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Come Together! Why events are especially important now

25 May 2022

spoga horse trade fair on site

Corona restrictions are passé, two years of distance gone. The (horse) world breathes a sigh of relief!

Now the doors are opening and shows and fairs are finally magnets for visitors again. Making attendance events safe, yet sociable and fun requires a great deal of responsibility from organizers - but also courage and creativity.

Many organizers have used the last 24 months to present themselves with contemporary concepts and to strengthen their equestrian industry with great happenings.

Events as a driving force

Christina Uetz, Event Director EQUITANA cites dealing with uncertainty as the biggest challenge of the last two years. "The imponderables associated with the pandemic have made precise planning - which is essential for our events - almost impossible. Postponing dates or canceling them altogether, as well as constantly changing and adapting concepts, has required a great deal of flexibility." At the same time, it required a great deal of understanding on all sides: "We could hardly give our exhibitors and visitors any reliable information about the exact conditions of the next event," explains Christina Uetz.

However, the company and all its employees have grown enormously from the difficult situation. "We used the time to explore new avenues, try out different formats - especially in the digital area - and learn from the experience."

According to the Equitana director, these insights, the development of each individual and the tremendous cohesion within the various teams "played a decisive role in positioning our events to meet the needs of our customers in the future."

In order to emerge from the pandemic stronger and with a tailwind, Christina Uetz would like to focus more on cooperation with other event organizers in the future. "We should see in which areas it might be worthwhile to work together more and benefit from each other." For Uezt, it is crucial to jointly send out the message of how important trade fairs are as a marketplace and engine for the respective industry, and that nothing can replace personal contact and the event experience. Even more important for organizers and their customers, however, is to be able to build on planning security again in the future.

Together for equestrian sports

Dr. Maria Näther, Director of spoga horse, can also sing a song about turbulent two pandemic years, but focuses on the positive sides of the involuntary "retreat". "Despite all the adversity, I fortunately also still see the positive sides of the retreat, during which my team and I had the peace and quiet to get to know the industry anew and, in the course of intensive discussions, to find out the needs of exhibitors and visitors even more concretely. In addition, we had the opportunity to deal with topics that had not previously been such a focus of our trade show activities. As a result, we were able to launch a series of optimizations and innovations that now make spoga horse a truly contemporary leading trade fair for the entire world of equestrian sports. This applies not only to our appearance as a modern hybrid trade fair, but also to our service portfolio." Here, according to Dr. Maria Näther, we have evolved from a pure order fair to a truly multi-faceted competence fair.

Dr. Maria Näther - Director of spoga horse

Dr. Maria Näther - Director of spoga horse

"From now on, retailers can not only shop with us, but they can be inspired and learn in many areas. We now include political topics in their relevance to equestrian sports as well as specialist topics from the everyday lives of manufacturers, service providers and specialist dealers." In addition, he said, the exhibitor circle has been significantly expanded: "We welcome everyone who earns their living with horses and what happens around them."

What does the spoga horse director hope to learn from the pandemic? "We have seen how fragile each and every one of us is, especially in times of crisis. That is why we should focus on interfaces within the industry and use synergies to strengthen the entire equestrian world through our events and our actions. Let's put competitive thinking to the back of our minds and all work together for the good of equestrian sports."