The OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD is one of the leading international design awards for companies in the outdoor industry. New and innovative products are assessed and awarded by an independent panel of expert judges.

Due to its transparent evaluation process, the award provides independent confirmation of a product's high level of innovation, functionality, quality and/or sustainability. In addition, it functions as an influential decision-making aid for consumers when making a purchase. This makes the award a powerful marketing tool for manufacturers and retailers alike.

This year sees the 13th edition of the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD.

Prize winners benefit from comprehensive communication services during and after the OutDoor show – measures that will raise the profile of your product in the industry, the media and in retail and consumer circles. Retailers receive a compact overview of relevant innovations in the market, media representatives a comprehensive press kit including information about all awarded products and consumers a neutral purchasing recommendation.

The award winning products are displayed in an exclusive exhibition area throughout the complete duration of the trade show.  Awarded companies not exhibiting at the OutDoor are still included and get to highlight their innovation in a prominent spot. Award winning exhibitors receive a second display opportunity (their main stand location will be communicated on the display).

The award ceremony takes place on the first trade show day. This is followed by an industry get-together for all prizewinners to celebrate, exchange ideas and network.

Immediately after the winners are announced at the prize-giving ceremony, the online Award Gallery goes live. All winning products and companies will be permanently on display here and can be found 365 days a year.

In addition, award winning products may be advertised using the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD 2018 logo*. Messe Friedrichshafen provides the logo as a graphic file to be used for advertising and marketing materials (e.g. posters, flyers, hangtags, display material etc.) as long as the product is on the market.

* (aside from an objection by Messe Friedrichshafen for good cause)

The OutDoor INDUSTRY Award is open to both exhibitors and non-exhibitors at the OutDoor show. All manufacturers and developers of outdoor-related products are entitled to enter.
More information here: PRODUCT CATEGORIES

Entries should display an exceptional degree of innovation and quality, and reflect trends influencing the market. There is no limit to the number of products each entrant may submit in the different categories. However, a product may only be entered for one category, i.e. not for multiple categories.

Start-ups applying for an award, must not be more than three years old (proof of business registration or equivalent documentation). Entries may only be submitted in the Start-up category. More information here: START-UP

Products entered may not have been on sale for longer than two years prior to the date of the official prize-giving ceremony. Entries that do not fulfil this criterion will be excluded from the award, including retrospectively.

The panel of judges requires fully functioning original products. Larger exhibits may be presented as scale models or through high-quality large-format photos showing important product details.

Prototypes must be clearly labelled as such. If it is only possible to use a product in a restricted manner, this must be clearly indicated.

The entrant is responsible for ensuring that their entry does not violate any patent rights or other third-party property rights.

Entry Conditions

Start-ups and student projects from research institutes and universities can apply for a Start-up Award.


Application requirements:

  1. The start-up must not be more than three years old as of the judges’ panel meeting (include a copy of business registration or an equivalent documentation).
  2. Students must provide their enrolment certificate.
  3. The products must not have been exhibited at the OutDoor show before.
  4. Applications for a Start-up Award may only be submitted in the start-up category.

All products entered for this category must also meet the requirements of “WHO CAN ENTER?” in order to take part. 

IMPORTANT: Product submissions in the Start-up category are only possible, once the the copy of business registration or equivalent document has been approved by Messe Friedrichshafen. This means, that Start-up companies should provide register and provide a document as early as possible. Latest, however, on the day before the final submission deadline (see DATES & DEADLINES) to ensure enough time for Messe Friedrichshafen to approve the start-up status.

The selection process for the start-up category is identical to the selection process for the other categories: The judges will decide which entries continue on to the final during a preliminary selection round (see EVALUATION PROCESS). The chosen start-ups only submit their products for the final judges' panel meeting after this.

Start-ups can enter products for the reduced exhibitor registration fee of €140 (early registration) respectively €190.


Next to the regular benefits for award winners (see WHAT BENEFITS DOES AN AWARD OFFER?), Start-up Award winners will receive an additional communication package worth approx. €1.500. This includes a web banner placement on the OutDoor website as well as a feature on our social media channels (files and content need to be provided by the Award winner). With these additional benefits, we aim to specifically support young companies and offer them a relevant platform to present their innovations.

NEW in 2018

In addition to the advertising package, start-up category winners have the opportunity to present their product in a short presentation directly to trade visitors and journalists before the award ceremony on the OutDoor Stage in Foyer East.

