The decision follows exhaustive research with retailers and exhibitors that reflected a common desire for the creation of ‘one unified trade show’ with dates best suited before order books close and at a location convenient for both Northern and Southern based retailers.
The results of trade discussions and feedback from surveys challenged OTS to offer a trade show solution that answered the concerns – the main one being that there are too many shows and roadshows and to try and resolve this by the creation of one show. As a result, negotiations and discussions have taken place with the organisers of both KORS and ROKS that have resulted in ROKS sharing the same objective and deciding to join with OTS in 2018.
The OTS founding group of AMG, Burton McCall and The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) all share a common goal of trying to create ‘one national trade show’ and have lobbied hard with trade suppliers and the organisers of KORS and ROKS to try and convince them of the benefits of working together.
A prime mover in trying to ‘unify the industry’, Chief Executive of the OIA, Andrew Denton believes that one trade show would provide a solution for many brands and retailers, “The dynamics of trade shows throughout the world are changing, and trying to bring together brands to create one focal point in the selling-in / buying calendar seems to make sense and answers many of the concerns from the trade.
One UK trade show also represents economies of scale for suppliers with less time spent out of the office, less staff expenses and a requirement for the logistics of only one trade show stand! The date slot of 3rd – 5th July would seem to be the preferred timing hence the commitment to the show dates in 2018.
As a co-owner of OTS, the OIA is also very keen to see the continuation of a successful trade show and this new development including the merger with ROKS will help to future proof the show for years to come. At this time, after a very positive conversation, KORS believe a regional show remains their preferred option but our door remains firmly open in the future should they change their mind.”
Founder and organiser of ROKS, Sam Fernando of Keela is convinced that this is the route to go and having consulted with her ROKS exhibitors has decided to support the concept of a unified show in Manchester in 2018. Sam commented, “I am delighted that together with OTS we can now provide a single exhibition that highlights all that's best in the outdoor industry. Coming together at the right time and in the right place ensures full accessibility to all. We are determined to ensure that OTS Roks!”
CEO of JD Sports Outdoor Division and OIA Board member Lee Bagnall said, “Retailers are presented with too many opportunities and invitations by suppliers to review products. The ability to come to one venue and see many brands under the one roof all at the same time makes perfect sense. We believe that a UK national show that unites the industry is very important for our trade. The move to Manchester a week earlier and with ROKS joining as well makes it even more relevant for us and our buying team. Attempting to consolidate the trade into one national show with a real focus is the solution and at JD / Blacks we will be supporting this initiative in 2018.”
EventCity, Manchester offers quality exhibition space, facilities and easy access with its proximity to the M60 motorway network. Further information will shortly be available on the OTS website at www.outdoortradeshow.com and exhibitor booking forms will be circulated to previous exhibitors offering early bird incentive rates and discounts to OIA members