IWA project manager Thomas Preutenborbeck tells Gun Trade News just what makes IWA so special and how exhibitors and visitors can get the best out of it
GTN: Thomas, what’s new at IWA for 2014?
TP: IWA OutdoorClassics in Nuremberg is the leading international exhibition for hunting guns, shooting sports, outdoor equipment and equipment for law enforcement and personal security. The show already celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. It started in 1974 when a foyer exhibition that accompanied the annual general meeting of the VDB (Association of German Gunsmiths and Firearms Traders) became ‘IWA’. At that time there were just 106 exhibitors and 2,000 trade visitors.
Four decades later, it is bigger and better than ever. We expect around 1,340 exhibitors – that’s 12 per cent more than last year – and around 38,000 trade visitors from all over the world. Now, in 2014, we have opened a new hall for the show to satisfy the growing demand for exhibition space. IWA is one of the most international events at the Nürnberg Messe exhibition centre. It is the industry event with the largest international share in the world: We expect 60 per cent of visitors to be from outside Germany, and some 78 per cent of exhibitors to be international.
This year for the first time, IWA OutdoorClassics provides a perfect presentation area for the latest product releases of the industry right where you start your visit: the New Product Centre. Through its positioning at the light-flooded main entrance hall, it will be an eye-catcher for both trade show visitors and international journalists. It’s the ideal place to discover new products of the Target Sports, Nature Activities and Protecting People sectors and to get inspired by the innovative ambience.
GTN: What are the real advantages of attending the show?
TP: Above all, it’s the unrivalled variety of products at IWA OutdoorClassics. A visit to the exhibition is guaranteed to bring your range and your knowledge of the latest trends up to date. Exhibitors from the theme worlds of Target Sports, Nature Activitites and Protecting People, plus the biggest exhibition of knives in the world, make IWA a must-attend event.
After a visit to IWA, a trader has a definite advantage: he not only gets to know the products of all the well-known suppliers, but can handle them, try them out and compare them on the spot. At IWA he’ll find lots of ideas for general ranges, quick sellers and counter products to boost sales the whole year round. On top of this, many brand manufacturers prepare point-of-sale measures, campaign packages and innovative forms of product presentation exclusively for visitors from the trade. After a visit to IWA OutdoorClassics you’re guaranteed to keep just ahead of the competition.
Additionally, the city of Nuremberg has been a major European trade and transport hub in both the north-south and east-west directions for centuries. You can reach the exhibition centre quickly and directly via motorway, rail network or from Nuremberg airport.
GTN: How can exhibitors make the most of their presence at IWA?
TP: The spectrum of visitors is as varied as the products on display. Gun retailers, law enforcement and security equipment retailers, representatives from outdoor, optics and sport shops, and buyers from the forestry industry, security agencies and the mail order trade will all have a presence at IWA OutdoorClassics. As an exhibitor you can recommend your products for regular or supplementary ranges and use the opportunity to develop new target groups. Only eligible visitors from the retail trade, wholesale trade, import and export are admitted to IWA OutdoorClassics. This gives you as an exhibitor the unique opportunity to cultivate long-term contacts with key decision-makers and make your quality products known all over the world. So you have new opportunities to expand your global export business every year and make yourself more independent of economic fluctuations.
During the show last year, 96 per cent of the exhibitors reached their most important target groups, 95 per cent of the exhibitors made new business connections, and 91 per cent expected noticeable follow-up business. The success story of IWA OutdoorClassics will continue in 2014, so you can easily use the opportunity to impress new customers with your products.