for the outdoor active lifestyle

OIA Conference – topics that piqued our attention
by <a href="" target="_self">Stephanie Briggs</a>

by Stephanie Briggs

10 October, 2022

Back from the OIA Conference and what a corking event.  We always say that.  We just love it.  Thanks, MCS for your sterling work, and Alan Hinkes, well, you surpassed yourself.

So, here are our favourite bits of the conference that we wanted to share:

Diversity outdoors – a presentation that opened our eyes

  • Phil Young gave us a really well-informed presentation on diversity in the outdoors and won’t have failed to bring a new perspective on the statement “Outdoors is for everyone”.  It certainly made us think.  Check out this website for tips and advice: This was such a thought-provoking and informative presentation we cannot recommend the Outsiders Project enough.
  • Talking of Diversity in the outdoors, we had a sobering talk from Will Pike who is wheelchair-bound following a catastrophic Indian holiday.  Did you know that 14.1 million people in the UK have a disability?  We didn’t.  Check out his story and raft of workshops and training programs here:

The Adventuresmart Tool Kit to get people out safely …

  • Adventuresmart talked about their resources to help people get into the outdoors to stay safe.  They’ve created a toolkit to make it easy for businesses to help promote Adventure Smart messages to their customers.  The suite offers ready-to-use resources and ideas.  Check it out here:

A camping event we’d be intrigued to go to …

  • Japanese brand Snow Peak kicked off the event with an overview of what they’ve been doing in Japan and now here (they have a shop in London).  We were particularly interested in the “Snow Peak Way” camping event they held back in September (an event that sounds very similar to Spring’s Camp Out but bigger).  Snow Peak believes in the ‘power of camping’ and is planning another in 2023.  Fun fact: 7% of the Japanese population are campers. Keep up to date here.
Snow Peak believes in the power of camping.

The Outdoor Show at the NEC with its new lease of life

  • Loved the sound of the NEC Outdoor Expo (18th – 19th March).  With 14K visitors, many of them new to the outdoors this sounds like a revamped outdoor show (new owners Racoon Media Group are also responsible for the successful National Running Show).  It definitely piqued our interest and we’ll be scoping out next year’s.

Spring’s Outdoor Winners …

  • OIA Award winners were announced, and we were super happy that two of our clients were recognised for excellence: Osprey with the UNLTD pack series and LifeStraw for the Peak Series. Osprey’s UNLTD pack is the first-ever pack to harness Carbon DLS 3D-printed technology and is designed to deliver superior ventilation, comfort, and performance. It comes at a high price tag but brands like Osprey are leading the way for new technologies to eventually become mainstream. Good work! LifeStraw won with the Peak Series, a range of collapsible squeezable bottles with a filter. Ideal for travellers looking for a lightweight, space-saving water filter option that will protect against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, silt, and sand.  What’s more, for every 500 products LifeStraw sells, it will distribute a LifeStraw Community purifier to a school in need. The Purifier will provide safe water to 100 schoolchildren for five years. A massive well done guys!
Osprey’s Jonathan Petty receiving the Award for Osprey’s UNLTD Series

An alternative to selling your business when you retire …

  • Have you noticed that EOTs are trending now?  We have.  And to share their experiences we got the low down from three people that have been on that journey via their employers Lyon Equipment, Go Ape, and our very own Pàramo.   Go Ape pulled together an enlightening presentation and our very own Richard Pyne (below) spoke on Pàramo’s behalf.  Things that caught our attention: fees incurred amounted to  £90K in one case; future profits can be used to pay co-owners an income tax-free sum of up to £3,600 pa. 
Pàramo’s Richard Pyne talking about the recent EOT the brand’s been through

And let’s not forget climate change …

  • Friend of Spring, Charles Ross, presented on CSR.  A moving, insightful presentation with some startling informative graphics that really got us thinking. Did you know that 76% of the UK public think business has a responsibility to protect the natural environment? And Charles reminded us of the circular economy pointing out that recycling is way down on the hierarchy of waste and instead we should be looking to build products to last so that we can keep it for as long as possible.

That’s it!  Hope to see you next year 😉  


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