Outdoor Retailer owner buys SIA Show

The first combined mega-show is expected to be held in Denver.

It’s official: Emerald Expositions has acquired the SIA Snow Show, the owner of Outdoor Retailer announced late Wednesday afternoon.

SIA members were expected to vote today on a deal that proposed Outdoor Retailer and SIA merge their winter trade shows, at a cost of nearly $17 million to the now-public Emerald Expositions.

SNEWS spoke briefly with Todd Walton, SIA director of communications and marketing, immediately after the announcement: “I’m one of the few people who has worked for both OIA and SIA, and I’m just super excited about the opportunity to reinvigorate the winter sports industry with this new show structure. The Snow Show has been an integral part of what we do, but we’re looking forward to evolving SIA as an organization.”

“Everything has to evolve,” Walton continued. “At at one point SIA owning its own trade show was a huge advantage, however we have to listen to our members and the industry and be proactive. This new show merger enables us to be more engaged with members and lead the industry in research, education, and participation. We can move forward with our mission and vision and let the show be managed by trade show professionals.”

“By merging these two January shows, we will bring the outdoor and snow sports industries together under one roof, creating an optimal and authentic forum for exhibitors and retailers alike,” said Marisa Nicholson, VP of the Sports Group for Emerald Expositions and show director of Outdoor Retailer, in the press release about the acquisition. “This acquisition gives us the opportunity to better serve the business imperatives of the winter sports brands, reps and retailers. We look forward to the positive impact this collaboration will have on the industry.”

It is “anticipated” that the first combined show, the “Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show,” will take place in Denver, Colo., according to the press release.

Potential dates of the future show were not listed, nor was any mention made of the location of future summer, winter, or joint Outdoor Retailer trade shows. Many industry stakeholders have been vocal about moving the show to Denver as the company considers options other than Salt Lake City.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our members and the industry as a whole,” said Nick Sargent, SIA president, in the press release. “For quite some time, the industry has asked to merge the shows. A consolidated trade show not only helps reduce the stress on our industry, but also provides a platform that offers more impact for our members to do business, while delivering a greater ROI. SIA is excited by the opportunities ahead and looks forward to reinvesting into the creation of new and expanded programs and tools to help our members, and the industry as a whole, thrive.”

Emerald Expositions and SIA, a non-profit owned by the snowsports industry, discussed the consolidation for months, according to the press release. SIA’s board of directors voted unanimously to approve the deal, and SIA Premium Members voted “overwhelmingly” to approve.

“Today’s announcement is a significant milestone for the outdoor and winter industries,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association, in the press release. “OIA will continue to work closely with Emerald and SIA to ensure the best return on investment for all members and to provide the outdoor and winter industries with a gathering place for meaningful collaboration and dialog around participation, sustainability, and public policy.”