It’s been a month since I last reached out. And quite a month it’s been!
As you may have seen, after 40 years, SIA is moving to Utah. We are very excited to relocate the organization to one of the major hubs of snow sports; and look forward to launching the organization into the next phase. More to come on the move in next month’s email.
We were also pleased to announce the date change back to January for the SIA Snow Show. The discussion around this well-thought-out decision began shortly after I took office and concluded at the board meeting in May, where a unanimous decision was reached. While the industry’s best intentions were at the forefront of the original date shift, it became increasing evident that a December show wasn’t going to work. While we understand that the January dates are not ideal for absolutely everyone, the intent was to find a solution that ensures a vibrant and productive industry gathering. A big thank you goes out to the SIA board for supporting this decision with a continued resolve to do the right thing for the industry.
I also hope that this decision is viewed as a representation of our desire and ability to be a good listener and partner. We know that solid decision making will only further build the foundation and backing of the snow sports community. Likewise, we are counting on your continued support and attendance to ensure that the Snow Show will remain the central gathering place for winter — for reps, retailers, media, suppliers, buying groups, resorts and athletes. Your participation is what makes the Show such a valuable tool for our industry.
This is the tip of the iceberg of positive changes that SIA has in store. Much of that change will be born out of conversations that I am having with industry stakeholders across the country. These conversations cover a wide range of topics, with similar themes emerging. I wanted to share two key takeaways that I have been thinking about:
*SIA is known first and foremost for the trade show. And, there seems to be little understanding of what else SIA does for its members and the industry. For a membership based organization, this is really concerning. This signifies that either we aren’t doing a good job of communicating what SIA does; or the industry doesn’t feel the value in what we do. Neither are good. In addition to the Show, SIA’s support and guidance toward positive industry growth includes research, education, government affairs and advocacy – to name just a few. Moving forward, I will be looking at how we can further strengthen existing programs, in addition to developing new programming that brings greater value and growth opportunities to our members and the industry as a whole. I will also make sure that you know about them! It’s paramount that the industry has a better understanding of what SIA does and the benefits created by our programs and actions.
*The industry is weakened by a lack of cohesion and collective thinking. SIA will take the lead in rebuilding the collective process. Through open, positive dialogue and building consensus, we can tackle issues that impact us industry-wide and seek out new and innovative solutions. This is OUR industry, these are OUR issues and we need to work TOGETHER to find solutions to take it where we want to go. By focusing on new growth and sustainability, SIA’s mission is to make the industry strong. But, we need your support, your input and your willingness to think collectively in order to be the best possible advocate for winter sports.
What I continue to be inspired by is the opportunity ahead. The winter sports industry is at a crossroads. Change is vital to keep pace and remain effective and relevant. SIA is committed to be a more effective leader and spur greater growth in the industry. However, in order to effect positive change, SIA needs the support of stakeholders representing all facets of the industry.
To be successful, we need to embrace and harness the dichotomies that will make the industry that much stronger: emerging talent vs industry veteran, innovation vs tradition; budding company vs longstanding icon; visionary vs traditionalist.
In addition to continuing to build on conversations with you, I will be spending the next few months examining how SIA can be more effective for its members and the industry as a whole. This includes revisiting our mission and vision statements. Everything at SIA will be getting a second look. Change is on the horizon and your input will help us to define what this change looks like. I look forward to hearing from you.
Until next month!
PS: If you have a moment, please share your thoughts and comments via a quick survey.