Last week's Stoneleigh Park-set Outdoor Trade Show saw visitor numbers grow almost eight per cent on last year – only 28 visitors short of its record attendance in 2010.
1,392 unique trade visitors (compared to 1,294 in 2012) attended over the three day indoor show period, with more visiting on the fourth day, which was solely dedicated to the tents and awnings display on the outdoor grass areas.
The biggest growth in attendance came from the retail sector, having increased by 12 per cent from 2012, with 210 more retail visitors attending OTS compared to last year’s show. OTS 2013 hosted 133 exhibiting companies, including 25 new-to-the-show brands.
OTS organiser Marta Williams said: "We are thrilled with the better than anticipated attendance from retail buyers. Following the merger of OTS and the Tent Show last year, OTS has become the focal point for the outdoor industry and the only show of its kind in the UK. The outdoor grass area is a unique opportunity to see such a large number of tents and awnings pitched in the same place."
OTS 2013 testimonies
Vicky Barnes, from new exhibitor Beyond the Beaten Track, commented: “It was our first time at OTS and at a trade show overall so we had no idea what to expect...it's been a massive success for us. The sales team are busy with the vast amount of leads that were generated and a number of key outdoor brands are very interested in partnering with us. We're looking forward to a prosperous 2014.”
New exhibitor Dorrigo said: “Overall [the] show was good and certainly well organised.”
The ‘New Brands Area’ was a fresh feature for 2013.
Marta Williams added: “There was a tangible excitement on the show floor, what a difference a year makes. Key exhibitors have shown strong commitment to return for 2014 and some important players in the industry have expressed interested in being part of OTS next year, which is excellent news.”
Retail visitors mirrored the upbeat feeling of exhibitors, Judith Pettit, from Snowdon Mountain Railway said: “An excellent show. Large enough to offer a really good specialist selection but small enough to be able to visit all areas and spend time with people who knew their products.”
A new visitor to the show, Emily McCunn from the Scout Shops said: “This was my first visit to the show and I was impressed by the quality of the stands and the enthusiasm of the exhibitors I met. It was a good learning experience for me.”
Anthony Greasby from Countryside Ski & Climb said: “Definitely the best OTS ever, very well organised indeed”