McLEAN, VA (October 31, 2000) — Industry suppliers, who make up the membership of SnowSports Industries America (SIA), announced last week that the dates for the 2002 SIA Show are January 29 through February 2, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Based on wide-spread industry recommendations that prompted the SIA Board of Directors to adjust the date of the association’s show to late January, the SIA SnowSports Show will become the kick-off of the buy/sell season in the United States and an international premiere for snow sports products globally.
The SIA Show precedes Europe’s ISPO (February 3 through 8) in 2002, and the Show ends less than a week before the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, which begin February 8. The early timing of the show has prompted some retailers, particularly soft goods buyers, to question whether or not suppliers will be ready with samples and color lines.
“You bet we’ll be ready,” said Diane Boyer-Irwin, president of SKEA and a member of SIA’s Board of Directors. Several soft goods and accessory suppliers who also are members of the SIA Board echoed that sentiment. “This (early show) gives dealers the ability to see product first – all the brands, every color – and then work it through (their buying decisions),” added Boyer-Irwin. She is heading up a task force of suppliers, retailers and reps that is developing a plan to help dealers effectively make use of the earlier SIA Show in 2002 and subsequent shows in the buy/sell cycle.
“Dealers will get a better sense of what’s new and they’ll have the opportunity to see the whole line early,” said Dick Leffler, president of Nils and chairman of the SIA Trade Show Committee. “It will offer the opportunity to target appointments for regional buying.”
Based on information gathered from various sources, the majority of soft goods purchasing decisions are made prior to the current SIA Show dates.
“We are extremely pleased with this news and are looking forward to the prospect of becoming a part of this event once again,” said Tim Boyle, president of Columbia Sportswear. “Snow sports are an integral part of our business and our participation in the SIA show helps to reinforce our position as the largest seller of skiwear in the world.”
“I don’t think there will be much difficulty getting the soft goods manufacturers to have samples ready,” said Randy George, president of Nation’s Best Sports (NBS) buying group. “They’ve done it for our show for 17 years.”
When the change in show dates was announced by SIA this summer, many retailers voiced the concern that they would not be in a position to write orders the last week in January. The SIA has positioned its show as a writing show for many years.
“It is critical that the change is communicated properly to all retailers – it is THE industry show, an intro show, a kick-off show,” said Steve Rogers, president of Sports Specialists, Inc. “If you’re not ready to write, you don’t have to.”
“This is a new show,” said Hugh Harley, president of Rossignol, Inc., and an SIA Board member. “It’s not going to be what people currently think (about the SIA Show). The dynamics will be completely different.”
Suppliers, rep associations and retailers will be working together during the next few months to develop a plan designed to make the transition to a new buy/sell cycle effective and efficient.
“We still have a lot of work to bring our constituents up to speed with the changes,” said Keith Bowen, sales rep for Dynastar/Lange and a board member of the Southeast Winter Sports Rep Association. “I think that it’s great to have all the people from the various parts of the business talking.”
SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is the national, nonprofit, member-owned trade association of more than 800 competing on-snow product manufacturers, suppliers and distributors working together to promote and develop the winter sports industry. The next SIA SnowSports Show is March 9-13, 2001.