Emerald Expositions Adds SIA Snow Show to Its Stable of Trade Exhibitions

Weeks after raising $264 million in a public offering, Emerald Expositions turned around and acquired for $16.4 million the SIA Snow Show, organized by SnowSports Industries America.

Emerald Expositions—which produces trade shows including Surf Expo, Outdoor Retailer, Swim Collective, Active Collective and the Imprinted Sportswear Show—will combine the two outdoor-oriented shows into Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, with the first edition being held Jan. 26–29 in Denver.

Since 2011, the SIA Snow Show has been held in Denver, and for years Outdoor Retailer has been held in Salt Lake City. The summer edition of Outdoor Retailer will make its last independent stand in Salt Lake City July 26–29.

Outdoor Retailer has been trying to extract itself from the Salt Lake City location ever since Utah Governor Gary Herbert started trying to undo former President Barack Obama’s decision to create Bears Ears National Monument, which protected it from commercial exploitation.

The Bears Ears brouhaha prompted several high-profile outdoor apparel manufacturers such as Patagonia to withdraw from the twice-a-year show in Salt Lake City.

Emerald Expositions was entertaining proposals from other cities to host the show, even though it was signed up through 2018 to hold Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City.

This way, Outdoor Retailer initially can move into the SIA Snow Show slot in Denver and then work on subsequent locations. SIA will continue to produce the On-Snow Demo portion of the show at the Copper Mountain Resort ski area as well as Industry + Intelligence Day.

On May 29, Nick Sargent, president of SnowSports Industries America in Park City, held a webinar to talk about the acquisition, which was announced on May 24. “This is a very positive move forward,” he said in the online format. “This agreement with Emerald gives SIA the ability to accomplish its vision and pursue its efforts to help the winter-sports industry thrive.”

The combined show will bring together outdoor and snow-sports industries under one roof. “This means it’s a more effective platform for our members to do business and a great return on their trade-show investment,” Sargent noted. “As a result of one less winter trade show in an increasingly congested trade-show landscape, stresses on suppliers and retailers are reduced.”

Sargent emphasized that there should be enough room for the two shows in January at the Colorado Convention Center. He said the SIA Snow Show takes up 235,000 square feet of space, but there are 670,000 square feet of continuous space and the building encompasses 800,000 square feet.

More than 70 percent of SIA’s voting members approved the Emerald Expositions purchase. SIA executives will sit on Outdoor Retailer’s event advisory board to counsel on show dates, long-term planning, pricing structure, member discounts, show floor plan, community building and new concepts.

With the SIA Snow Show sold, the executives at SnowSports Industries America will be working on a three-year strategic plan to develop new programs and tools to help its members grow their businesses, including research, education, participation, consumer outreach and retail support. “SIA will be seeking new revenue streams to replace the trade-show revenue stream,” Sargent said.

SIA was established in 1954 and its members are makers of alpine, ski and outdoor equipment, apparel, accessories, retailers, resorts and buying groups.

Emerald Expositions, headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., is a large trade-show and conference organizer that just keeps growing. Last year, Emerald acquired Swim Collective and Active Collective from Shannon Leggett, the founder of the shows started in 2010 and 2014, respectively.

Earlier this year, Emerald acquired the International Drone Conference and Exposition from BZ Media.