In order to give all stakeholders ample prep time, all aspects of the Show will remain the same until December 2017. Here’s an overview of the schedule between now and the new Show format:
- 2016 Show – will occur end of January
- 2017 Show – will occur January 26-29, 2017
- 2018 Show – will move to December 5-7, 2017
- Going forward all shows will be early December
These dates allow two years for retailers, reps and suppliers to prepare for the new timeframe. This will also include a revamped approach to the Show’s format, with a planned mid-week, three day schedule and show hours of 8A-8P. The Show will continue to be held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado.
“This decision was made with great care and consideration given to the evolving buy/sell cycle, and an eye on the future growth of the industry,” said Nick Sargent, incoming SIA president. “The Show’s purpose is to preview product in the best possible way for retailers to make educated and effective buying decisions when they place their orders at the appropriate time. We look forward to the benefits that this shift will provide to the snow sports community, including our retailers, reps, suppliers and the industry as a whole.”
Over the last two years, our Board of Directors and Committees have held a continuous dialogue with suppliers, the Regional Rep Associations (EWSRA, MRA, MWSRA, NESR, SWRA, WWSRA), the Buying Groups (NBS, SMC, Sports Inc, SSL), and individual specialty shops and sales reps through face–to-face meetings and conversations. Additionally, more than 10,000 individual retailers and suppliers were surveyed.
We emerged from these conversations and data gathering with better clarity on how our business is changing. As the industry’s non-profit trade association with a singular mission of doing what’s best for snow sports, it is imperative that the SIA Snow Show adapt to the evolving production and buying cycles.
Bob Gundram, chair of SIA’s Board of Directors, and CEO of C3, said, “This very important decision was made with extensive input from retailers, reps and suppiers, with the 2017 cycle being selected to offer all organizations involved enough time to adjust to the change.”
“I think it’s a great idea, and a very exciting move,” said Joe Podolak, owner of Alpine Options in Warren, VT. “It makes the Show a place to look forward to the season, see everything before buying, to dream and get excited. It’s what the Show should be.”
Parker Rice, owner of Equipe Sport in Rawlinsville, VT, added, “The SIA show should be the kick off to the buying season with all the energy that goes along with it. Regional shows will then evolve into the writing venues after buyers have had time to process the information they pick up at the national show. While any change to our national show can be traumatic, the revised schedule for 2017 will create a more relevant viewing experience for our buying team. Soft goods is an important growth sector for our business and this change allows for our time in Denver to be more balanced and productive.”
Mike West, founder of 686, said he thinks the move will have a positive impact on all facets of the industry. “Moving the Snow Show earlier in the season will increase the effectiveness of the regional rep shows and have a positive impact on our bottom lines. In addition, retailers will have the ability to see full sample, color and model collections at the Snow Show prior to the regional shows, which often don’t have the full assortment.”
Tim Simonson, president of the Midwestern Reps Association, said his association agrees with the need for change, especially after they gained a greater understanding of all stakeholders’ issues while participating in the decision-making process.
“We appreciate the fact that change is often difficult and sometimes unappreciated, but as our industry evolves, so must our show schedule, nationally as well as regionally,” he said. “One of the biggest challenges that we face in the Midwest is to provide shows that accommodate both softgoods and hardgoods respectively, and certainly SIA experiences the same challenges. Being involved in the decision-making process regarding the timing of the show provides us with a better understanding of the rationale for the changes in show dates. This allows us the best opportunity to plan our show schedule to work as effectively in conjunction with SIA as possible. The MRA appreciates being part of the decision-making process as well as the length of time this gives us to schedule shows in the future.”
Mike Adams, VP and Commercial Director of Amer Sports, said he thinks that the change will serve the entire industry as it aligns better with the current state of the buy/sell cycle. “This shift is being made to serve the industry better by placing the Show in a timeframe that allows for suppliers to be closer to their customers when buying decisions are being considered. It’s an imperative adjustment, especially in the softgoods and expanding hardgoods markets, and one that keeps the Show relevant to the evolving state of the business’ production, buying and consumer cycles.”
After much deliberation and along with all of the stakeholders’ input, the timing adjustment was carefully chosen in order to achieve these primary goals:
– Provide a more holistic and educated view of the season’s trends, new technology and product offering earlier in the buy/sell cycle.
– Improve production timelines.
– Allow buyers to see and explore full product lines in the most ideal setting possible before buying decisions have to be made.
– Maximize the effect of the individual Rep Shows, as retailers will be more prepared to make decisions on what product to buy for their customers.
– Capitalize on a slower block of dates in the specialty retail calendar, which was uncovered through retail data and surveys.
– Reduce the number of days a retailer is out of their shop.
Teddy Schiavoni, owner of Summit Ski & Snowboard in Framingham, MA, said, “The date change to early December came as somewhat of a surprise, at first. The more I reflect on it, the more sense it makes to be stoking the image of snow sports with a preview show in early December. With SIA presenting a preview show aligned with some of the biggest events of the season, it should help to promote sales of inventory at a time when we will gladly take all the publicity we can get! Everyone knows by now that there is no ideal timing to satisfy the entire industry with one show. The new show dates create more of a preview show but it doesn’t address writing orders, as we know it. I remain confident that SIA and particularly Nick Sargent will be receptive to ideas of how to best serve the needs of the rest of the industry and that overall, this move will benefit the greater good.”
“I believe it is important to understand this new show is planned to be different – it is not the same show in a new time slot,” added Peter Weaver, CEO, Tecnica Group USA. “The show is being reinvented to provide the best possible snapshot of where the industry is headed with complete line presentations. The purpose is to provide an overview of what’s coming, and to simplify the downstream process of regional shows and order writing.”
Following the 2016 Snow Show, SIA will organize individual product category task forces, comprised of retailers, reps, rep groups, buying groups, and suppliers, to outline the most efficient and effective format for the Show’s preview process, On-Snow Demo and the regional order wrap-up events that follow. The resulting discussions and recommendations will guide the future format of the Show and SIA’s commitment to reinventing the event and ensuring a smooth buy/sell cycle.
After all of the deliberation and meetings that led up to this decision, there’s one thing we know will never change – the Snow Show remains the one time of year our entire community gets together to talk about industry trends, preview new product, and connect with friends and colleagues. Our passion for the sport and the industry we love will continue to bring us together each year to strengthen and renew our entire community.
We will continue to share information about the new Show format as these recommendations evolve and new insights are incorporated. Stay on top of the developments by checking SIAsnowshow.com, subscribing to Snow Source, and by following SIA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.