A resounding success for its seventh consecutive year, the European Outdoor Summit (EOS) has proven a hit once again with delegates, sponsors and partners alike; delivering another engaging, challenging and inspiring programme over the course of two days. The Summit finale announced Annecy, France as the host location for EOS 2020.
The EOS 2019, which took place in Interlaken Switzerland from 26th-27th September, brought together over 200 high calibre leaders in the outdoor industry from across Europe and beyond. Presentations and breakout sessions followed the theme:
The Outdoor Industry – Redefining Boundaries, with speakers touching on topics such as social innovation, biotechnology, global sharing, industry case studies and forging new collaborations.
The Summit was compered by Wolfgang Greiner from EOS media partner The Outdoor Industry Compass and presentations were kicked off by Futurist Anne Skare Nielsen, who gave an amusing, engaging, challenging and optimistic keynote about “Why the next 10 years will be amazing’.
The second keynote speaker Pippa Goodman from Foresight Factory then shared some of the latest research on the changing boundaries of engagement – offering essential insights for outdoor businesses.
Delegates were treated to an insight into the evolution of adventure filmmaking and the world of Kendal Mountain Festival from festival director Steve Scott, who showed two inspiring short films, while an educational keynote from Chris Doyle of the Adventure Travel Trade Association gave delegates insight on how to access gear-hungry, passport-wielding adventure travellers!
Day two saw a great start with Benita Matofska from The Sharing Economy who delivered a thought-provoking keynote with positive insights into change-making and how outdoor businesses should engage with the sharing economy. During her presentation, five volunteers committed to be change-makers in their companies. They were each given a copy of Benita’s book ‘GenerationShare’ and each asked to pledge to get five other people to buy the book. Every copy is produced from waste, educates a girl in the slums in Mumbai and plants a tree.
Two more keynote speakers completed the first session with thought provoking presentations: Tomas Vucurevic of BRAIND on ingredient brands and collaboration; and Jeppe Thorgersen on the Silkeborg Project to embed outdoor into local government strategy.
Towards the end of day two Donna Carpenter, CEO of Burton Snowboards urged the outdoor industry to do more and do better in its efforts to address some big challenges and issues and declared that “passion without purpose is meaningless.”
The final keynote speaker at this year’s Summit was mountaineer and quadruple amputee Jamie Andrew. Jamie shared the incredible and very moving story of how he rebuilt his life and resumed his outdoor adventures after a terrible climbing incident that left him with life changing injuries and claimed the life of his best friend. His emotional and inspiring story received a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd of delegates.
Each day kicked off with an early morning Tai Chi and run activity delivered by sponsors Vibram and ISPO to invigorate delegates ahead of a busy day and throughout the two days there was plenty of time for networking during the breaks.
There was ample opportunity to unwind and relax at Thursday night’s Networking Evening dinner, where delegates were treated to traditional Swiss Alphorn and flag throwing entertainment. Later they enjoyed a box of popcorn courtesy of headline sponsor IWA, while watching some inspirational films from Kendal Mountain Festival. These included an uplifting short film on the National Brotherhood of Skiers, which encourages greater ethnic diversity within snowsports.
‘Once a year at the EOS we encourage outdoor industry leaders away from their busy work schedule to introduce and discuss topics that are approaching our sector from the horizon, look at current and future challenges, opportunities and last but not least, to network. This year’s edition in the EOG‘s homeland, Switzerland, proved again that there is a great appetite to think outside of the box in our sector. Many exciting and challenging topics were touched upon and new connections were made. A big thank you to all the delegates who came out to Interlaken, to our sponsors who make this whole event possible and of course to the EOG team working behind the scenes to ensure a smooth event. See you all next year in Annecy!’ Arne Strate, General Secretary, EOG.
EOS 2020 Annecy, France will take place from 15-16 October and details about how to book will be made available in due course. For more information about the Summit, visit www.europeanoutdoorsummit.com.