SIA has reported that as of today, 700 buyers from 234 shops have registered for the 2003 SIA SnowSports Show, January 27-30, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. That number represents a 32-percent increase over registration last year at this time, which totaled 521 buyers. Exhibitors are also showing increasing interest according to SIA, with 25 new or new-returning exhibitors commited to the show already.
The jump in retail registration is being attributed to a direct-mail campaign, which SIA launched in mid-September with an "early bird" pre-registration brochure that was distributed to storefronts both nationally and abroad.
SNEWS® View: Despite this early good news for registration numbers, we would expect overall SIA attendance to be down this year and will be very surprised if attendance rises. Despite rolling out the red carpet and putting an extra shoulder behind the PR and marketing push, SIA is fighting an uphill battle against early show timing, dates that kept jumping around, and the fact that there is now no separation between SIA and Outdoor Retailer. That means manufacturers either have to have two booths and two separate staffs, or choose which show to attend -- and most outdoor folks, other than the Nordic community, have told SNEWS® they will attend OR. Factor in ispo beginning Feb. 1 and you have to believe the international draw will dip too, since for most European retailers, ispo winter show is a must-attend affair.