10th Outdoor Trade Show sees increased retailer attendance

The tenth anniversary of the Outdoor Trade Show (OTS 2015) closed its doors on Thursday 17th September following a hugely successful event, with 1277 trade visitors attending the show over the three day period. With 133 exhibitors, and a record number of 25 outdoors, the show was the largest in its history and was host to the latest products and innovations within the outdoor industry.

Although the overall attendance figure has decreased, the statistics seem to agree with the positive feedback about good quality visitors that the organisers have received from the majority exhibitors, with retailer attendance increasing from 43% to 59% of the overall visitor numbers. Multiples present at the show included JD Sports, Go Outdoors, Amazon, Decathlon, Cotswold Outdoors, Blacks & Millets, Yeomans, Ellis Brigham and TK Maxx, as well as a selection of independent camping and caravan retailers.

Steve Roberts, MBC Managing Director commented: “OTS 2015 proved a great success for us, busier than expected with a range of independent and multiple retailers, along with customers outside of our core area which definitely showed us some new avenues for retail. It’s been a few years since we last exhibited at OTS but we will certainly be back for next year’s show with a bigger stand and product offering on display. A great event.”

AMG Marketing Director, Derek Scott commented: “OTS always provides us with an excellent opportunity to meet existing customers and present our collection in full. However, this year, the wide array of brands and categories at the show, clearly created a draw for retailers from a wider range of Outdoor channels and, as a result, we developed more new business and prospective accounts than ever before. Our hope is that OTS continues to diversify and broaden its appeal because change brings new opportunities for us all. Great job team.”

Show organiser Marta Williams commented: “It’s amazing that we have been organising this great show for 10 years, and that this milestone event was such a success for all involved. We have received fantastic feedback from exhibitors and visitors from all parts of the trade, and we are looking forward to more feedback to make 2016 even a bigger success.”

This year, exhibitors included leading clothing brands such as Craghoppers, Trespass and Regatta, in addition to AMG, Hi-Tec, Burton McCall, Vango and Whitby & Co, as well as 2015 newcomers Outback UK, Mountain Boot Company and a record number of other new brands. A record number of 25 exhibitors also had space outdoors, including leading brands such as Kampa, Isabella Awnings, Dorema and Terra Nova.

Another highlight at this year’s show was the launch of the new Outdoor Industry Awards. All of the products entered were on display throughout the show for visitors to vote for their favourites, and the finalists in each of the 10 categories were announced during the Outdoor Trade Social on the second day of the show.

Bex Friell, Proagencies PR Executive commented: “As OTS plays host to the OIA Awards (now associated with the Telegraph Outdoor Show) we consider OTS to be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the exciting, innovative nature of our industry. OTS allows us to engage with others from the outdoor industry community on both a professional and social level and it is this ‘connectedness’ which is invaluable to what we do as an agency.”

Dr. Pia Christin Taureck of Petromax/Feuerhand commented: “I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the warm welcome that you gave us at OTS and for all the help that you provided! Participating in the OTS for the first time was a great experience to us. We got good feedback and are proud that we had the opportunity to present our traditional German brands Petromax (from 1910) and Feuerhand (from 1893)! We are also very proud to be finalist of the Outdoor Industry Award with our Atago and that you supported us so sacrificially!”

Dave Shanks, Water-to-Go Director commented: “At the recommendation of one of our agents, we took a stand at OTS this season. It worked very well for us with existing accounts meeting the head office team in person, new accounts being opened and developing industry contacts and leads.

Several shows depend on quantity and not quality – but not OTS. Getting to the decision maker is the important factor. Less than a week after the show, we have committed to attend next year and are looking to have a larger stand.”

An extensive questionnaire has now been distributed to exhibitors and visitors to gain further feedback, and opinions about date preferences for next year’s show, which will once again offer a fantastic opportunity for retailers to see a wide variety of outdoor brands presenting clothing, footwear and accessory products in the exhibition halls, at the same time as allowing camping and caravanning retailers to browse through the hundreds of tents and caravan awnings on display outdoors.

For further information about OTS, please contact the show organisers, MCS, on 0161 437 4634.