McLean,Va. (February 6, 2002) — SnowSports Industries America (SIA) announced today that over 5,100 buyers registered for the 2002 SIA SnowSports Show that took place January 29-February 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. That represents a slight drop in attendance from last year but better than many trade shows held in Las Vegas since September 11.
The SIA SnowSports Show celebrated its 30th year in Las Vegas with over 500 exhibitors spread over 385,000 net square feet of exhibit space. It was the 47th consecutive year for the show which is run by SIA, a member-owned, not-for-profit organization that represents snow and winter outdoor sports suppliers and retailers.
“Even with numerous challenges affecting the snow sports industry, the board and staff of SIA felt that the 2002 Show was a success,” said SIA President David Ingemie. “We had to deal with consolidation among retail shops, a soft economy, lack of snow in the East and mid-West, warm weather in the mid-Atlantic and a complete re-vamping of the buy sell cycle that involved moving the SIA Show from early March to late January.”
The unaudited total of 5,164 buyers at the close of the show on Saturday indicated that buyer registration would be down 10.5 percent when compared to the 2001 show total of 5,772 buyers. The preliminary Buying Power Index for the 2002 show was 85.7 percent. The Buying Power Index represents the purchasing power of retailers at the SIA Show that are involved in the on-snow retail business. Media attendance for the show was up 19 percent from 420 last year to 500 this year.
“This has been a tough year for trade shows in general,” added Ingemie. “We, in the snow sports industry, need to reserve judgment until the entire buy-sell cycle is completed. A lot of people, including suppliers, retailers and reps, worked very hard to streamline the process and to create a ‘see it, try it, buy it’ scenario with the SIA Show as the kick-off event.”
Buying group shows held the two days prior to SIA at the Las Vegas Convention Center were deemed very successful by show organizers for Sports Specialist Limited (SSL) and Sports Merchandising Corporation (SMC). Bill Quigly, president of SMC, commented, “We had our best show ever, far surpassing our expectations.” Quigley also is a principal of the retail store Danzeisen and Quigley in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Assessments of the show by exhibitors varied. Many commented that the snowboard portion of the show was consistently busy with music spilling out of many booths and the aisles jammed. Alpine and Nordic hard goods companies reported strong, consistent traffic for the first three and a half days. Most kick-off shows are four days long, not five. A number of soft goods companies, large and small, noted that they were showing their lines throughout the run of the show but several accessories suppliers noted that business was below par.
The industry is now moving into the “see it” phase of the revised buy-sell cycle with a number of on-snow demos planned, starting with the Eastern Snow Sports Reps Association’s event at Stratton, Vt. That demo began yesterday. The wholesale business cycle officially concludes in Denver on March 31 after a round of rep association indoor shows beginning February 11 in Providence. With the new cycle, the entire buy-sell process is reduced from approximately 120 days to 90 days.Next year, the SIA Show is scheduled for January 24-27 in Las Vegas. The previously announced dates of January 25-28 were changed because of the close proximity of the SIA Show with the Outdoor Retailer Show that will be held in Salt Lake City January 29-February 1. About 125 companies exhibit in both shows. An “express” breakdown/transfer program is being worked out to help them make the transition. Officials from SIA and Outdoor Retailer continue to discuss a resolution to the challenges that will be presented next year with two shows currently scheduled.
For details about the industry buy-sell cycle, log onto http://www.snowsports.org/industrynews/showdates.htm.