has a fixed place on the first weekend of CMT. It was staged at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre for the first time in 2018. "The event ideally supplements our outdoor and active offers," said Frey. "Exhibitors met their regular customers here and were able to forge a very large number of initial contacts with interested parties.“
Exhibition becoming more national
The market research figures underline the positive impressions: visitors to Cycling and Hiking Holidays spent an average of more than five hours in the hall space covering an area of 15,000 square metres. One quarter of visitors actually travelled more than 100 kilometres to attend the exhibition in Stuttgart. A large proportion of these visitors came from Bavaria. And their expectations were not disappointed: the visitors awarded the exhibition the straight school mark "2". 93 per cent of visitors said they were intending to attend the exhibition again next year while 97 per cent said they would recommend it to friends and acquaintances. 94 per cent of visitors regarded the exhibition programme as complete. 71 per cent of visitors said that they had already made a purchase or booked a holiday at the exhibition, or were intending to do so in the course of the day.
Positive feedback was also received from the exhibition partners and exhibitors.
Kathleen Lumma, Managing Director of the Baden-Württemberg branch of the German Cycling Club (ADFC): Our stand was full right from the start on Saturday and, just like always, we met well-informed specific visitors. On the Sunday there were more visitors who just floated around. However, there were large numbers of these visitors. Route suggestions were in great demand. A large number of families also obtained information about cycling holidays. We appreciate the fact that the exhibition has also always been very suitable for our visitor advertising. The exhibition is an excellent opportunity to talk to people who want to go on a cycling holiday, but also people wanting to extend B2B contacts. We are very satisfied with the exhibition weekend and will be back again next year with an exhibition stand and a stage programme.
Annette Schramm, Managing Director of the Swabian Alb Association: Right from the beginning on Saturday there were crowds of people on our stand. The Sunday was slightly less busy. Our redesigned exhibition stand attracted many people like magic. The fact that primarily non-members also showed an interest and were impressed by our hiking offers proves that we attained our exhibition objective. The exhibition is the perfect platform for making our services known since a large number of interested outdoor enthusiasts meet here and also want to use our know-how as hiking experts. Many visitors had very specific concerns and wanted, for example, information on our main hiking trails. As expected, sales of our maps were very good. We also managed to recruit some new members. Cycling and Hiking Holidays is a very important exhibition for our Association. We can present our Association here in an ideal light and reach our target group.
Valentin Rühl and Robin Schmitt from the Design & Innovation Award: We attended the exhibition for the first time and were impressed. There was a great deal happening on both days and the visitors were very interested and curious. The exhibition not only provides us with the perfect target group, it is also held at an ideal time. The results of the Design & Innovation Award are announced in the middle of January, thus enabling us to present them at the exhibition. The positive aspect is that people can look at the award-winning products in practice. We conducted a very large number of interesting discussions on both days. The stand opened a door for us to new customer groups and made us even better known. It was extremely busy right from the start and we are very satisfied.
Konrad Weyhmann, PR at Shimano: We have often taken part in the Cycling and Hiking Holidays exhibition. This year for the first time we had a larger stand placed right by the entrance. We were very satisfied with the number and expertise of the visitors. Our test course also proved extremely popular, visitors asked a large number of very detailed questions. These questions generally related to e-bikes and technical innovations. The visitors were very mixed, some members of the second generation already expressed an interest in e-bikes. Prices played more of a secondary role, purchasing power was and still is high. Shimano is a component supplier. We also use the exhibition to make our company known in the e-bike business, something which succeeds very well. That's because we meet precisely the right target group in Stuttgart.
Antonella Rossi, Head of Communication and Marketing at ENIT: We were represented on the Italy stand for the first time in this thematic exhibition and are very satisfied. It turned out be very successful for us. Mention must also be made of the support provided by Messe Stuttgart. It was simply first-class. The position of our stand was perfect and we benefited from large number of visitors. The people here wanted complete holiday packages with tours, hiking trails and an entertaining evening programme. We were able to offer all of this. In other words, the target group and offers were ideally matched. Within the framework of our "Slow Tourism“ campaign we have been trying for many years to reach new target groups. The Cycling and Hiking Holidays exhibition is the perfect marketplace in this case. All our expectations were fulfilled. The stand was full on both days. On Sunday there were more people than on Saturday. We would like to come back again next year.
Susanne Kleinsorge, German Hiking Day Marketing: We normally have a presence at the exhibition with the Sauerland stand. This year we represented the German Hiking Day in 2019. Especially on the Saturday, a very large number of members of hiking clubs came to the stand which was extremely busy. People then also knew what the German Hiking Day involves. Our thematic programmes relating to cycling and hiking are ideal for the target public at the exhibition. We are totally satisfied. We will come back again in 2020 as Sauerland.
Thomas Just, Project Manager I lock It (Haveltec): We took part in Cycling and Hiking Holidays for the first time and were absolutely positively surprised. The target group for this exhibition ideally matches our products. Most people were over the age of 40 and were very interested in and receptive to new technologies. Our automatic lock, which can be controlled by means of a smartphone, attracted visitors and we were able to hold a very large number of positive discussions. We therefore attained our exhibition objective of gaining as many new prospective customers as possible. Our stand presence is more about making our products known than generating sales. And we succeeded in this respect. We are hoping for good business after the event. After this positive experience we want to come back again next year.
Alexander Bahl, Project Manager, Riese & Müller: We were able to hold a very large number of good discussions with end customers and offer first-class product advice. We fully attained our exhibition objective. Most of the people who came to our stand were totally well-informed and only needed the final kick for their purchase decision. Our clientèle cuts right across all target groups, families, commuters and keen travellers. All of them were also represented again at the exhibition in 2019. The exhibition is perfect for us in terms of its time, location and visitors.
Bernadette Manz, Alpsee-Grünten Tourism, Allgäu/Nesselwang: We take part in the exhibition every year and represent six locations in the Alllgäu. As always, this weekend was also marvellous. We handed out any amount of brochures and held good discussions, There were always large numbers of visitors on our stand. There was great demand for both cycling holidays and hiking holidays. The visitors were very mixed. The Stuttgart region is extremely important to us since very many guests from here come to our area. The date of the exhibition right at the start of the year is also ideal. Both days of the exhibition were fantastic and there was a real run especially in the mornings.
The next Cycling and Hiking Holidays exhibition will be held on Saturday, 11 and Sunday, 12 January 2020 as part of CMT 2020