Maxed Out in Salt Lake, Outdoor Retailer Launches Web Site to Start Conversation on Possible Move

April 23, 2012

Nielsen Expositions’ Outdoor Retailer biannual markets have maxed out their home at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, and, as a result, a Web site has been launched to start a conversation about a possible new location for the show.


Outdoor Retailer, along with the Outdoor Industry Association, are “engaging the industry in a consultative and comprehensive approach to determine the best growth path and location for the future for the semi-annual outdoor trade shows,” according to OR show officials.


A formal discussion period will launch within what’s called the "Collective Voice" Web site.


An e-mail invite into the discussion will be sent out soon, but in the meantime, the is a destination for learning about the event's history, along with a small list of venues in the nation that could host the current show (Summer or Winter - or both), while engaging in ongoing discussions in a secure moderated online forum.


"We've done surveys of the OR audience for years, and have even posted the results on our website for the whole industry to see," said Kenji Haroutunian, vice president at Nielsen Expositions and Outdoor Retailer show director.


He added, "Though the surveys are extremely helpful, the Collective Voice project adds an important new element to the process by giving every industry stakeholder a voice. This way, a dialog can develop amongst industry leaders and a thoughtful, inclusive and open process can drive the resulting decisions that will determine the future success of the OR shows."


The Summer Market in particular, ranked No. 40 on the TSNN Top 250 Trade Show list, has grown in leaps and bounds.


Last year’s show posted increases in every measurable category, including exhibitor booth space, exhibiting brands, retailers and overall attendance, with most categories posting double-digit percentage growth.


The showfloor grew from 416,361 net square feet at the 2010 show to 456,508 net sq. ft. at this year’s record-breaking event. The show’s overall footprint was more than 1 million square feet.


The show has been held at the Salt Palace, which has 510,600 sq. ft. of space, since 1996.


Some of the other possible venues listed on the Collective Voice site include the Colorado Convention Center, with 584, 000 sq. ft. of space; Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, with 655,600 sq. ft. of upper hall space and 380,000 sq. ft. of lower hall space; Las Vegas Convention Center, with 1,032,135 sq. ft.; Mandalay Bay Convention Center, with 936,306 sq. ft.; Anaheim Convention Center, with 813,607 sq. ft.; and the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, with 987,840 sq. ft.


"Our unwavering commitment is to maintain the health and relevance of the outdoor industry, and work with Outdoor Retailer to help determine the future vision of the show," said Lori Herrera, the executive vice president and COO of the Outdoor Industry Association.


She added, "While this process is far from over, we're learning there's no easy answer. We invite the entire community to become a part of this process, to take the time to learn about the business of Outdoor Retailer, and to think about what it should become in order to continue serving the evolving business needs as well as a healthy outdoor industry."

The industry outreach effort, analysis of the input, sharing of the findings with the industry and determining the strategic direction of the show will span several months with the goal to decide a show direction in the near future, according to OR officials.


Outdoor Retailer has a contract with the Salt Palace that expires after Summer Market 2014.



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