Start-Up University

As part of this year's OutDoor Conferences program, the first “Start-Up University” will be held on the first trade show day. It offers new outdoor companies information about financing, networking, industry cooperation and best practice sharing in a concise seminar and workshop program. The agenda will be communicated in time prior to the trade show.

Tops (first to third layer of clothing), trousers (first to third layer of clothing), headgear, belts, gloves etc.
Boots and shoes (leisure, trekking, hiking, alpine, climbing, water, trail running, slippers/ hut shoes/ bivouac shoes), socks, gaiters etc.
Trail running/ running shoes, running jackets, running vests, running shirts, running pants/ shorts, running accessories, etc.
Backpacks / Bags / Travel luggage
Backpacks (from daypacks to trekking backpacks), travel luggage, trolley suitcases, wash bags, shoulder bags, waistpacks, mobile phone cases, notebook cases, camera bags, hydration systems, child-carrying systems, transport containers etc.
Climbing equipment
Helmets, ropes, harnesses, belay and abseil devices, carabiners, quickdraws, via ferrata sets, ice tools (axes, crampons etc.), trekking poles, slacklines etc.
Camping equipment
Tents (geodesic, tunnel, dome, tepees), tarps, lamps, lanterns, camping stoves, outdoor furniture, outdoor kitchens etc.
Sleeping bags/Sleeping mats
Sleeping bags, camping mats, thermal air mattresses, mattresses, bivouacs, blankets, liners, pillows etc.
Water sports
Canadian canoes, kayaks, dinghies, paddles, water sport apparel, life jackets, buoyancy aids, repair and maintenance, water sports transport etc.
Knives, tools, sunglasses, watches, pulse monitors, binoculars, torches and head lights, electronic equipment, batteries and chargers, material cleaning products, sanitary products, first aid, food and ingredients, drinks and drink powders, travel equipment, etc.
Material innovation
New materials, fibres, fabrics, materials, polymers, composites, coatings etc.
Sustainable innovation
Products that have particularly environmentally friendly and sustainable characteristics, in addition to their functional aspects.
Concepts & services
Digital content/ software applications, concept ideas, communication (e.g. advertising campaigns), intercommunication, etc.
Products from start-ups, which are not more than three years old (as of the judges' panel meeting).

The evaluation process consists of a digital pre-selection round and a judges' panel meeting (final).
During the pre-selection round, twelve international experts assess all the entries using a points system. The best entries continue into the final.

The members of the panel have different areas of expertise. Each product is assessed in the pre-selection round by at least four experts according to the following points system:

0 = Product does not score in any evaluation criterion
1 = Product scores in one evaluation criterion, but not above average
2 = Product scores in more than one evaluation criterion, but not above average
3 = Product demonstrates outstanding characteristics in one evaluation criterion
4 = Product demonstrates outstanding characteristics in more than one evaluation criterion
5 = Product convinces all along the line

X = Abstention due to conflict of interests and/or partiality


Products with an average score of at least 2.5 points continue on to the final. Finalists send in their products for assessment so that an expert panel of six judges can test and assess each product carefully during the panel meeting.

The judges for the final were involved in the digital pre-selection round, so they already have an overview of the products. The judges' panel meeting comprises two days of testing and decision-making. The six judges decide together which products will receive an award.

The OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD is based on a high degree of transparency, credibility and impartiality. All entries are evaluated in a serious and objective manner. Evaluating the products is solely the responsibility of the six panel members.

There does not have to be an award for every category. The awards are based on qualitative objectives, not quantitative.

Once the six judges have decided on the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD winners, the GOLD Awards are selected from this group. Each member of the panel may nominate up to two products for a GOLD Award from the already selected group of Award winners. However, the final decision for a GOLD Award is made by the entire panel of judges.

Once the final decisions have been made, the panel agrees on a statement for each product explaining why it was chosen.

