Inside the outdoor industry

Then there were two…

The landscape for UK trade shows is changing for the better, it seems

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For fans of spending their summer attending a trade show per week, news that we’ve lost at least one of the UK shows due to OTS and ROKS combining, will come as a terrible blow.

But given the masochistic tendencies betrayed by such behaviour, it might be wise to ignore such extremist views. There’s no doubt in my mind that it is a sensible decision to make the UK trade show calendar less crowded and whilst KORS is holding its ground for now, shifting dates to accommodate the new event in Manchester, it wouldn’t come as a huge surprise to see it joining hands next year. But who would be a fortune teller, in this or any other business? Maybe that ship just sailed.

That assumes, of course, that the new-look OTS/ROKS event is the success that everyone hopes it will be. Clearly, given that it has taken so long for it to happen and given that so much opinion has been carefully canvassed, it is the direction people in the business want to go in. Recent evidence has shown that giving people what they want, however, might not necessarily be for the best interests of the many, or indeed any.

I think trade shows are about bringing the industry together (aren’t they?)

There are fans of each event and some, as I’ve already touched upon, that like to go to all, and each of the shows offer(ed) something the others don’t, be it in terms of numbers, types of retailer (KORS attracts the climbing brands and specialist climbing shops) or the more indiscernible ‘quality’ of dealer.

Personally, I think trade shows are about bringing the industry together (aren’t they?) so it makes absolute sense to do it in one place and not separately. Ultimately, of course, it’s about what works best for the business. But for me, less is more.

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