HS Happenings: ISPO

By ECD/Founder, Julian Harriman-Dickinson

This was my fourth visit to ISPO and the first time it's taken place since 2019, due to COVID-19 putting a stop to large-scale events like this one. And it *is* LARGE, meaning I easily achieved my 10,000 daily steps. What was noticeable this time, however, was that some of the big show-stopping stands and brands were conspicuous by their absence.

Here are a few highlights from the event:
1) Patagonia was probably the busiest stand, with a constant hustle and bustle, and a never-ending queue for their (in my opinion) best-in-show coffee/baristas. 

2) Picture had the most creative and inspiring stand at the show. So Chapeau to you. This BCorp Outerwear/Streetwear/Activewear/Surfwear brand lead you on a merry, colour-filled journey through their stand. A bit like Hampton Court Maze, but much more aesthetically pleasing.

3) Houdini showed great restraint with a less-is-definitely-more approach. Their stand was paired back, letting their exquisite product do all the talking. I was also impressed by their beautiful lifestyle and product photography. In a sea-of-sameness, they really stood out.

4) Thank you to Jack Wolfskin and National Geographic photographer and biologist, Ronan Donovan, for a really enlightening talk on the importance of Wolves bringing balance back to key ecosystems. Who knew?

5) Finally MANY THANKS to the team at Patagonia’s ‘Worn Wear’ stand/wagon/caravan thingy which told us: “If it’s broke, fix it!”. This was a really great initiative and my now as-good-as-new Nano-Puff hoody is testament to that.

Hopefully the trend of brands abstaining from the show does not continue next year. All the senior marketeers I spoke with certainly said they had had a highly productive show. As did we.