Degree of innovation
Is it a completely new product or does it add new qualities to an existing product? Does it have the potential to set new trends?
Does the product fulfil all requirements regarding handling, user-friendliness, safety and stability?
How appealing are the product’s visual appearance, colour and form?
Choice of materials
How does the product feel to the touch? What about the materials used, material costs, haptic qualities and durability?
What is the relationship between form and function? Do all materials demonstrate high-quality workmanship?
Are the materials used, material costs, production techniques and energy use proportionate to the product’s benefits?
Price-performance ratio
What is the relationship between price, product performance and customer requirements?
Weight/ pack size
How small or light is the product? Is this proportionate to the product’s intended application?
Added value
Does the product demonstrate an additional benefit that goes beyond its practical purpose?
February 1st, 2018
Starting date for registration
From now on, participants can register, set up and submit products online.
May 7th, 2018, 23:59 CET
Closing date for registration
All products must be submitted online by the deadline.
May 8th - 14th, 2018
Digital pre-selection
All products entered in time are evaluated by an international expert panel made up of twelve judges.
May 15th, 2018
Results of the pre-selection round announced
The finalists are announced and requested to send in their products.
May 15th - 25th, 2018
Finalists send in products
Please send products for the final to our logistics partners Schenker by May 25th the latest (see LOGISTICS).
May 29th - 30th, 2018
Judges' panel meeting
Six expert judges evaluate the final entries, select the most outstanding products and decide on the award winners.
June 1st, 2018
Entrants are informed of the judges’ decisions
Please note: News of the award winners must not be publicised before the award ceremony.
June 17th, 2018, 17:30 CET
Award ceremony
OutDoor, Messe Friedrichshafen, Foyer East
June 17th - 20th, 2018
Winning products on display
OutDoor, Messe Friedrichshafen, Foyer East


The deadlines are final. No extra time has been planned. There will be no extensions, whatever the reason for late entry might be.

Products submitted late for the digital pre-selection round will not be considered. Products submitted late for the judges' panel meeting will not be considered and therefore have no chance of receiving an award.

Each entry is subject to an entry fee. The entry fees detailed below are net prices. VAT may apply.

The detailed prices are all-inclusive. There are no hidden fees, for example if a product were to win an award. Only logistics costs for shipping finalist products for the judges' panel meeting are not included in the entry fee and must be arranged individually by the participant.


Special conditions for early submissions up to April 11th, 2018 (23:59 CET):

für (co-)exhibitors at OutDoor 2018140 €
for start-ups*140 €
for non-exhibitors430 €

The date of electronic confirmation of a product entry is used to determine special conditions for early submissions (only valid for finally submitted products).

For entries received from April 12th to May 7th, 2018, the regular submission fee applies:

für (co-)exhibitors at OutDoor 2018190 €
for start-ups*190 €
for non-exhibitors580 €

Confirmation of registration from Messe Friedrichshafen is used to determine who are exhibitors and co-exhibitors at OutDoor 2018. If a stand registration is cancelled, the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD submission fee increases.

*Young companies, that have been founded no longer than three years ago (confirmation of business registration or similar required upon registration), can submit their products in the start-up category and will benefit from the same reduced entry fees as (co-)exhibitors. Only valid, once the start-up status has been approved and confirmed by Messe Friedrichshafen (see START-UP for details). 



For exhibitors, the submission fee is payable upon receipt of the invoice from Messe Friedrichshafen. The submission fee may either be paid by bank transfer or credit card.

Non-exhibitors and start-ups must pay by credit card or PayPal upon submission of their product. Only after payment has been cleared, the product will be entered successfully for the award.



If an award entry has to be cancelled, this may be submitted in writing by the closing date for registration on May 7th, 2018. There is no charge. 
For entries cancelled from May 8th - 14th, 2018, we charge 50% of the entry fee. Later cancellations mean forfeiting the full entry fee. 

Sending in products only applies to entries that have been chosen in the pre-selection round to continue as finalists. Please wait for confirmation of pre-selection on May 15th, 2018 before sending in your product.

Please send your items delivered duty paid (DDP). Costs for transport, insurance and customs duties for import and export must be borne by the participant.

The participant is liable for any damage, loss or additional costs. We recommend every participant to take out transport insurance to cover any possible damage to entries during transport. For goods with a value over € 1,000, we can arrange a Temporary Importation Under Bond (TIB).

The delivery address for finalist products, logistics documents and contact person are only communicated to finalists.

For a finalist product to be submitted, we assume that transport has been organised.
There are different logistic options to choose from:

Option 1 – No return required
The submitted product will become the property of Messe Friedrichshafen after the award competition and will be donated or disposed of appropriately.

Option 2 – Storage and pick up of the product during the trade show

Products which do not win an award are stored after the judges' panel meeting.
Pick up will be possible throughout the duration of the trade show from the Schenker office (by the entrance West, opposite Hall A1). Please make sure to bring a document for identification (e.g. business card or ID) when picking up your product.

Individual logistics solutions (e.g. return shipment of your product) may be arranged upon request. Please contact our logistics partner DB Schenker directly - contact person Thomas Liedtke.

Following the judges' panel meeting, all prize-winning products are stored free of charge for the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD display. They will be available for collection once the trade show has finished – on June 20th, 2018, from 17:00 at the award exhibition in Foyer East.

