What Selling The Show Means For SIA

by The Editors on June 1, 2017

On May 25, 2017 Snow Industries of America sold the annual SIA trade show to Outdoor Retailer, Interbike, and Surf Expo owner Emerald Expositions for a reported $16.7 million. SGB Media has a great overview of the details along with a full rationalization by SIA President Nick Sargent. Here’s how he spins it:

“The sale of the SIA Snow Show to Emerald ensures the best path forward for a vibrant and successful trade show and it expands SIA’s ability to help support our members and drive the winter sporting industry forward,” Sargent says. “That’s been the goal for me in this organization from day one and I’m proud to report that we’ve accomplished that goal and are setting ourselves up forward on a new mission.”

It’s a nice way to explain it, but in reality this is simply consolidation in a down market for trade shows. The name of the new show says it best: Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show. It’s a rough time for trade shows and for SIA to get any cash out of the show is nice work by the team, but don’t be surprised if “snow show” is dropped from the official name of the show in 2019 and everyone goes back to calling it OR Summer and OR Winter.

The biggest question for us is what is SIA without a trade show? Well, according to Sargent it’s SIA 2.0. He says the organization will now have more time, resources, and funding to focus on things like retail support, education, participation, industry gatherings (but not trade shows), research, and consumer outreach. In other words, all that stuff that we get press releases for, but never pay much attention to. 

The best news for us, however, is that Emerald is still hunting for a new show location after pulling out of Salt Lake City and currently Denver, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Chicago, Indianapolis and Portland are in the mix. The possibility that the show could end up back in Las Vegas (where it should be) as soon as 2019 is filling us with joy. If Las Vegas is all we get out of this deal, we’ll be happy.

[Link: SGB Media]

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