Following its announcement in mid-March that it would be moving the annual Snow Show trade show to mid-January in 2013, SnowSports Industries America (SIA) announced today that it will not change the schedule, and will keep the show at the end of January to avoid conflicts with retailers’ schedules.
SIA originally moved the dates of the show due to the changing nature of the global production cycle and the overlap with ISPO.
“We polled retailers on what shows they go to and when,” said SIA President David Ingemie following the initial announcement. “We looked at how many retailers are out of their stores in early January, and that is significant. We didn’t ask, ‘When would you like the show dates?’ You can’t ask that question.”
Retailers were extremely vocal in their concerns since the mid-January dates would fall in the heart of the short winter sales window and before the blockbuster Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Additionally, the new dates would have overlapped with Surf Expo. In a twsbiz.com poll, 46% of respondents said the new dates would not work with their schedules and they would not be attending.
“The anger, the frustration, the angst, from the retail community has been pretty significant and pretty heated,” said National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association Chairman of the Board Brad Nelson, who spearheaded the retail response to the date changes.
Following today’s announcement, Nelson said "We are extremely satisfied that SIA has been responsive to our needs. We fully endorse the SIA Snow Show's new dates and will encourage our retailers to attend this national trade show for winter products."
SIA met with retailers last week in Baltimore and stated that; “Given the many factors and constituencies SIA's Board had to consider, the goal was to provide Show dates that would be beneficial to all aspects of the industry.”
"The later dates in January are a positive move for our members and the retail community at large. This eliminates some significant conflicts the earlier dates presented and will allow us to efficiently participate in the buy/sell cycle for winter products," commented Brent Mohr, President of New England Winter Sports Representatives Inc.
SIA knew the decision wouldn’t be popular, just as the choice to move the show from March to late-January in 2002 wasn’t, but said that the new dates seemed necessary. “When you sit down and look at a whole calendar, you don’t have many options,” explained Ingemie. “It allowed us to have time for the buying groups and allowed an eight day period between SIA and OR and then ISPO.”
Nelson and other retailers contended that SIA must take into account the needs of retailers first and foremost. “We have always heard that the dates are what they are because of the manufacturers’ needs-as customers that’s not a real warm fuzzy feeling,” said Nelson in late March. “We should be smart enough to understand that as an industry if we are not all pulling in the same direction, working on the same issues, that we are not going to get anywhere.”
"At the end of the day, the voice of the retail community and our sales reps was heard loud and clear," said Tim Petrick, SIA's Chairman. "The earlier dates were not going to work for the U.S. retail community, so we needed to find a solution that worked for our customers."
According to SIA’s announcement:
The announcement was made following a meeting of industry representatives last week in Baltimore, MD, which included members of the National Ski and Snowboard Retailers Association (NSSRA), all regions of winter sports rep associations, as well as SMC, SSL and NBS Buying Groups. All parties encouraged SIA to reverse the previous Board decision and revert to the later dates and indicated they would strongly support the schedule among their respective constituents.
The SIA Snow Show will be held in Denver, the 4th week in January, from Thursday to Sunday, January 26-29 in 2012 and January 31-February 3 in 2013.
As a result of the change back to the later dates, the executive directors of SMC, SSL and NBS buying groups, Tom Gately, Steve Rogers and Rand Whitney expressed their commitment to the later Show dates. "We are pleased that SIA has listened to the voice of our members," said Tom Gately, President of Snowsports Merchandising Corporation.
"Returning to the later dates assures our commitment to operating our Buying Group Shows in coordination with the SIA Snow Show," said Steve Rogers, President/CEO of Sports Specialists Ltd.
The group of snow sports industry representatives was pleased by the meeting's open dialogue and positive outcome. Everyone involved felt the meeting set a great foundation for addressing future issues specific to the snow sports industry.
"I am happy that we have come to this agreement on the dates and thank Visit Denver and the Colorado Convention Center for their flexibility with the dates we have now confirmed. We are looking forward to a long term relationship with the city of Denver and the state of Colorado in hosting the SIA Snow Show," added David Ingemie, President of SIA.