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The X-Days 2020 were different…
Monday January 18, 2021

THE PAINTBALL FAIR IN TIMES OF CORONA

We already informed you in the last issue that this year's X-Days were going to be completely different than they were in previous years. When the second lockdown started shortly before the trade fair in November and the conditions became tougher for the organizers week by week, the planning stalled again. We were still there and want to tell you in this article how the X-Days 2020 went.

For today's contribution to the X-Days, we have of course brought Lars Herzig in for an interview. Lars is not only the organizer and organizer of the X-Days, but with his shops Paint-Xtreme and MagFed.de he is also one of the best-known online dealers in the German paintball scene.

PBS: Lars, unfortunately there wasn't much going on at the X-Days this year, but of course there was a reason for that. Please tell our readers how many visitors were there and how accurate your concept for this year was.

LARS: We had a little over 200 visitors. Unfortunately, we were no longer allowed to drive the originally planned and approved (!) concept of the Outdoor X-Days in the form of a paintball Christmas market due to the sharp increase in the number of infections. But before we finally cancel the event, we decided to at least open the shop and set up a very large MagFed pop-up store in a neighboring warehouse. After all, it had an impressive 200 square meters including an additional shooting range on which all MagFed markers could be test-shot with USP powder balls. We have divided the flow of visitors into so-called slots. There was a slot on Friday afternoon that went into the evening and then 2 slots on Saturday. The first in the morning and the second again from afternoon to evening. The background was that we had to pay attention to the number of visitors. With the available square footage, we could only receive a maximum of 70 visitors per slot.

In the further course of our conversation with Lars, it should actually be about the usual trade fair topics such as new products and the best-of list of exhibitors. Unfortunately, due to the corona, both were very manageable. The big brands from abroad were not even allowed to take part this year due to entry restrictions. Added to this was the fact that the year was tough for the entire paintball industry worldwide. In the past few months, nobody in the industry really dared to come up with great new products or even huge investments in new projects. So it came about that the well-known PX brands had to make do with the exhibition space. At this point we wanted to know from Lars whether he was satisfied with the course of the X-Days 2020 despite all the circumstances. What is your trade fair conclusion this year?

LARS: Extremely well considering the circumstances. Of course, you shouldn't compare an event with 200 visitors with one that has 1200 visitors in normal years… But the visitors who were there gave us mostly very positive feedback and the general tenor was that they would come back. In short: We made the best of the situation and were able to offer hardcore X-DAYS regular customers a nice change from everyday Corona. And we managed that the X-DAYS could now take place uninterruptedly for 16 years in a row, and that in the epidemic year 2020, which also happens to be our 20th company anniversary year. For this reason alone we didn't want to cancel the X-DAYS under any circumstances. The whole thing was also a very good and important experience for us, because we were able to try things out, such as the digital X-DAYS, or certain processes relating to advance ticket sales, such as the new partner Eeveno.

We probably wouldn't have tried something like that in a normal year. We can now pick up the best elements in 2021 and then incorporate them into the "normal" X-DAYS, which hopefully can then take place again. Our very clear, sporting challenge: The X-DAYS 2021 should be the biggest ever, i.e. more visitors, more exhibitors, more action and entertainment.

It seems that the motivation of the X-Days team around Lars Herzig is still unbroken. Even a difficult year like this, which has put a number of hurdles in the way of the organizing team, is no reason to give up. So it looks like we can all look forward to another edition of the X-Days in December this year. Let's hope that more visitors will be admitted by then and that we can celebrate the X-Days again as what it is: namely Germany's largest paintball fair.

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