IWA OutdoorClassics 2023 – From March 2 to 5, 2023: all info about the exhibitors and the new supporting program

In its first edition after the pandemic, IWA OutdoorClassics, the world's leading trade fair for hunting, shooting sports, outdoor activities as well as for civil security, is about to undergo a small revolution: with no less than three new special exhibition areas and a fresh community format, the trade fair will be upgraded in terms of content. At the same time, new meeting rooms are being created for visitors, exhibitors and media representatives. In this way, IWA OutdoorClassics is keeping its finger on the pulse and bolstering the appeal of the trade fair experience for all participants and trade visitors. A first glimpse of the new elements of IWA OutdoorClassics 2023 makes it all the more exciting. It all starts on March 2, 2023, at the Exhibition Center Nuremberg. Tickets are already available online on presentation of a valid proof of trade visitor status.

Focus on policies: the IWA Stage program

At IWA OutdoorClassics 2023, top-quality speakers will once again give lectures on the IWA Stage on current topics affecting the industry. This year, the focus will be on gun legislation and the activities of international interest groups such as WFSA. 

Aggravation, prohibition, mistrust. The policies situation regarding legal gun ownership in Germany is escalating further in the lead-up to IWA OutdoorClassics. At an EU level, too, policy developments remain tense: a possible ban on lead in ammunition and the potential revisions to the import, export and transit of firearms and ammunition based on the submitted EU Firearms Regulation (EU 258/2012) continue to provide international institutions and associations with grounds for discussion. The topicality of these themes is also clearly reflected in the program of lectures for this year's IWA Stage. With input from the Verband Deutscher Büchsenmacher und Waffenfachhändler e.V. (VDB  – the Association of German Gunsmiths and Gun Traders) and the Verband der Hersteller von Jagd-, Sportwaffen und Munition (JSM – the German Firearms and Ammunition Manufacturers Association), both honorary sponsors of IWA OutdoorClassics, a top-quality program of lectures has been put together to prepare both the retail trade and manufacturers for the forthcoming changes and their risks. In addition, an insight into the European industry environment will be particularly fascinating. For the first time, l'Institut Européen des Armes de Chasse et de Sport (IEACS), the Association of European Manufacturers of Sporting Ammunition (AFEMS) and the World Forum of Shooting Activites (WFSA) will also take advantage of the IWA Stage. The first presentations and speakers are already listed online here. This year, the IWA Stage will be opened with a small ceremony to which exhibitors, visitors and media contacts are all invited. The opening ceremony will start at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, March 2. Speakers will include Thomas Preutenborbeck, Member of the Executve Board of NürnbergMesse, Jürgen Triebel (President of VDB) and Olaf Sauer (President of JSM). The President of the World Shooting Forum (WFSA), Graham Downing, will also give a statement to the public.

New Area at IWA 2023: experience and test optic products

This computer graphic shows what the new OPTICS Testing Area at IWA OutdoorClassics 2023 will look like. The arrow from the OPTICS Testing Area logo points the way to the dark room, the highlight in Hall 3a. There, for the first time, visitors will be able to realistically test night vision and thermal imaging devices. In addition, the target on the roof of the dark room will be heated. It is clearly visible from the entire hall, so that it can be targeted with thermal imaging equipment from every booth. 

Products must be tested and made available to experience under real conditions. With the OPTICS Testing Area in Hall 3A, a new special format is to be launched for the first time at IWA OutdoorClassics 2023, which will take testing of night and thermal imaging technology at the trade fair to a new level. The core of the new special area will be a dark room equipped with dimmable lights and various targets. That allows various conditions from twilight to complete darkness to be simulated, allowing trade visitors to put the night vision device technology through its paces. Another highlight is a heated target on the roof of the dark room. There, thermal imaging equipment can also be tested in a very practical way. This target can also be seen from a distance and can thus be viewed from the entire hall. A get-together area as well as a modernly designed stage complete the new OPTICS Testing Area.

A welcome comeback: the AIRSOFT Shooting Range returns!

At IWA 2023, there will once again be an AIRSOFT Shooting Range where many products from this segment can be tried out right away. 

After being launched in 2019, the AIRSOFT Shooting Range will mark the return of a further highlight to the supporting programme of IWA OutdoorClassics 2023. On the range, too, the focus is on product testing. Visitors can test guns from different suppliers at a total of six shooting ranges and thus get a feel for how they handle. "The AIRSOFT Shooting Range is our way to offer the participants the opportunity to be impressed by the quality of the products in practical application," says Pia Freitag, team manager at IWA OutdoorClassics. The Shooting Range will be located in Hall 5 and will embody the new home of the Airsoft segment.

For new companies and new products at IWA 2023: Newcomer Area, New Product Center & Co.

Various established special exhibition areas will round out the rich and varied supporting programme at IWA OutdoorClassics 2023. This year, the New Product Center in Hall 4 will once again form the center for innovations and new products. Visitors will find all the latest developments bundled in a single location. Young companies from Germany and around the world will again be at home at the Young Innovative Companies joint stand and in the popular Newcomer Area in the walkway to Hall 3C. The Job Centre is still a feature of IWA OutdoorClassics and will be located in Hall 7 in the future. As usual, visitors will find the Clothing Corner in Hall 4.

Also new for 2023: The BLADE Demo Area in Hall 5

Another first at IWA OutdoorClassics will be the BLADE Demo Area in Hall 5, the Hall of Knives. This computer graphic shows what the area where the exhibits of the participants in this year's IWA Knife Award will probably look like. The ceremony for the award, which is presented by a panel of experts, is scheduled to take place on March 4, 2023.

“With the new special exhibition format in Hall 5, we want to draw the knifeware segment more clearly into focus for our visitors,” explains Katharina Paul, Manager and contact for the firms exhibiting in Hall 5 at IWA OutdoorClassics. “This state-of-the-art exhibition area scores with its professional presentation systems and inviting seating arrangements, which encourage both exhibitors and visitors to stay and network.” Featuring for the first time at IWA OutdoorClassics 2023, the BLADE Demo Area will also be a stage for the new IWA Knife Award "Between Tradition and Innovation". Presented by a jury of experts, the award is intended to become the top accolade in the world of knives in the long term.

Happy hour for the entire community on March 2, 2023, from 5:00 p.m.

The IWA OutdoorClassics invites you: a large-scale happy hour will be held on the first evening of the fair, the first in its almost 50-year history, to which not only exhibitors and media representatives, but also visitors are cordially invited. A special beer with the unique “IWA look” will be served for the joint toast. As a special guest, the crew of the well-known YouTube channel "Polenar Tactical" will be waiting for the visitors with a special surprise. Thomas Preutenborbeck, Member of the Executive Board of NürnbergMesse and Event Manager of IWA OutdoorClassics 2023, explains that "this is designed to extend the relaxed networking at the trade fair beyond the regular activity at the stands”. Start time is at 5:00 p.m. in the Exhibition Centre Park!

This article is also available in this language: