SIA President praises the success of the trade show, thinks next year will be even better

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 18, 2010 11:12 am

In a great interview by Shelby Stanger of Shop, Eat, Surf news, SIA President Dave Ingemie evoked a sense of excitement about how well this year’s SIA Snow Show in Denver turned out. We were there, and we can attest that it an awesome time was had by all. This year was great, and Ingemie thinks next year will be even better! Check it out:

How was attendance at SIA this past January? Was the show up or down and by what percentage?

We have an audited number of 18,932. (According to SIA, that was a six-year high.) We were not surprised because it was in the Rocky Mountains and there were a ton of shops that couldn’t attend Las Vegas, but were able to get to this past show. We did have a decrease in retailers coming from California, Oregon and the New England area and Canada.

How are things looking for the next show? Do you have anything special planned?

Based on the feedback we have had so far, it’s very positive. I think that we’ll have a number of people from the Pacific coast and New England that couldn’t come this past year that will come this year. The hotel rates and the economy were all an issue this past year.

With the economy starting to turn, does it seem like brands are willing to spend more money on bigger booths for the next show?

It’s a little early for us to tell, but there are a substantial number of people that want to increase space. We haven’t had anyone say they want to decrease their space yet, but by May 15th we will know a lot more. The initial conversations with suppliers are that they will put in more resources next year.

Do you have anything new planned for next year?

Yes, but I can’t completely commit to all of it now. The first year for us after 37 years in one location was about making the new location change happen. Now that we are in Denver, we will make a number of enhancements and changes that will reflect better knowledge of the town and the facility.

Were retailers and brands happy that the show was in Denver? Do you think more retailers from California will come to the next show?

The feedback on the replies from surveys on the retailer side showed 95% said they accomplished their goals, and that’s really good. Brand surveys went out a little later and I haven’t heard back any derogatory stuff from any suppliers or brands, but the biggest complaint we got were hotel rates. All hotels and SIA and Visit Denver are working together to make rates as realistic and affordable as possible. Now that we know peak nights, etc., the hotels will adjust rates accordingly.

There was some talk by other trade shows in California trying to add more snow brands. Does that concern you guys at all?

Sure. Any addition of another (show) will. I’m not sure who it will be and who will support it. The board shops that are mostly surf and skate will go to it, and I guess any time there is another event it’s a concern, but we’ll see how it plays out. I think they are trying to jump on the fact that we are having a decrease on attendance from Southern California. But if you have ten snow brands, that’s a big difference from the 400 plus exhibitors and almost 900 brands SIA has.

A retailer would need to go to the snow show to figure out their other 60 accounts and that’s the difference. I don’t know that anyone can get everything done in just one show. So if you see three brands in Agenda then you might go to see 13 other brands at SIA. That might happen. We’ll see. It’s hard today to get to see everything at just one show.”