The carabiner snaps shut with an audible click. The climber, equipped with gear of every sort, methodically makes his way up the tree in the foyer of the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Center. A tree in the foyer? That’s something you can only get at the Vertical Pro, the trade fair for rope access technology, sport climbing, high rope courses, climbing forests, rescue and professional work at height. The event took place on November 25 and 26 and attracted a total of 2103 vertical professionals. The focus of the trade event was the exchange between climbers from a variety of different industries as well as operators of climbing gyms and high rope courses. “For the second time, Vertical Pro has demonstrated how important it is as a venue for professionals from the various related sectors,” says Messe Friedrichshafen Managing Director Klaus Wellmann, summing up.
Whether swinging a few meters under the vaulted roof of a high rope course, eagerly following rescue maneuvers of the mountain rescue team, or setting challenging routes at the boulder wall: “You can feel how much heart and soul the participants in these industries put into their work. The positive feedback from the participating companies shows that the event has hit the bull’s-eye with its concept and offers a good basis for further development,” says Project Manager Annika Raff, who is pleased that the Vertical Pro has seen an increase in the number of visitors compared to the premiere. From ninja courses to sustainability: In addition to product presentations, the well-attended supporting program with presentations, seminars, and demonstrations in the Demo and Test Areas offered many opportunities for exchanging knowledge on a professional level as well as numerous stations where visitors could get active themselves. “People were trying things out, asking questions, obtaining information, and networking – and that’s what the Vertical Pro is all about,” the trade fair expert explains.
“This is where the true ‘niche nerds’ meet”
The exhibiting companies were also satisfied: “For us, the Vertical Pro is one of the most important trade shows because it provides a good platform for sharing the various applications and techniques necessary for moving in the vertical world. Bringing the representatives of all these application areas together under one roof is a unique achievement. We are pleased with the many lively and international meetings as well as the sophisticated level at which the visitors engaged in dialogue about the products. This is the where the true ‘niche nerds’ meet, the people with whom you can talk shop about product details in a lively manner – and that’s what is really fun,” says Vitus Wuhrer, Managing Director of Edelrid, giving his opinion on the event. Christoph Driever, Country Manager for Petzl Deutschland GmbH, also has positive things to say about the fair: “The Vertical Pro is really important to us, as we were ultimately also involved in drafting a concept for a fair focusing on verticality. We of course did not have such high expectations last year at the start of the fair, but this year’s launch was terrific, and we have received great feedback here since the start of the fair.”
The Vertical Pro partners are also convinced of the trade fair’s success. Elias Hitthaler, Head of Sports Development/Climbing Installations for the German Alpine Association (DAV), explains: “Once again, the atmosphere was exceptional. The trade fair is developing into an annual ‘class reunion’ for the industry. This is demonstrated by a great increase in the volume of visitors, with a large number of international guests in particular. With its mixture of exhibition and a colorful lecture program, the trade show concept was a complete success again.” Philipp Strasser, Chairman of the Board of the International Adventure Park Association (IAPA), adds: “We hosted our annual general meeting here, which was really great for us. With the presence of the most engaged climbing enthusiasts, the operators of climbing installations, and the customers, this is where exchange takes place. Our presentations were almost all completely booked, and we seem to have chosen just the right topics.” Sven Drangeid, Head of the Professional and Interest Association for Rope-Assisted Working Techniques (FISAT), also adds: “The response to the technical presentation on stage was very positive. You could tell that people were in a good mood, especially when compared to last year. We were pleased that the topic aroused interest and that the audience remained until the end of the presentation. For the future, we think that a greater mix of the various interest groups would make sense to stimulate even more exchange between the different sectors.”
The third Vertical Pro will take place in Friedrichshafen on November 24 and 25, 2023.