Stoneleigh Park-set Outdoor Trade Show (OTS) is pitched as a gateway show for those thinking of, or already, dipping their toe into the outdoor sector.
Running a couple of weeks before the NEC Cycle Show, this year’s OTS hit a new spot in the week and was charged with leading up to next year’s tenth anniversary show. BikeBiz spoke with event organiser Marta Williams for an update…
BikeBiz: Are you pleased with the event overall and did attendance meet your expectations?
Marta Williams: Feedback from exhibitors and visitors has been very encouraging following the show. The attendance figures were slightly up from 2013 and exhibitors have commented positively about the quality of retailers who visited the show. OTS creates a unique opportunity for retailers to see a cross section of products from different markets as well as discovering brand new products and brands. The outdoor area was also larger this year with most of the main caravan awning brands in attendance, which enticed a different kind of buyer to attend the show.
So the move to a mid-week time slot was successful then?
Yes, if numbers have anything to do with this, the move has been well received. Although there are some independent retailers that would prefer a Sunday, the number of visitors from previous years did not justify keeping it as an open day.
BB: How about the Novel Awards this year – is interest building up around them?
MW: The awards are popular with suppliers especially and they have become a focal point of the show. It brings the industry together at the social event and awards presentation and brands that win the awards are able to use the logo which helps them to promote products to consumers and retail buyers.
BB: Do you have any big plans for the tenth anniversary OTS in 2015?
MW: I am sure we will do, nothing concrete as yet, but it is a major milestone in the history of the show and it will be commemorated.
BB: How would you dum up the show?
MW: OTS fulfils some very unique remits for manufacturers and retailers. OTS’ ethos is to be an informal, no frills show, which cannot be compared with the big European shows. Exhibitors like to attend OTS as it is late in the buying calendar, therefore an order writing show, and as it is too late for many of the large clothing brands, exhibitors get quality time with buyers, which they could not have at a larger show.
For buyers, the show is small enough to do in one or two days, but big enough to justify their visit and at the same time find new brands and products to the market. The truly unique aspect of OTS is the outside tent and awnings area, as there is nowhere else in Europe where buyers could see so many tents pitched in the same location, making their buying decisions much easier. We urge retailers to make a trip to OTS 2015 and for brands to see what the show has to offer.
Following an extensive survey canvassing the industry, the organisers of OTS have set the dates for the 2015 edition:
Tuesday 15th September 2015 – 9am – 5pm (halls open until 6pm)
Wednesday 16th September 2015 – 9am – 6pm (halls open until 7pm)
Thursday 17th September 2015 – 9am – 4pm