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SIA, ASR share plans for next shows

By Shelby Stanger
March 18, 2010 8:24 AM

By SHELBY STANGER

We followed up with four trade shows to find out how attendance turned out, what worked and what didn't, and what changes will be made at the next round of shows.

Today, we hear from SIA President Dave Ingemie and Nielsen Sports Group Vice President Andy Tompkins.

Tomorrow, we check in with Surf Expo and Agenda.

SNOWSPORTS INDUSTRIES AMERICA (SIA), DAVID INGEMIE, PRESIDENT

How was attendance at SIA this past January? Was the show up or down and by what percentage?

We have an audited number of 18,932. (According to SIA, that was a six-year high.) We were not surprised because it was in the Rocky Mountains and there were a ton of shops that couldn’t attend Las Vegas, but were able to get to this past show.

We did have a decrease in retailers coming from California, Oregon and the New England area and Canada.

How are things looking for the next show? Do you have anything special planned?

Based on the feedback we have had so far, it’s very positive. I think that we’ll have a number of people from the Pacific coast and New England that couldn’t come this past year that will come this year. The hotel rates and the economy were all an issue this past year.

Oakley displayWith the economy starting to turn, does it seem like brands are willing to spend more money on bigger booths for the next show?

It’s a little early for us to tell, but there are a substantial number of people that want to increase space.

We haven’t had anyone say they want to decrease their space yet, but by May 15th we will know a lot more. The initial conversations with suppliers are that they will put in more resources next year.

(Right: An Oakley display at SIA.)

Do you have anything new planned for next year?

Yes, but I can’t completely commit to all of it now. The first year for us after 37 years in one location was about making the new location change happen.

Now that we are in Denver, we will make a number of enhancements and changes that will reflect better knowledge of the town and the facility.

Were retailers and brands happy that the show was in Denver? Do you think more retailers from California will come to the next show?

The feedback on the replies from surveys on the retailer side showed 95% said they accomplished their goals, and that’s really good. Brand surveys went out a little later and I haven’t heard back any derogatory stuff from any suppliers or brands, but the biggest complaint we got were hotel rates.

All hotels and SIA and Visit Denver are working together to make rates as realistic and affordable as possible. Now that we know peak nights, etc., the hotels will adjust rates accordingly.

There was some talk by other trade shows in California trying to add more snow brands. Does that concern you guys at all?

Sure. Any addition of another (show) will. I’m not sure who it will be and who will support it. The board shops that are mostly surf and skate will go to it, and I guess any time there is another event it’s a concern, but we’ll see how it plays out.

I think they are trying to jump on the fact that we are having a decrease on attendance from Southern California. But if you have 10 snow brands, that’s a big difference from the 400 plus exhibitors and almost 900 brands SIA has.

A retailer would need to go to the snow show to figure out their other 60 accounts and that’s the difference. I don’t know that anyone can get everything done in just one show. So if you see three brands in Agenda then you might go to see 13 other brands at SIA. That might happen. We’ll see. It’s hard today to get to see everything at just one show.

ASR, CLASS AND CROSSROADS, ANDY TOMPKINS, VP OF NIELSEN SPORTS GROUP

How was attendance at ASR this past January? Was the show up or down and by what percentage?

Attendance at the recent ASR Access event was on par with January 2009 and the overall feeling of the show was incredibly optimistic as the industry seems poised for a recovery in 2010.

International attendance continued to be a major factor at ASR with 39 countries represented compared to 34 in 2009, indicating that the action sports marketplace continues to be a global category with sales opportunities across markets.

Andy TompkinsBrands carried at the event increased by nearly 26% as approximately 600 brands were showcased across the environments of Access, Class, and Crossroads compared to 500 brands in 2009.

Buyers were excited that ASR made strides to unite the distinct segments of action sports in one overall show platform (surf, skate, fashion/lifestyle), helping make their trip to ASR more productive than ever.

(Right: Andy being interviewed by Fuel TV.)

Overall, there was 16,300 total attendance across the three environments (ASR, Class, Crossroads), where every visitor was counted once as they entered, 10,000 unique attendance where visitors are counted only once overall, which was on par with January 2009.

How are things looking for the next show?

Preliminary interest in ASR Marketplace (August 13-15) is very strong. The date shift from early September to mid-August has been very well received and will help ASR be more in-line with industry sales calendars and ultimately a more relevant business tool for both retailers and exhibitors.

Retailers were excited to see more brands exhibiting at the recent ASR, and this will help the upcoming August event be even more meaningful as buyers make product selections for Spring/Summer 2011.

Do you have anything special planned?

ASR Marketplace will once again showcase Class and Crossroads, however we will be working to integrate the environments more closely to make it more convenient for retailers.

We are also excited to work with BRA once again on the second edition of the Retail Survivor Series, which is designed to impart critical retail business education to attending buyers.

In addition, we have plans for more in-depth surf and skate hardgoods areas, a standup paddle demo, additional media areas and a host of special events including the ASR Runway designed to showcase the trends and community of action sports.

With the economy starting to turn, are trade shows making a come back?

boothsWe do expect the ASR Marketplace event to reflect the growing optimism and increased business. The industry continues to support the ASR platform as a vital component to the buy/sell cycle of action sports and a crucial gathering place to engage in sales and marketing activities, network, share ideas, and showcase the entire action sports category to a global retail base, media, and investment community.

(Right: Prefabricated booths at ASR.)

Does it seem like brands are willing to spend more money on bigger booths for the next show? Or are you adding more brands with smaller booths?

As for booth designs, we have worked diligently over the last few shows to create multiple exhibit options to accommodate a wide variety of sales and marketing strategies.

We expect some brands will opt for a customized marketing presentation, while others will look for a more turnkey solution. We plan to build the floor with community areas and show features that unite these different booth presentations into an integrated whole.

At the end of the day we are committed to providing retail buyers with as wide of a brand selection as possible, and are working to unite the segments of action sports to accomplish this goal.


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