The outdoor industry has held its annual trade show in Harrogate, in the autumn, for 30+ years. But last year the decision was made to move the Outdoor Industries Association's 'Outdoor Preview' show to a July slot and to relocate to Birmingham's NEC. David Hyde of Leisure Expo has spotted what he thinks is a gap: a three-day bicycle trade show combined with outdoor trade elements.

Hyde pins hopes on Harrogate for trade show revival

Hyde, a bike trade show veteran, knows what it’s like to move a trade show from Harrogate to Birmingham’s NEC, and back again.

And now he’s confident that, after a three year gap, a ‘one big trade show’ event can be made to succeed in Harrogate.

The outdoor trade’s show was always held in the centre-of-town convention centre. And that’s where many bicycle trade shows were held too, including the last ones owned by the Bicycle Association.

However, Hyde has booked the out-of-town Yorkshire Event Centre, an agricultural fairground and is planning to stage the Cycle & Outdoor Leisure Exhibition on 1-3rd October 2006, close in date to the Autumn cycle trade shows in Germany and America.

"This new show, promoted by the established and accomplished team at Leisure Expo, will put the excitement back into doing business," promised Hyde in an emailed promo to IBDs and potential exhibitors.

The show would would be "how it used to be – at last we can see a return to high visitor attendance," said Hyde.

He’s confident there’s a cross-over in the UK between independent bike shops and independent outdoor shops (which are almost totally dominated by chain groups of outdoor retailers such as Black’s).

The Outdoor Industries Association move from Harrogate "may all suit the larger multiple groups but it leaves a huge gap for the independent retailer, the sector that needs the mid autumn show slot to help them complete their product range and stocking plans for the coming year," said Hyde.

"The new show is a buying and networking opportunity that links a great many aspects of the leisure and sports trade. It comes at a time when the cycling and the outdoors business are appreciating just how much they have in common.

"No longer will independent retailers have to chase after roadshows and invitation only events. These may once have seemed the answer, but with so many similar events they have lost the necessary impetus and appeal. One major national show will put that right."

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