IWA primed for anniversary edition

For the 2024 version of IWA, the show has a new Exhibition Director, in the shape of Stefanie Leege, Gun Trade World spoke with Stefanie on the eve of the show to find out how she’s looking to make her mark on the 50th anniversary of the event.

Stefanie Leege has been the new exhibition director for the IWA OutdoorClassics, the world’s leading exhibition for the hunting and target sports industry, since the beginning of 2024. Here, she provides insights into her new sphere of responsibilities and what we can expect from IWA OutdoorClassics moving forwards. 


GTW: Stefanie, just in time for its 50th anniversary, you are taking on the responsibility for one of the most important global exhibitions in our sector. What do you think needs to happen to ensure the lasting success of the event? 

Stefanie Leege: Firstly, I am very pleased by the trust placed in me in my new role. IWA OutdoorClassics is a highly international trade fair steeped in tradition that emerged out of the industry itself. Accordingly, we have an extremely loyal exhibitor and visitor base which has exacting requirements. Following the difficult years of the pandemic, our job now is to respond very precisely and sensitively to the preferences and concerns of our customers. I personally would like to make use of the anniversary to listen. We want to understand even better what’s happening on the market and what the issues of concern are. This is the only way for my team and me to further develop the IWA OutdoorClassics to make it more customer centric. 


GTW: What strengths do you bring to your new role, and how important are they in your new sphere of responsibilities?

Leege: IWA OutdoorClassics recently experienced what was a challenging phase in its long history. We need to continue to motivate the sector to use the IWA platform to form alliances and opinions in personal exchanges, to be able to respond together to market challenges. And I am very happy to be this motivator, as a visible symbol of the role of the IWA in relation to manufacturers and retailers. Thanks to my longstanding close contact to our customers and the sector, I am aware of its concerns and needs, and bring hands-on experience as well as a strong, solution-driven approach. In future I would like to leverage these contacts and my strengths to reinforce the positioning of IWA OutdoorClassics and connect our exhibitors, visitors and media representatives with one another to the best possible extent. I have the clear vision that our market will in future continue to build on these personal relationships between industry and our specialised retailers, and we will carry on promoting this with the IWA. 


GTW: When it comes to the evolution of IWA OutdoorClassics, what can the market look forward to under your leadership?

Leege: For many market players from all around the world, IWA is the most important date in their calendar. Not just for sales, but above all for market strategies and trend research, and especially for strengthening networks. And this is precisely where we want to start: In future, IWA OutdoorClassics should offer even more opportunities for making personal contacts efficiently. But naturally, we are also always going to continue to optimize our second core activity, i.e., the presentation of innovations and products and their live testing and handling. In this context, our special shows and supporting programme features for the forthcoming IWA OutdoorClassics 2024 are just the beginning.


Programme highlights overview of IWA OutdoorClassics 2024


SHOOTING Experts' Stage

New name for a proven concept for knowledge transfer and networking: International experts meet manufacturers and specialist retailers on and around this stage. The extensive stage program as well as some Meet & Greet with our special guests can be discovered in the program schedule.

AIRSOFT Shooting Range

Once again, well-known manufacturers of airsoft guns will be making it possible to test them in their AIRSOFT Shooting Ranges in terms of handling and accuracy and to exchange technical information with the contact persons. A new addition is a special kind of parcour experience, presented by the airsoft heroes.

BLADE Demo Area

Strengthen your own network through exchange and discover a variety of knives: The BLADE Demo Area in Hall 5 is once again the hotspot for all knife experts and enthusiasts. The varied stage program will focus on topics such as the future of the knife/axe/saw segment.

Award ceremony IWA Knife Award 2024

The IWA Knife Award will be presented by the international jury in the categories "Innovation" and "Classic". This time, visitors will choose their favourite from the special category "THE knife from 50 years".

16:00 - 16:30

IWA Future Party

After 50 years of IWA OutdoorClassics, we are diving into the exciting world of tomorrow! Look forward to futuristic vibes, live music, delicious food, beer & drinks and many more highlights - the future starts here!

18:00 - 2:00

OPTICS Testing Area

The OPTICS Testing Area in Hall 4 will focus on product testing of night vision and daylight optics under the most realistic conditions possible. You can also look forward to new elements such as a professionally supervised test parkour or meeting areas with catering and a lounge zone.

Newcomer Area

Meet first-time exhibitors, start-ups and young companies from all over the world in the Newcomer Area. Innovative products, solutions, ideas and services from the target sports, hunting, tactical and law enforcement sectors await you in this high-quality joint area.

IWA Job Center

Are you on the hunt for a new job or a new professional challenge? Then don't miss the IWA Job Center in Hall 1 near the SHOOTING Experts' Stage. Take a look at the job offers and take the opportunity to get a first impression of the company on site.

W: www.iwa.info