Challenges and Events Manager David travelled to the Outdoor Adventure and Camping Show in London with the timeoutdoors team looking for more motivating activities for our audience.
It is the UK’s largest outdoor show, and there was the added bonus with the London Bike Show, Triathlon Show and The Dive Show all taking place at the same time. It had everything to cater for your outdoor needs and interests, from running, cycling, swimming and walking through to gear and equipment, food and nutritional advice as well as talks from experts within the industry.
You could get measured up for your next bike, try on your next trail running shoes, get advice on the best tents to buy and discover the best food to eat on a long haul trek.
Many were showing their support for some of the leading charities which were present, listening to stories from athletes and adventurers who have reached the peak within their fields or even just soaking up the atmosphere at the show with a coffee in the central café.
The show catered for people on a generic level, those with a real niche interest and everything in between. For example, if you were hoping to make your first moves into triathlons and were looking for help on the best wetsuits to buy, there was a large pool on hand to try them out as well as advice from experts on how to get the most out of them. There was also encouragement from the crowd as there were timed challenges going on throughout the day, helping to create a really engaging area in the hall.
On the other hand, if you were wanting to take that next serious step in the world of cycling, there were plenty of the leading brands there to visit and have a chat with including Cannondale, Cervelo and Scott.
There was even the opportunity to go and meet Chris Boardman himself on his stand with Boardman Bikes - how can you not be inspired by a former Tour de France stage winner and I'm sure some will have signed up to their next challenge up Mont Ventoux or Alpe d'Huez as a result.
With 50,000+ visitors over the course of the show, there was certainly anticipation for a successful and engaging few days. The Friday I visited was much quieter than I expected which allowed me to catch up with some of our customers and meet with some potential new partners. It was great to see some of our charities there too - Cats Protection, Guide Dogs For The Blind and Street Child.
Overall it was a good show with lots of variety, and from an audience perspective, there was plenty to choose from with people always on hand to help answer your questions. From an exhibitor standpoint, the Friday seemed noticeably quiet at times, and I got the feeling there was some disappointment with the footfall and layout of the show.
However I think anybody would have been hard pushed to walk out of that show without being inspired and encouraged to take on their first challenge or push themselves to the next level.
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