The SIA Snow Show, held in Denver, CO is where product suppliers show off their lines and retail buyers look into their crystal balls hoping to come up with the right products to entice their customers next fall.
This year, the Snow Show held in late January welcomes more than 550 exhibitors representing more than a thousand product brands. The attending retailers represent about 80% of the total buying power in the snow sports industry. The show usually attracts more than 20,000 total attendees (vendors, reps, retailers, etc.)
The intensity at the show lasts from early morning until late evening with parties, dinners, concerts, and fashion shows, along with doing business. Denver has proven to be a hugely successful site for the show since relocating from Las Vegas about seven years ago, and the proximity to ski resorts, where on-snow testing can take place, is another big plus. This year, Copper Mountain will again the host resort for the two-day demo event for alpine skiing, snowboarding, and XC skiing following the show.
The day before the show will feature the "Industry & Intelligence" gathering hosted by SnowSports Industries America (SIA) the snow sports industry's member-owned trade association, will prep the entire industry for the SIA Snow Show with day-long educational offerings, market intelligence, networking opportunities, keynote speakers and social gatherings. With 60+ seminars and clinics during the show as well as opportunities to meet with peers on issues that affect their business, retailers, reps and brands can all find a way to get inspired - keeping the industry in tune with issues and trends concerning all aspects of the snow sports business.
The Snow Sports Market Intelligence Report showed cross country skiing equipment sales declined by 5% in dollars to $72 million in 2015, but there was an increase in the women's sector, which was up the second year in a row (this year an increase of 13%). Trends at this year's show include simplifying the sport for newcomers and making it more efficient for advanced skiers. There'll be more carbon in ski boots (classic and skate), a focus on weight savings, new binding interfaces, and waxless bases featuring skins again. Thanks to the SIA Snow Show Preview publication for the following sneak peak of some of next year's XC ski products.
Fischer Skis US sites easier kicking and longer gliding skis to diminish the learning curve that is typically required to master XC skiing. Out-of-track equipment will bridge the gap between light backcountry and alpine touring. The Efficiency Forward system offers new construction resulting in weight reductions of up to 200 grams, a new flex allowing for easier kicking and an increase in kick power.
Fischer has incorporated technology from its Speedmax skate boot in its classic boot with a carbon sole reducing weight by 30%. The Madshus Super Nano Classic boot also integrated the skate boot technology in its classic boot with carbon fiber for forefoot flex and more ski control because of torsional rigidity.
The "Nordic Center" (in photo) sponsored by Cross Country Ski Areas Association and media partners such as XCSkiResorts.com and SnowshoeMag.com offer show attendees an exclusive preview of apparel, equipment, accessories and technologies specific for the cross country ski and snowshoe experience with marketing and merchandising education.
Alpina Sports has a new ski boot called Active Edge Carbon technology with enhanced stiffness and rebound while maintaining soft flexible zones for a comfortable fit. Binding interfaces are also a trend that saves weight exemplified by Salomon's Nordic Propulse bindings and boot soles. Rossignol now has the Rottefella Performance Skate binding, which is a high performance NIS binding designed for recreational skating.
The new NIS compatible Rossignol Delta Skate ski is designed for competitors and experts. It has a softer flex for responsiveness and a honeycomb core for weight reduction. Classic skis from some of the cross country ski companies now feature skin technology for grip to go up hills. Madshus has its Intelligrip skin system. Fischer's exclusive new PROFOIL is an easy-to-use and lightweight solution for backcountry adventurers, randonnée skiers, and winter alpinists. This revolutionary adhesive full-length ski base attachment powered by Fischer's Crown Technology allows skiers to lengthen uphill stride and provides permanent grip in all conditions.
David Ingemie joined SIA in 1976 as marketing director and became president of the non-profit organization in 1981 and over the span of his 39-year career at SIA, David has worked diligently to grow snow sports participation and sales and has focused on strengthening the core organization and trade show. Last year the announcement was made that Ingemie will retire from the day-to-day SIA operations.
Additionally, the SIA's Snow Show will be moved to early in December (from the late January dates) and that will change the buying cycle calendar in the snow sports product industry. The buying cycle in general terms involves when retailers see supplier lines of products for the following year, when they purchase those products, when those products are produced, delivered, and paid for, when retailers put products on sale, and so on.
"The industry has been incredibly lucky to have David Ingemie as the driving force behind SIA for 39 years. David has been instrumental in working with the Board on defining what SIA is today and next steps to guarantee its future success and a smooth transition," said Bob Gundram, Chair of SIA's Board of Directors and CEO of C3.
"I feel so fortunate to have been a part of an industry that represents one of my life's greatest passions - snow sports. It has been a great run, working under twenty-one different Board chairmen/women and seeing so many changes within the industry; equipment, resorts, retailers, reps, and even ways to get down the hill," said David Ingemie.
A transition plan comprised of a long range strategic vision for SIA and development of job description and recruitment strategy for David Ingemie's successor became a top priority for SIA's Board of Directors beginning in May 2014, when Ingemie advised the Board of his plans for stepping down as president. The Board has developed a comprehensive understanding of SIA's future goals and the qualifications for an ideal candidate and Nick Sargent was selected.
David Ingemie's successor assumed the role of president following the 2016 SIA Snow Show. David Ingemie will remain at SIA in the role of Immediate Past President and lead an archival project preserving the organization's 60+ years of history. Happy Trails, David! Top photo: snowsports.org/photography; Lower photo: Chris Frado