What a Show! We’re still reliving the fun and camaraderie as well as the ideas and inspiration we gained at the 2015 SIA Snow Show, and we hope you are too! If you didn’t make it this year, you can get all the details, including photos and videos, at SIAsnowshow.com. As always, the Snow Show this year brought new additions, ideas and innovation, as well as your favorite Show features, and lots of old friends all together under the gigantic roof of the Colorado Convention Center.
One of the biggest new additions was the inaugural INDUSTRY + INTELLIGENCE day, (#SIA15intel) which prepped attendees for the Show with day-long educational offerings, market intelligence, networking opportunities, keynote speakers and social gatherings.
The industry day had nearly 20 sessions covering five core intel tracks – State of the Industry, Production and Protection, The Challenges and Opportunities of the One Season Business, Social Media and the Wealthy Retailer. INDUSTRY + INTELLIGENCE also included events the industry has come to rely on like the Shmooz job fair, The ASSEMBLY on mountain tourism, Product Category Overviews by SIA Director of Research Kelly Davis, and a new panel of suppliers, resorts, and retailers taking a look at Attracting Today’s Time-Starved Customer moderated by SIA’s David Ingemie. Panelists included Sky Foulkes-Stratton Mountain Resort, VT, Will Masson-Rossignol, Jay Moore-World Boards, Bozeman, MT, Parker Rice-Eqiupe Sport/Mountain Riders, Rawsonville, VT, John Rucker-HEAD, Carolyn Stimpson-Wachusett Mountain, MA, Dan Sullivan-Rome Snowboards.
“The whole idea behind today was to help the industry prepare for the Show and make smart business decisions– Show attendees are often booked solid from morning to night with appointments so today gave many people the opportunity to sit in on sessions they couldn’t before,” commented Davis.
Davis delivered her Product Category Overviews to a packed room, and kept the mood light while giving attendees an overview of the market as well as information about the new NPD data system and her Downhill Consumers Intelligence Project (DCIP). Jon Easdon, owner of Blindside in Colorado Springs was thrilled with the insights he gained in Davis’ session to help him prep for the Show.
“A resource like this that’s free and widely available to retailers is huge,” Easdon said. “It helps me take the data and see where I need to target and start focusing for the Show. This seminar is a resource everyone should take advantage of. I’m leaving the day with a completely honed in, focused view. I’ve been looking forward to this for months and it’s been even better than I expected.”
“So many good seminars, so little time. There are a ton of good seminar topics this year. Just walked out of one with a very engaging speaker – that is always a plus when time is of the essence!” Geoff Brugler, Appalachian Outdoors, State College, PA.
“I think Industry + Intelligence is great. I’d love to see it grow every year. The information shared here will help everyone make good decisions and feel prepared not just for the Show, but the future as well. I’m well enthused about having this event happen and letting people know, so more and more people can take advantage of it,” said Wendy Carey, CFO of Seirus Innovation and SIA board member.
Stay tuned to SIAsnowshow.com/intel for recaps of the seminars and more information about INDUSTRY + INTELLIGENCE.
The Nordic Center, presented by Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA) and media partners, Cross Country Skier, Ski Post, SkiTrax, Snowshoe Magazine, XCSkiResorts.com, offered buyers an exclusive preview of apparel, equipment, technologies and education specific for the cross country and snowshoe experience with marketing and merchandising education
“I’m so thrilled to see SIA bringing Nordic gear together in this exhibit to give buyers an overview of what’s available,” said Penelope Gleason, Marketing Director at Paragon Outfitters and Boot Doctors in Telluride CO. “The category is growing so much. We’ve seen a huge boom in popularity in our store, and I love getting to see what’s new and being able to ask questions in a relaxed environment.”
Seminars in Sourcing Snow were new to the education line up for 2015, convening designers and suppliers to discover product development trends, technologies and planning. Ali Levy, SIA’s visual merchandising consultant, delivered her Sourcing Snow seminar Displays on a Budget, and inspired the attendees to think outside the box. “Using tape rolls in a display is genius,” enthused Laura McLaughlin from Turtle Fur. “I never would have thought of that!”
Favorite features from last year’s Show also returned to even bigger acclaim in 2015. Lots of buzz this year came from the 2nd annual POW Breakfast, which returned this year featuring Guest Speaker David Roberts, a renowned journalist who writes for Grist.org on the topic of climate change and energy politics. Roberts spoke to a packed room over a breakfast of burritos and bloodies, sharing data and anecdotes in an engaging talk that stressed the importance of the snow sports industry’s involvement in the fight against climate change.
