The 19th edition of Prowinter, B2B Days for Snow, Rental and Mountain Innovation, ended yesterday at the Fiera Bolzano Exhibition Center. With the 'Ski Rental Summit' the trade show underlined its character as a platform for the rental sector, the 'Startup Village' presented eight young companies with fresh ideas for winter sports. 230 exhibitors and 5,600 trade visitors as well as numerous winter sports stars used the three-day trade fair with its top-class awards as the setting for a festive end to the 2018/2019 winter season.
"The atmosphere in the exhibition halls was quite positive," says Thomas Mur, Director of Messe Bolzano. "It is always a pleasure for us to observe intensive discussions with customers at the booths. Prowinter is simply 'the' meeting place at the end of the winter sports season. To keep things that way, we have brought the most promising ideas for tomorrow's winter sports to the show with the Startup Village and, with the Ski Rental Summit, brought together the key players in the rental sector on the subject of 'rental of the future'.”
For many years Prowinter has provided the framework for the awards of the most successful athletes of the Italian Winter Sports Federation FISI, the C.S. Carabinieri and the young talents of the Energiapura Children Series. During the three days of the fair, Prowinter 2019 once attracted a lot of winter sports stars such as Dominik Paris, Dorothea Wierer and Sofia Goggia at the Prowinter Forum.
Ski Rental Summit
After the opening edition in 2018, the second Ski Rental Summit in 2019 attracted around 90 players from the rental sector to the Meeting & Event Center Südtirol Alto Adige. Prowinter Lab, the rental observatory initiated by Prowinter, exclusively presented the current figures for the sector and outlined the continuing, albeit somewhat slower, growth of the sector compared to the previous year. In 2018/2019 a total of 861 active rental companies were counted, 22% of which are located in South Tyrol; 48% of skiers in Italy equip themselves in rental shops.
The presentation of the figures was followed by two round tables between rental companies, manufacturers and winter tourism experts on safety & training and the future of rental. "Rental shops and manufacturers must and will talk much more to each other - for the benefit of the end user, who depends on the quality of our products combined with your competence," Corrado Macciò, President Pool Sci Italia and General Manager Head Italy, summed up in his response to a rental shop owner from the Aosta Valley.
The Ski Rental Summit 2019 can boast two concrete results: Over the next few weeks, with the support of Assosport, a working group will be set up to optimise cooperation between manufacturers and rental shops of winter sports equipment; at the same time, a 'Decalogue' will be drawn up for rental customers, involving the participants in the Summit, with the aim of raising awareness of quality criteria in rental.
In its own Startup Village, Prowinter, in cooperation with Whataventure, Brennercom and Plank, offered eight selected young companies from all over Europe the opportunity to present their innovative products and services for winter sports. After two pitch sessions, a prominent jury of eight selected the Belgian startup Snowvision with its tailor-made ski goggles for eyeglass wearers as the winner. The second winner, Bobsla from Austria with an electric sled, was chosen by the public this year. Both winners can look forward to a stand at Prowinter 2020.
Christian Thaler, CEO Wintersteiger Italy and long-time exhibitor, was satisfied with the course of Prowinter 2019: "For us the participation at the fair was positive! There was a little less activity than last year after the record season at that time, but the quality of the visitors was right for us this year. Our large new stand was definitely worthwhile, the customers had plenty of space to test our machines".
Hansruedi Ammann from Mountain Slope also drew a positive balance of his second participation in Prowinter: "Our stand was perfectly positioned for us, we had a lot of movement and interested visitors at the stand, were able to make great new contacts and are sure that there will be a lot more to come in the aftersales business".
The next edition of Prowinter will take place from 7-9 April 2020 at Fiera Bolzano Exhibition Center.
Fiera Bolzano interviewed Peter Runggaldier, former alpine skier, winner of a World Championship medal and a SuperG Globe, and now Race Director of Südtirol Sellaronda Hero.
Prowinter added the bike sector to the exhibition offerings and the contents of the trade show. You are a former skier and you created and now organise one of the most interesting mountainbike races. What do these two sports have in common?
P.R.: Mountainbiking and skiing have various things in common. Since my childhood, bicycles have been a way to have fun but also to keep me in shape. Riding down a hill is quite similar to downhill skiing, both for the lines and the fast reaction you need to avoid crashes because of the high speed. Another aspect that both sports have in common is the contact with nature.
How is this synergy applied in the sports industry?
P.R.: Athletes are motivated to buy the best equipment in order to improve their performance by one thing only: their passion. Skiing and mountainbiking are highly technical sports, and who can afford it spends whatever he needs to.
How do you see the future of this combination? How could these two sectors be more integrated?
P.R.: We certainly need to continue with a good communication, highlighting the fact that activities like biking and skiing improve people’s mental and physical wellbeing.
How must or can the mountains be prepared for this?
P.R.: The mountainbike sector needs the necessary infrastructure, just like we have for skiing. We need exclusive bike routes, separated from trekking paths, which connect villages and valleys, plus bike parks and trainings camps. The number of bikers is rising, and the more it rises the more we will be able to invest in facilities to encourage further growth.
Press releases from exhibitors and partners
Combine your visit to PROWINTER 2017 with a trip to the Val Senales Glacier. The resort, which is the only glacier ski area in South Tyrol, offers perfect conditions in spring and can be easily reached by car from Bolzano in 50 minutes. The glacier cable car takes you straight to the slopes at 3,212 metres above sea level in just six minutes. Thanks to the partnership between PROWINTER and Val Senales, you can enjoy a host of benefits!
Benefit 1: Receive an exclusive 50 per cent discount on your ski pass with your exhibition ticket.
Benefit 2: Try out the BEST OF TEST 2017 skis free of charge on the glacier. The awards are presented at PROWINTER.
Benefit 3: Attend the FISI Grand Finale 2017 and meet Italy’s best skiers. Ski alongside Peter Fill, Dominik Paris & co. on the glacier from 21–23 April.
Benefit 4: Watch the start-up products presented at PROWINTER in action at the Innovation Day on the Val Senales Glacier on Saturday, 22 April.
To find out more, please visit www.schnalstal.com
Photo: Alex Filz