For EORA’s nearly 450 members, renewal of membership came with a welcome surprise in 2010, according to Al Diamond, EORA's board president. “As a result of our longstanding success as an association, and the association’s responsible handling of funds, we found ourselves in a position at the end of 2009 to be able to return association profits to our membership,” said Diamond. “The board voted unanimously to reduce membership dues for 2010 by 10 percent.”
Diamond told SNEWS that EORA, in its 31st year as an association, is running more efficiently and better than ever before. It has 11 regional shows each year that serve its membership, as well as members’ retailer accounts, large and small.
EORA is also returning to Killington, Vt., after leaving it nearly eight years ago, launching a combined show for outdoor and watersports members in the Northeast region. The show is scheduled for Aug. 23-26, 2010.
“We have put on separate shows in the past, with an outdoor show in Hartford, Conn., and a watersports show in Sturbridge, Mass.,” said Diamond. “This year, we’re making it one super show, and it’s guaranteed to be fun since Killington is such a great venue.”
Debbie Motz, executive director for EORA, added, “Because of the small lake at Killington and dock system EORA is putting in, boats and boards will be able to be tested throughout the show.
“Also, we will be hosting a paddle demo at the August show in Greenville, S.C., for the first time. The lake is 10 minutes from the show facility and we will run a loop shuttle service between 8 a.m. and noon on the second day of the show,” she added.
In addition, EORA gave the mid-Atlantic region its first regional outdoor winter show in Oaks, Penn., Feb. 3-4, and it will also be putting on an early apparel buying show the first week of December in Parsippany, N.J. EORA also plans on launching a new outdoor show in August also in Oaks, Penn., Motz told us.
Despite putting on the Killington show to simplify things for retailers by combining two shows into one, Diamond told SNEWS that EORA will continue with its early buy apparel show in Manchester, N.H., which is held the last week of June. “That show we have done for a few years and it has been tremendously successful. It's not going anywhere.”
Although Diamond notes the EORA shows garner increasingly strong attendance, he does feel it is important for retailers, at least once a year if the budget allows, to attend a national trade show, simply because, “at these regional shows you get the regional reps showing the vendor wares they rep for, while at the national shows retailers will see a much broader offering of product, especially from newer manufacturers that often do not have a sales force in place yet.”