The Exhibition Centre, Liverpool, again played host to the Outdoor Trade Show and the 2022 event closed the doors having recorded unique 829 visitors over the three days, an increase of 17% when compared to the previous year’s visitor attendance.
Interestingly the visitor statistics suggest that buyers are spending more time at the show with a total of 1070 (including repeats) visitors over the three-day period, representing a 24% increase on the previous year.
With 125 exhibitors, an additional 2000sqm of hall space and a huge variety of product ranges to see, buyers from the major multiples and leading independents all made efforts to seek out the new products, place forward orders and network with friends and colleagues from the trade. The modern exhibition centre on Liverpool’s waterfront proved to be popular with exhibitors and visitors alike with the vibrant atmosphere at the show proving the value of the annual trade event.
At the OTS Social on the Wednesday evening, the finalists in nine categories of the 2022 UK Outdoor Industry Awards were announced and the Awards Display area at the show attracted a great deal of interest from visitors and provided a popular feature of the show with over 90 products on display. The Sustainability Breakfast sponsored by Rab on the Wednesday morning was well attended and supported by brands, retailers and the media, all keen to hear and learn more about sustainability initiatives and brand journeys towards becoming more carbon neutral. Andy Schimeck, Global Sales Manager for Equip Outdoor Technologies led the introduction before handing over to Outdoor & Cycle Concepts, Managing Director, Jose Finch and Head of Sustainability Melanie Gruenwald together with Paramo’s Commercial Director, Richard Pyne to hear about respective CSR initiatives from the two organisations.
Exhibitors and visitors were unanimous in praise of the 2022 event,.
Sales agent for Vasque footwear in the UK, Steve Walton, from Northcol, said: “OTS provided yet again a great opportunity to reach our current customer base and speak to new customers alike. The show felt busier than normal and was a fantastic meeting place to discuss the current state of the trade. Liverpool is a great location. We will be back next year for sure.”
European General Manager for Exxel Outdoors was equally upbeat about the show. He said: “OTS was a fantastic show. We had back to back appointments and the quality of buyers attending was spot on. Aside from it being a great opportunity to get in front of people, it was great to see the trade working together and Kelty and Sierra Designs will definitely be back in 2023.”
Chris King, Head of Sales at Ardblair Sports Importers Ltd (ASI), said: “For AKU and LEKI, ASI had the ideal balance of number and quality of meetings with retailers and media. After many years, it feels like the outdoor industry has found the right balance of limiting the choice of market format – shows, showrooms and shop visits – in order to make OTS the success it is.”
Richard Pyne, Commercial Director, Páramo, said: “Many thanks to all those involved in the organisation of this year’s event. It was fantastic to welcome everyone to our stand, great to meet new faces and re-connect with others. Thank you to all those who joined us in celebrating 30 years of Páramo by welcoming Craeciones Miquelina into our newly formed employee-owned group. Here is to the next 30 years!”
The Liverpool venue has been secured for the next two years with the 2023 event going ahead between the June 13-14 and from June 4-6, 2024, with the June date slots matching brand order book deadlines.
OTS organiser Marta Williams added: “We are now firmly established at the Liverpool venue and securing the venue until 2024 sends a positive message to the whole trade.”