Inside the outdoor industry

COMMENT: New-look OTS hits hot spot

New venue and expanded show looks like a winner

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The new-look Outdoor Trade Show made its debut at Manchester’s Event City this week, with an industry eager to see how the expanded show, incorporating ROKS and at a new venue, would deliver.

Exhibitor numbers had already been declared as a record prior to the show, with 112 in attendance, so the only unknown variable is visitor numbers which will no doubt be revealed in due course. With multiple scans each time a visitor drifted in and out of the exhibition hall, expect something in the low millions. First impressions, however, are that the first day was just about busy enough, while day two was noticeably busier and probably something more akin to the numbers the organisers were hoping for.

Anecdotally, exhibitors seemed very pleased with the numbers coming to their stands and the choice of Event City although nothing can ever be done to stop some bemoaning the very notion of trade shows, it seems. They are always about what individual exhibitors choose to make of them, of course. There was, however, no shortage of positivity towards the event, testament to slick organisation from MCS and the smart decision not to pick apart the best aspects of the show in favour of unnecessary change.

The venue itself is probably an improvement on Stoneleigh, although not dissimilar in many ways, with free parking and a foyer area offering food and drink outside the exhibition hall, which was light and airy, even in what must have been the hottest weather Manchester has seen…possibly ever. The hall easily accommodated a variety of stand sizes without ever looking like it was struggling to fill the room. Should KORS decide to join the fray next year, it should easily accommodate the extra exhibitors.

In short, this was a confident debut, if you can call it that from what is an already well-established event, and people will have come away pleased with the new format and sure that the industry’s decision to move towards a single event was the correct one.

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