The next generation of athletes: Ispo Digitize, held for the first time in June, will focus exclusively on digitalization.
By Tobias Gröber, Ispo exhibition group director
The world of work, mobility, and media usage: We have known for some time that our future is digital. This also applies to the sports industry and all the businesses associated with it. It primarily affects manufacturers of sports goods and clothing and sports retailers, but also travel companies, ski-lift operators, and competition organizers. Everywhere, digital tools are changing the way in which the different players in the industry interact, in particular with customers.
Tobias Gröber, Ispo exhibition group director
ISPO Munich has long since transformed itself from an international sports fair into a think tank of the future for fitness and sports goods. In order to fulfill this role even more effectively, a new format of the event will be launched in the summer of 2018: the ISPO Digitize.
The subject of online shopping is one that bricks-and-mortar retailers are confronted with on a daily basis. Around 36 percent of people who take part in sport buy shoes, clothing, and sports equipment over the Internet (“ISPO Sports Evolution Report 2017”). Surprisingly, the proportion of people who find out about products in stores and then buy them online is only six percent. In the reverse case, the figure is 32 percent. Despite the complaints from retailers, they do have an opportunity if they position themselves correctly and respond to customers’ growing needs.
ISPO Munich 2018 gave a foretaste of this. “The Ispo Digitize area was a kick-off for our ISPO Digitize at the end of June,” says Tobias Gröber, Ispo exhibition group director. The event has found itself some prominent partners. adidas, Lectra, foursource, and Sportmas put on show new concepts, technologies, and presentations over an area of around 10,000 square feet in January.
The eye-catching exhibits in the area included the 3D printer from the adidas Speedfactory, which created a completely new link to the retail sector; the video and scanning carpet analyses from Sportmas showing the movements of customers when buying at the point of sale; and the software solutions of Lectra, which allowed customers to create their own designs on the computer.
The organizers will be bringing together a number of prominent experts who will share their digital expertise with visitors over the two-day period. This will help the attendees to bring about a digital transformation in their own companies. Workshops, round-table discussions, and presentations will provide valuable information about the future of the industry.
The Ispo website has a Digital Readiness Check which allows anyone to assess their company’s digitalization status. Everyone should make the most of this opportunity, because the status information and the deficits identified in the check will make it easier to resolve problems. At the same time, the participants will be helping to determine the content of the Ispo Digitize, because the overall results will be incorporated into the planning process for the event.