“As a 60B industry with a very unique position and culture, the snow sports industry has tremendous influence to spread awareness. This industry has a direct stake in this in a way that not many industries do, so anything we can do to educate people within the industry and encourage them to get involved is tremendously important,” Roberts said.
Jeremy Jones, Founder of POW and Jones Snowboards, said, “I think just to bring perspective and expertise, all of the things that David Roberts touched on is awesome. POW’s mission is uniting the industry to fight climate change, and having this opportunity at SIA is so important; the power of SIA is that it’s the gathering of the tribe. This is the industry.”
Another favorite Show feature which gained extra acclaim this year were the curated exhibits, many of which attracted extra attention this year as their popularity grows. The CRAFT @ SIA exhibit returned to the Snow Show with even more exhibitors in its second year to educate the industry about the small, independent, hand-crafted ski and snowboard manufacturers.
Cyrus Schenk, founder of Renoun Skis, was a new exhibitor to CRAFT and is a 2015/16 ISPO Gold award winner for Most Innovative Design. “To be at SIA is an opportunity that without the CRAFT display wouldn’t be possible at all. The exposure we’re going to get from this is just unbelievable,” he said. “We’re so excited to be here, so excited to show our product, and to really show the world a new way to design skis. This is only the beginning.”
At Backcountry Experience, the launch of Project Zero’s Backcountry Starts Here! campaign gathered retailers, reps, and the media to consider and discuss safety issues surrounding this growing segment of the industry. The Backcountry Experience exhibit was packed during the many seminars and athlete talks hosted there this year, making it a hub for discussion and the sharing of big ideas among some of the industry’s most knowledgeable figures.
“I think it’s really interesting because backcountry is so huge these days,” said renowned mountaineer and athlete Greg Hill. “It’s got huge momentum, and I think that these companies that are all partnering together to create a safer experience for the user through Backcountry Starts Here is excellent. Because people can get the gear, but we have to teach them to get the knowledge to get out there and play safely. It’s all of our responsibility, so it’s important that we all come together to make it happen.”
“We’re hoping to sell backcountry gear in the near future, so the Backcountry Experience exhibit seminars are a huge help to me,” said Michael Crites, VP of Marketing for Revant in Portland OR. “With selling this gear comes responsibility to educate, so we need to think about not only the messaging, but the how-to information and the needs we’re going to address. Backcountry Starts Here is a huge help – it will help us so much with all the education efforts and provide us with a way to help our customers.”
Rental World/Backshop, Uniform Gallery presented by SAM Magazine gave rental and resort buyers an exclusive look at top rental gear, displays, rental software, backshop technologies and uniform lines.
“We visited the Rental booth for ideas to make our rental rooms paperless and streamlined with technology…and we were pleased to see the complementary coffee! Upon returning a second time, we discovered additional information about more software. We also loved the Rental Tips that were on display around the exhibit. So glad we came back…score!” said Jesse Keller, Getboards.com
Of course the Show wouldn’t be complete without two days on the snow at Copper Mountain for the On-Snow Demo/Ski Ride Fest. Held in conjunction with the Western Winter Sports Representatives Association (WWSRA) Rocky Mountain Demo and in partnership with the Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA) for the Nordic Demo, the two days at Copper were the perfect end to an incredible week. The industry was rewarded with fresh snow both mornings and bluebird skies in the afternoons, bringing good vibes and big smiles all around.
Between tons of product testing, participants found time to participate or cheer on the competitors in the annual Uphill/Downhill Challenge help to raise over $1200 for The American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE).
“The race was fantastic! It was a brutal climb in the beginning – the descent through the trees was heinous – so awesome though! Overall, super fun and so glad to be here again,” said Marshall Thompson of the US Ski Mountaineering Team and COSMIC level first place winner.
“The event was very successful and the course was fast and fun. Some people even re-registered just to run it again. The after party was packed and the silent auction and raffle was smooth and successful!” said Mallory Gemlo, AAS Events/Programs Assistant Coordinator.
Adaptive Action Sports, based in Copper Mountain was co-founded by U.S. Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy in 2005, also SIA’s keynote speaker at the Snow Show’s INDUSTRY + INTELLIGENCE gathering before the Snow Show.
For a complete list of On-Snow Demo alpine, snowboard and Nordic exhibitors is available here. See all the action in our photo and video libraries from the 2015 Show at SIAsnowshow.com. Remember, you can download the Snow Show Daily from each day of the Show and the Demo here. Also, check SIA’s Latest and follow SIA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – use #SIA15, #SIA15intel and #SIA15demo. Let the countdown to the 2016 Show begin!