As reported in the last issue, the British Outdoor Industries Association has appointed Louise Ramsay as its new director. The position had been vacant for more than one year, so the new director’s agenda is a very long one. Ramsay explained to The Compass the first steps that the OIA needs to take in order to re-invent itself.
Ramsay intends to transform the organization into a lobby to the British government. She said the work should include all the issues that concern the outdoor industry, such as the supply chain, sustainability and accessibility of the U.K.’s outdoor arenas.
The organization, which recently moved its office to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (Eica), also wants to improve its relations with the European Outdoor Group. A special focus is on advanced market research on the British outdoor market at both the trade and consumer levels, which is on its way. On top of the agenda, however, will be to win new members for the federation – especially at the retail level.
Ramsay made it clear that OIA does not aim to organize its own trade show. On the international level, OIA has friendly relations with the OutDoor show for summer and Ispo in winter. On the national scale, it supports shows such as OTS in Stoneleigh and Slide, the action sports show in Manchester. OIA will also be headline sponsor of the Innov_ex convention to be held in Lancaster on May 6. The main theme of the convention will be “eco-innovation in the context of recession.”