Editor’s Note: When most people hear “SIA” they immediately think of the trade show, but SnowSports Industries America is much more than that. As a not-for-profit trade organization, it is run by its members and Board of Directors, of whom a third are from core snowboard brands with well over 100 years of collective industry experience. The SIA Board meets regularly to steer the organization’s goals, like increasing participation; services, like in-depth research data; and, yes, it’s trade show, to ensure SIA meets the needs of brands and retailers today, and in year’s to come.
I was asked to join the board back around 1997 if I remember correctly. I joined because I had some passionate opinions about the show and felt I could contribute from the snowboard membership point of view. I was off the board for two years and then was asked back on in 2004. I have remained on the board ever since and now also sit on the Executive Committee. It’s been great to see the different categories represented on the board work together for the betterment of our industry.
What are your goals in steering SIA’s direction to better support the sport of snowboarding and its retailers and brands?
There are so many ways that we as members and retailers benefit from the association’s efforts. One goal is to stay focused and more clearly communicate how the snowboard members and retailers can benefit from all that SIA provides for us.
What resources does SIA offer retailers that they might not know about?
SIA offers up many resources such as customized research reports that drill-down by category, participant, distribution, price point, etc., HR consulting services, government affairs, investing in creating new consumers, and helping retailers with resources to sell product. SIA provides much more than most retailers are aware of or take advantage of.
How has the snowboard side of the show changed since you began coming and what are your goals for the future?
Well, I was attending the show prior to snowboarding, and even a part of the show. Then it grew to the whole North Hall in Las Vegas. Those were crazy, hectic, go all day and all night times. The business still got done even before Red Bull somehow. Everyone was passionate. In more recent years it has settled down a bit but the excitement and energy level is still there. Now with so many brands in the industry selling both ski and snowboard products, I think the family feeling has gotten even bigger. There is less of an “us against them” attitude from both sides and I personally like that. Denver gave the mood of the show a fresh start, and with the On Snow Demo at Winter Park, I think it really gives us the whole package.
What tips do you have for retailers attending the show to make the most of it?
The show is a great opportunity to see the products presented in the true light that the manufactures intended. All color ways are available to see from the outerwear and accessories companies, all graphics are available to see from the hard goods companies, sales reps, marketing personnel, sales management, product designers, company owners are all in one place and they are all there to work with the retailers. It’s a great opportunity and every retailer should take full advantage of it. This is the only place where all these opportunities exist. Show up, have fun, enjoy the camaraderie and work hard!