Trends & Features

Outdoor Trade show 2017 attracts the crowds

OTS 2017 was host to over 500 new and existing brands who signed up to showcase their product ranges to retailers. The show was revamped for this summer’s exhibition, with new July dates, new brands, new joint partner (OIA), a new layout inside the exhibition halls and more, with an increase of exhibitor numbers.

Although the show was quieter, feedback received by exhibitors since the event has indicated that the quality of retail visitors was strong, with many taking good orders. This is likely due to the overall increase in retailers, specifically buyers forming a much larger percentage of visitors than in 2016.

OTS brings buyers and sellers together under one roof and attracts the key players from the outdoor industry, providing a fantastic opportunity for distributors and manufacturers to showcase their new and existing product ranges to retail buyers. OTS 2018 dates will be announced shortly, visit the OTS website for further information.

Research is currently taking place with exhibitors and visitors to establish the preferred location and dates for next year.

Andrew Geere, of Ruffwear, said: “The show proved to be successful for us with many new account enquiries and meetings with existing customers. We also received a considerable amount of personal interest from dog owners exhibiting and attending, further raising the profile of the brand and showcasing the product.”

Ann Chappell, of Laundreez, said: “This was my first industry trade show and I learned a great deal from both the other exhibitors and visitors. The staff were extremely helpful prior to and during he show.”

Scott Ritchie, sport marketing co-ordinator, Scott Sports SA (UK Branch), said : “It was the first time SCOTT had attended OTS and we were very impressed with the show, from the venue at Stoneleigh Park to the visitors to the stand. We were able to spend time with quality customers and had a great show that we can now build on going forward for our 2018 sell in. I have no doubt we’ll be back at OTS next year after the success we’ve already had from the show!”

Show highlights

UK outdoor industry awards

For the third year in a row, all of the innovative new outdoor products entered into the 2018 UK Outdoor Industry Awards were on display in a dedicated area at the show. For the first time, visitors were able to take the opportunity to vote for their favourite products across all ten categories on the iPads provided. These votes helped the prestigious panel of judges to select the finalists, which were announced at the OTS Party on the Wednesday evening. For further information, please visit

Workshop programme

New for OTS 2017, the Workshop Programme was a popular addition for visitors interested in learning more about topics such as The Power of Retail Finance (presented by ActSmart), The Importance of Display (presented by Made You Look! Visual Display Training), Captivating Customers is no longer optional (presented by Myagi) and Introducing key complementary products to your customers (presented by Don Gladstone, Peoplework).

New brands

There were a number of first time exhibitors at the show this year, including: Acai, Alpina, Armadillo Merino, Backpacker, Berghaus, Brand Fusion, Channel Jumper, Dolomite/Scott Running, Ecosmo Bike, Falcon Technical, Freewaters, GP Batteries, Killtec, KitBrix, Jet Press, Jobe Sports, Laundreez, Mammut, Pacsafe, Ocean Kayak, Old Town, Orderwise, Ortovox, PJS Wholesale, Ruffwear, Sprayway, Task Force Distribution, The Geocaching Guy, Top to Toe, Venture Wholesale, Vibram and Vita Energies.

The ots party

The party took place after the second day of the show, and visitors were treated to a performance by the Goodfellows band and UK Outdoor Industry Awards finalists’ presentation. It offered an opportunity for visitors and exhibitors to get together after a day of buying and selling in a relaxed environment.

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