Now in its 14th year, OTS attracted 990 unique visitors over the three-day period. When comparing the attendance from 2018, this has seen an increase of 4% overall for unique visitors, which added to last year’s 7.5% increase shows an increase of 12% since the show moved to EventCity and reaffirms the decision to move to Manchester.
The key highlight is that OTS 2019 saw a 27% increase from retail buyers and owners compared to 2018. This year saw 131 exhibitors which included a wide range of brands, established key players as well as newcomers to the outdoor market.
This all corresponds with the outstanding feedback we have received so far from exhibitors and visitors alike, with the consensus from exhibitors being that they generated numerous leads from the show and even wrote orders. The data also identifies a lot of repeat attendance, which shows that visitors were staying longer and attending consecutive days to ensure they fully experienced the show and had all those key conversations.
Highlights from the show include Keela’s whisky and gin tasting session, Buffalo celebrating their 40th anniversary as well as several other social events taking place across the hall on the Tuesday evening. We also saw record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont presenting on his around the world adventure and meeting visitors at the ON and Vango stands.
The UK Outdoor Industry Awards was the biggest ever with 120 products entered for the 10 categories. To see all of the 2020 awards finalists, please visit theoia.co.uk/awards. The next stage in the awards will be for the public vote in the new year, online and in-person at the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show, NEC in February.
Damon Street, Exxel Outdoors (first-time exhibitor and new brands to the UK market) – “Sierra Designs and Kelty are innovative brands that Buyers need to see first-hand. Already hugely successful in the US, OTS has been a great platform for visitors to compare our products to the rest of the market and for us to prove our value. Based on the strong customer feedback and orders placed at the show we’re looking forward to 2020”
Adapt Outdoors, Liverpool (Retailer) – “Coming to OTS from an Independent Outdoor Retailer, it is incredible to meet people representing new, up and coming pieces of kit and ideas never seen before in the outdoor industry. To be given the chance to discover and try new products keeps the industry exciting, fresh and gives new brands that next foothold towards growth and creativity.”
Matt Moore, Proagencies – “At the start of the show we already had more meetings booked than last year and during the show, we had plenty of walk-on customers to keep us all busy. You can really tell that retailers and journalists now know there is now just the one trade show in the UK that they have to attend, plus it’s not often you can look back at a trade show and say that it was fun, there was a great atmosphere!”
Rik Legge, Boreal – “We were incredibly pleased with the Outdoor Trade show this year, both in terms of the number and quality of our meetings. We look forward to attending again in 2020.”
Dr Gareth Lyons, Criterion Sleeping Bags (first-time exhibitor) – “First-time exhibitor and really enjoyed the atmosphere of the show. It was great to see so many people so passionate about the outdoors. The mix of brands presenting meant there was always something new to see and talk about.”
Martin Bergerud, Petzl UK/Lyon – “Busy, engaging and very worthwhile.”
Steve Walton, 2Pure – “From our side, it was a thrilling couple of days with very positive customer engagement. The show had a great buzz and the feedback was very positive. It is great to have a united industry one again”
A follow-up survey will be distributed to all exhibitors and visitors to gain further feedback, and opinions for next year’s show, which will once again offer a fantastic opportunity for retailers and other visitors to see a wide variety of outdoor brands presenting their products.