Industry News

An Unforeseen Fracture with WSM, by Marisa Nicholson, Outdoor Retailer VP and Show Director

September 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

A united community wins.

In April 2018, Outdoor Retailer Snow Show and the buying groups that compose Winter Sports Market (WSM), agreed to co-locate our respective events in Denver through 2022. We did so in order to unite our industry and make it easier for specialty retailers, brands, reps, and the community to attend both shows.

It was evident from our first year co-locating that having Outdoor Retailer Snow Show and WSM together made work more efficient. Brands were not put in the position to choose between separate events, and buyers were able to meet with more brands and reps, and connect with more of the industry, all within the same week. With unified events, the snow sports and outdoor communities were able to truly support each other during the critical winter selling window.

In light of these positive returns, it was particularly upsetting when WSM unilaterally announced they were moving their event to Salt Lake City despite their contractual obligations. Their decision divides the community at a time when, more than ever, we should be united.

Despite this unforeseen fracture, we know our industry is stronger when we act together.

In partnership with SIA and OIA, we’re excited to bring the winter sports and outdoor communities together again for the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Snow Show from January 26-28, 2022 in Denver. Many brands have already made their booth space commitments – brands our industry is built around and who support specialty retail. Check out the “live” and growing list of exhibitors here.

These brands are there to connect with thousands of buyers from across the country and around the world that come to Outdoor Retailer, of which more than 70% traditionally represent specialty retailers. So, at the show you’ll have access to specialty, plus regional chains, department stores, boutiques, chain specialty, military, and online retailers of all sorts. Everyone is all in one place, and we’ll help you connect with the retailers you want to see.

We’re also planning beyond next year, and we’ve started the visioning process about what’s ahead for our industry. At Outdoor Retailer Summer, an executive roundtable composed of both outdoor and snow companies launched the first of many discussions and workshops around uniting and engaging our audience in new and meaningful ways. More details will be announced soon on the next events – we hope you’ll join us in planning for our collective future.

Our industry has seen unprecedented growth over the past 20 months as more people have sought outdoor recreation. Now, we need to come together to learn how to sustain this growth and embrace the new opportunities. The support of a united community will drive value for your business, it helps you tackle difficult challenges, it fosters innovation, and it gives all of us motivation to keep pushing forward.

We encourage you to reach out to us. Let’s talk about what’s right for your business and how we can support you. We all work in new ways now, and we want to help you find the best way to show up for your industry, your retailers, and your customers.

A united community wins.

Marisa Nicholson 
Outdoor Retailer Senior Vice President and Show Director


If you have ideas or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out:

For exhibitor inquiries, contact your Account Executive.

Retailers, reps, designers, and all other attendees can contact our Attendee Relations team.

For media inquiries, contact our PR & Communications team.

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