The official OutDoor INDUSTRY Award prize-giving ceremony will be held at 17:30 on Sunday, June 17th, 2018, in Foyer East, during the OutDoor in Friedrichshafen.

It's followed by an industry get-together for all OutDoor prizewinners to celebrate, exchange ideas and network.

All prize-winning products will be on display in Foyer East during the complete duration of the trade show. The special display is open to industry visitors from around the world as well as national and international press and media representatives.

  • Product name
  • Which category is the product entered in?
  • Who is the manufacturer? Which country do they come from?
  • Manufacturer’s website


The product description must be in English - a German version is optional.

  • Descriptive product title with max. 70 characters
  • Product description with max. 700 characters
  • The quicker the panel understands the unique features of your product, the greater its chance of winning. Focus on the unique features of your product. Describe your product's USPs in short. Bullet points are OK. Avoid using marketing phrases.
  • Recommended Retail Price
  • Weight/ Pack size
    Information regarding price, weight and pack size are intended to help the panel make their decision. Should your product win an award this information will not be publicized.


Here you can upload two photos of your product and add a video link (optional).

  • Please consider, that the judges need to evaluate over 300 submissions in the digital pre-selection round, so product photos and a video can be essential to help the judges quickly get a clear image of your product and its main features.
  • The photos may be uploaded as JPG, PNG or TIF files. We recommend using a full HD resolution. Your file should have at least 800 x 600 or 600 x 800 pixels.
  • The video can be a vital tool to give more insight into product details and outline unique features that require in-depth explanation. Keep it at a maximum length of three minutes and provide all information in English - use subtitles where applicable.

  • This section gives you an additional opportunity to briefly explain your product’s outstanding features with regards to the evaluation criteria. Please fill out at least three criteria.

  • Please provide the invoice address and VAT identification number for companies domiciled in the European Union.
  • Are you an exhibitor at the OutDoor?


Please select an option for what should happen to your product if it is selected as a finalist.

  • No return required: You do not want your product returned after the judges' panel meeting
  • Storage and pick up of the products during the trade show – Products which do not win an award can be picked up from the Schenker office (by the entrance west, opposite Hall A1) during regular opening hours on all trade show days. Please make sure to bring a document for identification (e.g. business card or ID) when picking up your product. Awarded products can be picked up directly from the award exhibition area at the end of the last trade show day.
  • Individual logistics solutions (e.g. shipping of your product) may be arranged upon request. Please contact Thomas Liedtke from Schenker.


Review the information you have entered about your product. You may, then

  • submit your entry
  • save as draft


Non-Exhibitors and start-up participants need to enter their credit card details or a PayPal account to finally submit a product.       


Once you have entered your product, you will receive confirmation sent to the email address you provided. This confirmation will also provide details of your Entry ID (a sequential number) which is automatically allocated to every entry.

This number is important. It allows both us and our logistics partner, Schenker, to identify your product. Please use the number on all packages sent in. Please quote your Entry ID in all correspondence whether by email or by telephone.

Example: Entry ID: OD18- 001-0213
OD18 = OutDoor INDUSTRY Award 2018
001 =Category 1
0213 =Sequential number of all entries

Naturally, the judges base their decisions on the quality of a product. However, it makes sense to present your product in the best possible light by getting your entry right. Taking these 5 tips into account will help raise the chances for a successful submission.


  • Choose the product carefully. Is it innovative? Is it truly unique? Does it meet all the assessment criteria for an award (see EVALUATION CRITERIA)?

  • Details matter: be sure to include all of the important product information such as weight, size or packaging dimensions.

  • Approach your entry like a sales pitch: the expert judging panel will be reviewing several hundred entries – so restrict yourself to a short but powerful text. Make sure that the judges can quickly grasp your product’s special qualities. Avoid marketing phrases when describing the product.

  • A picture says more than a thousand words: you can upload up to two photos for each product entered. Use this opportunity to display your product’s unique qualities.

  • Get things moving! We recommend that you also make use of the optional video upload – particularly for products that need to be explained more in-depth. Instead of a professional marketing video, it’s better to use an authentic clip – e.g. a short statement from the product manager. That has far more impact and will help the judging panel to quickly grasp the product’s special features. (maximum video length: 3 minutes).


If you submitted a product for the award in the past years, then you will be able to enter using your existing username and password. If you have forgotten your username or your password, you can request that it is sent to you via email. The closing date for registration is May 7th, 2018, 23:59 CET.


Contact AWARD

Julian Pfeiffer Project Coordinator Award
+49 7541 708 382
+49 7541 708 2382