'Go Outdoors' reverts to September; still in Harrogate

And you thought it was just the bike trade which mucked around with its annual expos? Back in November, bikebiz.co.uk said the decision of the Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) to move its trade show from September to August was a "radical" decision that would raise exhibition organisers' eyebrows. August is a no-go area for most shows. And the OIA has just found that out: a telephone survey revealed that most independent outdoor shops would not attend an August show
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The outdoor sector’s main UK trade show, Go Outdoors, will take place in Harrogate this year between 22-24 September 2002, not 4-6 August as previously announced.

The decision to revert to the show’s traditional timing was made at a specially convened meeting of the Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) council held on 12 February. The meeting discussed substantial concerns raised both by manufacturers and retailers to the decision announced last November to move to early August dates from 2002 and considered the results of a telephone survey of previous visitors to the show conducted during the first week of February.

The survey, commissioned by the OIA from an independent research company, revealed that only 30 percent of outdoor retailers would definitely attend an August show.

In considering the new research findings, together with representations from members and non-members, the OIA council concluded that it was in the best interests of the outdoor sector for the OIA to "do all in its power not to allow the clear divide in opinion on this issue to lead to a potentially damaging split within the trade."

The OIA council is said to "remain acutely aware that a substantial body of opinion is in favour of earlier show dates and equally that without change, the ability of the show to fund the association’s wider work is limited."

The OIA has made a three year commitment to the Harrogate International Centre to take the 2002 show, plus those to be held in 2003 and 2004, to that venue and will use the intervening period to undertake further work in evaluating options for 2005 and beyond.

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