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INTERVIEW: BikeBiz speaks with the organiser behind Stoneleigh's September event

Inside the Outdoor Trade Show 2012

Outdoor Trade Show organiser Marta Williams tells all about the team up with the Tent Show, longer opening hours and responding to the changing needs of the outdoor industry…

What impact is linking up with the Tent show going to have on OTS in 2012?
Incorporating the outdoor tent area to the show this year will give retailers the chance to see all the clothing, footwear and accessory products at the same time as tents pitched outside. As the Tent Show only showcased tents from a selected number of manufacturers, it did not reflect the whole market. Now that it is open to all tent and awning suppliers, it will give visitors an added incentive to attend the show.

We decided to incorporate the new area in response to feedback we received from exhibitors and visitors, so realistically, the impact of this new addition to the show can only be positive – providing more choice and potentially more visitors for our exhibitors. Retailers can now visit one show and see all the products at the same time.

What else is new for 2012?
For the first time in the show’s history, OTS will incorporate a Sunday as an open day for 2012. It will give independent retailers who cannot visit the show during the week a chance to attend. In addition, OTS will also have extended opening times on Sunday and Monday, staying open until 7pm to allow retailers that visit the show for only a day more time to browse through the stands.
There are also several companies which are new to the show this year, first time exhibitors include: PowerTraveller; Summit International; Allport; Outdoor Gear; Troll; Thermos; Trailwise; Aclimatise; Zippo; Odlo; Man O’Leisure; Pop & Go Knickers; and Pyramid Outdoor, which has secured its space within the new outdoor grass area.

Will the Awards run again this year?
They certainly will. Since they were introduced, the Novel Awards have continued to grow in popularity and last year’s show was no exception, seeing over 100 entries across the six categories. This demonstrates the need to recognise the achievements and innovations of manufacturers across the outdoor industry.

At this year’s show, all of the finalists will, again, have their products showcased in a dedicated awards display area throughout the show. We’ll be starting to accept entries soon, so watch out for an announcement.

Have you ever been tempted to tinker with the ‘no frills’ rule?
The Outdoor Trade Show is a no frills event that brings the trade together at one venue, offering a cost effective platform to conduct some serious business. As a result, we have been able to keep the costs down and OTS has experienced a rapid growth in its six-year history. The changes to the show for 2012 reflect our primary objective of responding to the needs of the industry and to provide a cost-effective show for suppliers and a worthwhile trip for retailers.

We are always listening to exhibitors and visitors feedback so we are open to new ideas that will enhance their experience at OTS.

Has there ever been a consumer element to the show? Would that ever be considered?
No, there has never been a consumer element to the show. This has been discussed in the past but there was no support to adding it. Many products on show are not available until the following year, and the display of pricing would be an issue. Also the dynamics of trade and consumer shows are very different.

As we have mentioned, we are open to feedback and if the majority of exhibitors were interested in that idea, we would investigate it further.

Any final thoughts on this year’s Outdoor Trade Show?
Buyers serious about finding something different to add to their product portfolio need to visit the show. This really is the opportunity to find new and innovative products in the sector.

OTS 2012 dates and opening times:

  • Sunday 9th September 2012 – 9am – 7pm
  • Monday 10th September 2012 – 9am – 7pm
  • Tuesday 11th September 2012 – 9am – 5pm
  • Wednesday 12th September 2012 – 9am – 5pm (tents only)

The show organiser can be reached on 0161 980 7242

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