During 2016, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is celebrating being 10 years old! Ten years of the European outdoor industry funding conservation work in the great outdoors. In that time, the Association has funded work in over 36 different countries around the world, making a real difference to threatened habitats, species and landscapes.
As part of EOCA’s celebration of its tenth year, a series called ‘Ten Faces of EOCA’ will feature on our website throughout the year. These ten faces will be people who have been key to the success of the Association, or people who represent key partners of the Association. It may even be the face of a species that has benefited from the Associations work! Its going to be tough to choose only 10!
Crucial to the success of EOCA over the last ten years has been the enormous support given by two international tradeshows held in Germany each year – OutDoor and ISPO. These two tradeshows have provided considerable financial support to the Association whilst at the same time providing vital support in terms of raising awareness of EOCA within the outdoor industry. ISPO is the world’s largest multi-segment exhibition for the sports industry and is held in Munich each winter. OutDoor is a global platform for the entire European outdoor market and is held each summer in Friedrichshafen.
Both ISPO and OutDoor joined the Association from the very start, pledging their commitment to conserving the great outdoors. For the first eight years, EOCA’s setting up, running and growth costs were met through the European Outdoor Group’s (EOG) interest in OutDoor and since the start of 2015, both OutDoor and ISPO have been one of EOCA’s first seven Sustaining Members. These Sustaining Members are commited to paying at least €10,000 per year for three years on top of their membership fees, in order to finance the running of EOCA on behalf of the entire industry. By doing this, they enable EOCA to put 100% of all membership fees and fundraising monies into conservation projects around the world. This is a real Unique Selling Point for EOCA and the Association is tremendously grateful to all seven Sustaining Members. Find out more HERE
As well as providing considerable finance to EOCA, the two shows provide so much more in support. Both provide a booth free of charge at the entrance to their shows, giving EOCA excellent visibility to visitors and exhibitors alike. Both also provide rooms for meetings, features in catalogues and on websites, permission to put EOCA member stickers beside company booths, free entrance for EOCA staff and hostesses to man the stands. The EOCA logo and key messages feature on 4,000 t-shirts and on the main stage at the legendary Friday night party at OutDoor. EOCA is partners with ISPO in hosting the After Work get together for visitors to relax and mix at the end of a busy day. All of these things – and the many more things that they do – contribute hugely to the effectiveness of EOCA in working with its members from within the European outdoor industry, and – importantly – in raising awareness and attracting new members from the industry . The more members the Association has, the more money that can be put into conservation projects.
The two shows also grant permission to EOCA to fundraise from their booth during the shows, by offering gear generously provided by members in return for a donation for conservation from visitors to the show. Other than this, there is no gear for sale during the shows. To date, these fundraisers have enabled EOCA to raise a phenomenal €217,000, 100% of which has been put into vital conservation work.
Of their commitment, Stefan Reisinger, Head of OutDoor at Messe Friedrichshafen said “As a friend and partner of the outdoor industry, we are delighted to be able to support an organisation that makes a real difference and ensures that conservation remains a priority for the great wild places of the world.”
Tobias Gröber, Director of the ISPO Group said “For over 45 years, ISPO has provided a comprehensive overview of the entire range of sporting goods, athletic footwear and fashions. As an industry that depends on nature and wild landscapes, it is only right that we work closely with and support the efforts of such a dedicated and far reaching organisation as EOCA”.
EOCA is extremely grateful and thankful to these two members who have played a fundamental role in the Association’s growth and success.