Prowinter 2018 - Steep slopes and high spirits
Yesterday Prowinter, the B2B Days for Snow, Rental and Mountain Innovation have officially closed their doors for the 18th time. This past edition has been three days full of encounters, exchange and, most of all, celebration to conclude a successful season. Thanks to a long and snowy winter, spirits among the 240 exhibitors and close to 6,000 specialized visitors were high, business was humming and the visit of slalom star Henrik Kristoffersen and Italian downhill-queen Sofia Goggia was only the icing on top of the cake.
Prowinter is traditionally the final appointment of the season for athletes, entrepreneurs, rentals, shop owners, ski instructors and everybody who lives and breathes winter sports.
“In this positive business environment following such a good season, we were able to generate new impetus with innovative formats like the Ski Rental Summit as well as the third edition of the Prowinter Startup Village. We will continue to focus on creating a dialog between all market players, to generate further potential for growth in the winter sports industry”, explains Thomas Mur, CEO of Fiera Bolzano Exhibition Center.
At the Prowinter Forum, the main stage inside the exhibition, not only FISI’s world renowned athletes and the Energiapura Children Series’ up-and-coming talents were awarded for their outstanding performances, but also South Tyrol’s most recent ski and snowboard instructors were invited to the stage to receive their diplomas. The 11th general meeting of the South and North Tyrolean Ropeway Association attracted numerous ropeway operators as well as producers to Prowinter.
Towards a sustainable concept of “rental”
At the heart of Prowinter stands the concept of winter and mountain sports rental, which is what makes this B2B show unique in all of Europe. To analyze and accompany the strikingly swift development of this booming industry, Prowinter Lab was founded – an independent observatory collecting data from Italy’s rental sector. Apart from doing research, in 2018 the initiative also gave life to the First Ski Rental Summit, an event aimed to promote a conscientious collaboration between all players involved, which is vital to ensure a safe and positive experience to all guests and winter sport lovers. The first edition that took place during Prowinter brought together over 80 rental shop owners, salespersons, technicians, ski instructors, producers of sports equipment and representatives from different ski resorts and touristic associations, who seized the opportunity to discuss hot topics like safety, quality and training in the rental business.
New ideas for the future of mountain sports and tourism
The third Prowinter Startup Village once again transformed Prowinter into a platform for fledging companies from all over Europe to present their innovative products for the future of mountain sports and tourism. The focus of this year’s Startup Village, powered by the Ecosystem Sports & Alpine Safety by IDM Südtirol Alto Adige, Brennercom and Plank, was the topic of safety. In fact, the first round of pitching session was dominated by the company Hallas from Iceland, who were able to convince the expert jury with their portable lightweight stretcher, suitable for rescuing someone in need even in the trickiest of circumstances. The second round was won by German Bluebird Mountain and their “Powder Buddy”, a foldable drone that in case of an avalanche emergency will help locate its owner. Both winners were awarded a free booth at Prowinter 2019.
The place to be for the mountain business in Italy
Remigio Fellet, sales representatives for Reichmann in Italy, treasures Prowinter as a platform for the Italian winter sports sector: “This B2B show is very important to us, because it marks the ending of another winter season and everybody interested in rental and ski service comes to Fiera Bolzano. This past season was a very good one and you can feel it all around.”
Alessandro Marrese, Key Account Manager at Eyewear by Bushnell confirms this positive trend: “We like Prowinter and it is important for us to be present, but we also do good business here. We had a lot of clients coming by and noted the increase in orders, which is surely also due to the excellent season behind us. In general it has been a beautiful edition, we are sure to participate again.”
Prowinter is not only the place to be for everybody working in the winter and mountain sports industry, but also an excellent opportunity to think back, take stock, and look in the future together. The next edition of Prowinter is going to take place from April 9th to 11th in Bolzano (Italy).