SALT LAKE CITY, UT (BRAIN)—In response to the recent announcement by Canoe & Kayak Magazine about its new paddlesports trade show slated for September in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Frank Hugelmeyer, president of Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and Joe Flynn, vice president of Nielsen's Sports Group, owner of the Outdoor Retailer (OR) trade show, both expressed concern about what the new show means for the health of the industry as a whole.
"Both Outdoor Industry Association and Outdoor Retailer feel that a separate trade show at this time will split the industry when together we should concentrate more on growing the market," Hugelmeyer said. "Segmented trade shows are a failing model. To introduce one while paddlesports sales are declining is detrimental to the paddlesports segment and the overall health of the industry. We are committed to working through these challenges and will be searching for a mutually beneficial solution. We will be holding strategy sessions at our upcoming Rendezvous held in San Diego Sep 29 - Oct 01."
While there are some paddlesports-specific retailers, the majority carry lines from multiple market segments and need to be able to see a wide variety of product in one trade show venue. With the addition of a paddlesports-specific show, manufacturers and retailers will be forced to decide which show to attend, or may have to attend both, adding additional costs to their trade show budgets.
OIA and OR together have been working extensively with representatives of the paddlesports industry to address their trade show concerns. At the OR Summer Market 2009, efforts were made specifically for the paddlesports segment to expand trade show offerings and events (click on link).
"Outdoor Retailer is North America's largest gathering of active outdoor recreation manufacturers and retailers. Paddlesports exhibitors contribute greatly to the vibe and success of the show. Together with OIA, OR intends to work with a unified voice from the paddlesports industry to address their concerns and solve any unaddressed issues," Flynn said.