There was an air of optimism within the snowsport and outdoor market at last week’s Slide & OTS Winter trade show in Telford and the attendance figures reflected the positive atmosphere.  In difficult times, overall visitor number increased by 38% over the three days when compared to 2020 and represented the highest number of unique visitors since 2013!  The news of French ski resorts opening up, Covid restrictions being relaxed and the new combination of snowsports and outdoor exhibitors all contributed to retailer confidence with buyers keen to commit before order deadlines for the 2022/23 winter season.

Show organiser, Lesley Beck was upbeat about the show and its future, commenting, ”After such challenging times and an uncertain winter season ahead, we were greatly encouraged by the increased visitor attendance at the show and all the positive comments that we have received since.  We will be issuing a survey to all exhibitors to obtain feedback on dates and venue for the next show.  Thanks to everyone who supported the show this year and to all the visitors who made the effort to attend and make it a such a great event.”

The show’s success was echoed by retailers and exhibitors alike with many providing endorsement of the event:

“It was great to get to see people and product in real life, and with so many people from across Outdoor and Snowsports all under one roof it was a very productive few days.”

Robert Brigham, Managing Director, Ellis Brigham

“The Slide & OTS Winter show was a welcome relief to some normality again for the winter trade. Two years have whizzed by without a winter trade show and we were delighted to see both existing and potentially new retailers supporting and visiting our stand – many of whom placed orders there and then to fit in with the tight deadlines we are currently experiencing.”

Mark Wood, Sports Division Sales Manager, Scott Sports

“We were tremendously encouraged by the high turnout – particularly those from the outdoor sector, (some who hadn’t attended a trade show for many years) and retailers’ eagerness to consider new brands for FW22. Face-to-face meetings, and the ability to physically touch product, was welcomed by all who came to visit us.”  

Simon Robinson, Senior Account Manager, Southern England and Wales, Ardblair Sports 

“SLIDE was as busy as 2020. It was good to see both current and meet new customers to the show from the OIA. AW22 is looking like a significant bounce back year. Thank you to all who organised, were able to come and support our most important domestic trade show.

Andy Baguley, Sales Agent, Hestra

“Overall a really positive and worthwhile show for SALEWA & Dynafit! Thanks guys, looking forward to seeing you again in November – December?”

Angus McKendrick, UK Sales Manager, Salewa & Dynafit

“It was great to be able to meet customers and industry colleagues face to face at the newly enlarged OTS & Slide show. The show was productive, as well as motivating and enjoyable.  We’re looking forward to the Summer show in Liverpool!”

Neil Bradley MD, Mammut UK

‘We were really stoked with the response, quality and number of retailers. We were busy all the time, with some great orders and new leads. Having not been at the show for a few years and having been reluctant to return this year, I am super happy with the result and we will be back next year.’

Gordon Way, Ultra Sport EU Ltd (Blizzard, Garmont, Tecnica, Kilpi)

‘Slide has always been the most important week of the year for ski hardware brands in the UK and I was back to back with appointments.   After such a long break it was great to be able to sit with customers and present product and discuss business in person.  As an agency handling both winter and outdoor brands, having OTS join slide also made for an enhanced show which I hope continues for years to come.”

Mark Taylor, Mark Trails Ltd (Nordica, Wolf & Grizzly)

“The show was busy, there was a great buzz in the hall. I definitely had the busiest trade show (summer or winter) that I have ever had. Everyone seems really happy to be back doing business face to face again.’

Mark Mitchell, The Gravity Collective Ltd (Black Crows)

“Slide/OTS Winter was an excellent opportunity to showcase the amazing Keela brand to like-minded outdoor enthusiasts. The atmosphere from start to finish was absolutely buzzing with new and old accounts visiting to see what kit would best suit their chosen business needs.  It was so well organized from set up to take down. Definitely we are looking forward to the next show.   

Great show, great people what more could you ask for.”

Alan Walker, Field Sales Manager, Keela

Slide was a good show. It was a joy to be back,  talking face-to-face to our customers again. The mood was optimistic, and everyone talked of the good things that have come out of a difficult time; clearing old stock and pressing the re-set button – in more ways than one – a chance to re-think what we are doing and why we are doing it. Barts was busy at Slide, and we anticipate a great season ahead,  as all the pent-up UK demand for snow sports is unleashed. Well done and thank you to the organisers for getting the job done in a challenging environment.”

Kim Hall, Barts

“Despite all the odds the inaugural SLIDE & OTS Winter was a great success. So valuable to have the opportunity to meet with our customers in one place and to talk face to face. The show is a credit to the industry and a valuable event in the years calendar.”

Fiona Manby, Manbi