Increases in attendance are attributed to strong growth in key segments and East Coast retail attendance 

In the weeks following the close of another successful Summer Market tradeshow, Outdoor Retailer today confirmed* the semi-annual tradeshow hit record-breaking attendance figures for the third consecutive year. Final reports indicate the show saw a five percent increase in overall attendance over 2011.

The most significant areas of growth over 2011 included increased representation from buyers and stores in the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic states, with 18 and 22 percent growth, respectively. Final reports also indicate a seven percent increase in overall international attendance.

The growth is especially significant considering the show’s new, stricter credentialing process recently implemented for all retail attendees.

“Summer Market 2012 was certainly the most phenomenal show in our history, generating more energy and excitement across every major market segment than ever before,” said Kenji Haroutunian, vice president at Nielsen Expositions and OR show director. “This kind of participation for Outdoor Retailer is a reflection of strength in the market and this event has become a vehicle for driving new ideas, partnerships and business value for the near-, mid- and long-term future.”

Attendees also had record ground to cover with more than 490,000 net square feet in convention and pavilion exhibit space displaying thousands of new products and technology. Many retailers, like U.S. Army Buyer John Hurley, consider the event a once-a-year opportunity to meet with a number of key vendors and potential partners.

“Outdoor Retailer is the best place to meet with vendors to discuss possible equipment and clothing that could help the U.S. military,” said Hurley. “The demo and convention events are great because it brings everybody throughout the U.S. to one central location so we can pack 80 meetings in three days.”

Store growth, in most cases double-digit growth, came from the show’s major market segments, including backpacking/camping/hiking, apparel, footwear, adventure travel, cycling/mountain biking, running/trail running, fishing/fly fishing, health/fitness, yoga/Pilates/mind & body and triathlon/multisport.

“The strong showing of specialty retail shops at Outdoor Retailer absolutely helps our brand remain relevant and meaningful in the market,” said Bill Logee, marketing manager at Asics. “Our presence at the show is our way of acknowledging the importance of this channel and gives us the chance to solidify our brand story with the entire market.”

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market will return to the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City in August 2013. Outdoor Retailer brings Winter Market to Salt Lake City, Wednesday, January 23 through Saturday, January 26, 2013, with the All Mountain Demo being held Tuesday, January 22.

*Outdoor Retailer takes a few weeks following each show to dive into registration data, eliminating duplicates and examining the information for trends about market growth and areas of opportunity for the show.  

Image courtesy SOAR Communications/Outdoor Retailer

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