Timing is everything.

That statement applies to just about any aspect of business, and it’s definitely been a recurring discussion for trade shows over the past several years.

A merging of two worlds: outdoor and winter sports united under one roof in Denver. Photo: Outdoor Retailer

After Outdoor Retailer made a big change in location this year, relocating to Denver and joining forces with newly acquired SIA Snow Show, the show looked at how they could better serve all the individual interests involved – from manufacturers, to retailers and buyers across the snow sports and outdoor industry.

When setting the dates for 2019, Outdoor Retailer staff and parent company Emerald Expositions landed on earlier-than-usual January dates, hoping they would sync better with manufacturers, explains SIA President Nick Sargent.

But it quickly became apparent those dates wouldn’t work for everyone involved – namely the snow sports buying groups, including Sports Specialists Ltd., or SSL, which had traditionally held its show, Winter Sports Market, consecutively with SIA’s national show.

“After this past January’s show, we got a lot of feedback from [SIA] members that early dates were not going to work,” Sargent said. “The reality was that the early dates were not going to work – that was the feedback we got from the rep groups.”

SIA, an organization dedicated to supporting the winter sports industry and its businesses, works hand-in-hand with several regional buying groups, including SSL and Nation’s Best Sports (NBS), a regional ski and snowboard hardgoods, apparel and accessories show in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

In February, the buying groups announced they would move their January 2019 show to Salt Lake City, because OR + Snow Show’s dates weren’t lining up with retailers schedules (the early January dates are a prime selling period for most stores). Although SIA had been in talks with them on a solution, the news caused them to ramp things into high gear.

“We quickly rallied with OR and Emerald and said, ‘We need to figure these dates out,'” Sargent said. “Emerald had been doing some heavy lifting, working with Denver and different stakeholders to find new dates.”

In tandem with SIA, Emerald worked with Denver to successfully reschedule several other events the Colorado Convention Center had already committed to. The result was a positive one: the team was able to lock in a new date range at the end of January – not just for 2019, but also for 2020 through 2022.

outdoor retailer moves OR Snow Show dates

A busy snapshot of last January’s OR + Snow Show at the Colorado Convention Center.

“They really stepped up to drive that home,'' Sargent said of Emerald’s efforts.

OR + Snow Show will now be held January 30-February 1, 2019. The show has been adjusted to a three-day platform (losing a day compared to this past January’s show) but will stick with the Wednesday-through-Friday format.

The newly aligned dates mean all the buying groups will be under one roof, working together this winter – a feat in and of itself.

“OR really has the industry’s interest at heart and they were willing to go to the mat and invest in moving dates for the industry,” Sargent said. “It worked out for the best.”

The show should be announcing news about the On-Snow Demo dates in the coming weeks, Sargent said, explaining that because the dates now fall on a weekend – which are typically resorts’ busiest days – they are working with resort operators to reach a compromise.

For those retailers who attend multiple shows, next year’s winter dates will not overlap with other markets, like Surf Expo, this time around.

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