Based in Bolzano in South Tyrol, the Oberalp Group, with its brands Salewa, Dynafit, Wild Country, Evolv and Pomoca, is exploring new forms of communication by organising the Oberalp Convention as a digital event, open to all, including consumers, for the first time as the Group wants to reach end-users. It was first held in 2017 and has been held six times in Alpbach in the Tyrolean Alps, Austria with over 500 international visitors attending. The Oberalp Virtual Convention is an ambitious project that goes far beyond talks and presentations.
With simultaneous translations, 360° showroom tours and live chats, the live event starts on 20 May 2020 at 17:00 CET. The main theme of the event is ‘Tomorrow’s Mountain Sports Pillars’ and the virtual gathering kicks off with a one-hour live opening by the brand managers from each individual brand. As the convention is for an international audience, twenty representatives from the Oberalp brands will be available around the clock for 48 hours, so people in all time zones can have questions answered.
The four specialist brands will be inviting visitors to explore their virtual brand worlds, which are accessed by one simple click. Online participants will have access to 360° tours through the showroom collections and product managers will be presenting new products and innovations for Summer 2021 in on-demand videos. Workbooks and lookbooks will all be available to download, while further product details can be viewed in online product tutorials. Directly following the grand opening, brand and product experts will be on hand to respond to individuals’ questions in chat rooms.
Twenty representatives from the Oberalp brands will be available around the clock for 48 hours via virtual contact. This means that partners from all time zones will have their questions answered. The one-hour virtual conference opening will focus on the central theme, ‘Tomorrow’s Mountain Sports Pillars’ by drawing on recent social and market analysis. Brand representatives will be discussing the future of mountain sports after Covid-19 and presenting the pillars that will be important for future development.
In addition to company information and statements, the brand managers will also be outlining specific measures. Dynafit is presenting, among other things, an initiative to boost retailer sales in the current period with the campaign ‘Run for your local dealer’. For Summer 21, Salewa is focussing on its ‘Alpine Hemp’ collection and making a long-term commitment to a local circular economy aimed at eliminating waste and using natural resources to make sustainable products. To this end, the company is investing 10% of turnover from sales of its Alpine Hemp apparel into local cultivation of the natural fibre plus regional production and manufacturing of products.
Christoph Engl, CEO Oberalp Group, said, “We are exploring new paths and pioneering new ways with our virtual convention, as the first mountain sports company to deliver a purely virtual product and collection presentation. This important step demonstrates our continuity and commitment, despite these turbulent times, and also makes our new Summer 2021 collections clear and transparent to end consumers. We are enabling our partners around the world to look to the future in this challenging economic period and to plan ahead and prepare for business in the coming year, despite the current restrictions.
“The Oberalp Virtual Convention is one of a number of measures that we were able to organise at short notice. For Salewa and Dynafit, we are extending around 80 per cent of items in this year’s summer collection into the following year. As such, we have decided to offer a very high percentage of carry-over products for 2021. This will protect and increase in value the investment that retailers have made in our Summer 2020 collections for both brands.”
The new Oberalp Group Sustainability Report 2019 will also be released at the Virtual Convention. The family-owned company presents its progress and achievements on a yearly basis in its sustainability report, ‘Contribute’. Over its 90 pages, the report documents the group’s sustainability strategy and presents all its efforts in a transparent manner. Members of the CSR Team will also be present at the convention and available by live chat to answer questions relating to social responsibility and environmental protection.
This year, in addition to the sustainability report, the group is publishing for the first time a booklet for retailers and consumers, with practical tips showing how they can also contribute to sustainability.