10 years of OTS!

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, OTS is already taking shape, with repeat bookings from major brands and the launch of new products which will debut at this year’s show. New exhibitors indoors include Regatta, Thule, Falke, Hoka One One, with the outdoor grass areas boasting all the major tent and awnings brands in the UK.

Autumn has been the preferred time slot for the outdoor trade exhibition by some manufacturers, and OTS was initially set up to fulfil this need. It is now the only UK trade event to take place at this time – giving exhibitors the chance to display their product ranges for 2016 and  supply retailers with vital top up products for the busy Christmas period.

Founded by some of the outdoor industry’s key suppliers in 2006 including AMG Group, Burton McCall, Gelert, Hi-Gear, Thatchreed and Wynnster, OTS is an event which has been created by the trade for the trade. Planning for the initial 2006 event took key factors such as timing, location and cost into account. After considering several venues, the Midlands location of Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire was decided upon as the ideal home for OTS and it is still the preferred venue by exhibitors and visitors alike due to its central location, easy access and free parking as well as being extremely cost effective for exhibitors.

Initially residing in Hall 1 in its inaugural year OTS has since grown in size but still has some of its initial supporters exhibiting since 2006, these include Whitby and Co, Silva, Buffera, Snugpak, Target Dry, Nikwax, Trespass, Keela, First Ascent, Lyon, Arctic Fox, Mycoal, Rosker, Burton McCall and AMG Group.

OTS’ diversity of brands and products is something which has been praised by retailers and buyers – everything from clothing to bbq’s, sleeping bags to footwear, torches tents and canoes.

Stewart Anderson, Snugpak:

“We have been lucky enough to have been involved with the OTS show from its inception and enjoyed seeing its growth into the must attend event it has become, it offers us the chance to schedule meetings at a convenient central location and also reach out to new customers. The combination of indoor and outdoor space makes for a good mix of buyers and a vibrant show, ample free parking and access to affordable good quality hotels and restaurants make it a very pleasant experience for both exhibitors and visitors. In recent years we have taken the opportunity to invite some of our international distribution team to the event to showcase not only what we have to offer but also to give an impressive snap shot of the UK industry.”

Lindsay Millar, Silva:

“Silva has had the pleasure in being involved with the Outdoor Trade Show from the inception. For us, the show is the highlight of our tradeshow calendar in the UK. The show gives us an opportunity to meet our customers, and new ones, in an environment that is welcoming and a location that is easily accessible. We would never miss it.”

Sam Fernando, Keela

“Keela will be celebrating 10 years with OTS this September.  And it’s been a fantastic decade!  OTS has provided an excellent platform to showcase our brand in the UK. The support given to exhibitors is unparalleled against all the other exhibitions we attend worldwide. For our customers it gives them a chance to see existing and new brands in a semi informal setting without the huge cost of going overseas.

For Keela there is no question – we have to be there!!!  OTS is the only Outdoor trade show for the industry in the UK.  By underestimating the value of OTS you would be doing your brand a dis service.”

Garry Woodhouse, Sales and Marketing Director, Whitby & Co.

Whitby & Co. has exhibited at OTS every year since it launched in 2006 – which speaks volumes in a business environment where every activity that we undertake must give a robust account of itself, particularly the large expenditure activities such as exhibitions.

In fact we have seen many changes in that time at OTS both at the show and across the outdoor sector, but some things have remained constant: OTS remains a definite focus of activity in our calendar and is a key opportunity to engage with new and existing customers, showcase new brands and products and of course network with everyone from buyers to ambassadors and press.

OTS has come a long way since 2006 and not just in terms of numbers – it provides a solid platform for brands and retailers as well as distributors like Whitby & Co. and offers something notably different to the bigger shows outside the UK. It is an event we would not miss.

Frank Bennett, Lyon Equipment

“Lyon has always tried and budgeted to support trade shows we think that it takes 3 times to establish the show in customer minds and for all to see organic growth.

The very first show and its dates had us somewhat bemused as to what to display as so many product deadlines had passed, we also found that a new level of buyer contacts came to the venue: local businesses, bushcraft and military, (less climbing /mountaineering than we were used to) so for years two and three we arranged our displays to target the buyers we had seen in year one, all successful.

From years three to now we display a mix of new products, continue aiming at the show specific target buyers plus try to put as much colour into the displays as possible, we repeat some displays and we have taken extra space to allow overlap presentations.  OTS is a great venue for a good portion of our turnover and products.”

Andi Hayman, Rosker

“We have always seen OTS as an integral part of the outdoor trade show calendar and can’t see a time when we wouldn’t exhibit there. It has always been a very busy and fruitful show for us and offers an opportunity to present extended ranges to our existing customers as well as engage with new prospects. The show is always friendly and well organised and whilst it doesn’t necessarily fall into our clothing selling windows we find it essential for our footwear and equipment brands alike. With easy access, plenty of free parking and a good central location it really is a useful show for Rosker.”

Taking place from Tuesday 15th September to Thursday 17th September 2015 at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, OTS 2015 offers a fantastic opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their product ranges to around 1,300 retail visitors over the three days. For further information about securing exhibition space at OTS 2015, please contact the show organisers, MCS, on 0161 437 4634 or visit www.outdoortradeshow.com.