OIA Conference & AGM 2018

Proudly headline sponsored by The Camping & Caravanning Club, the OIA’s annual Conference & AGM saw over 180 delegates gather together on 14th and 15th March at Shrigley Hall Hotel in Cheshire for two days of inspirational speakers, workshops, outdoor activities, and a series of networking opportunities.

A full report has been published by Outdoor i, which is available to read here.

Thank you to everyone who sponsored, presented and attended the event.

Save the Date for next year’s event: 13th & 14th March 2019.

Who was there?

Representatives from a variety of brands, retailers, media and activity providers across the outdoor recreation industry, including:

Burton McCall, Keela, BMC, Vango, Grangers, Snugpak, Nikwax, Blacks, JD Sports, AlpineTrek, Craghoppers, Forestry Commission, Tilly Endurables, Mammut, Ordance Survey, Whitby & Co, Harvey Maps, Countryside Ski & Climb, Go Outdoors, Outdoori, Camping & Caravanning Club, Bradshaw Taylor, Hi-Tec, Storm, Berghaus, Montane, Trekkit, Thule, ProAgencies, Bramwell International, Sherpa Adventure Gear, Equip, Allcord, Terra Nova, Lyon Equipment, Myagi, Ronhill, Whitecap Consulting, Mountain Training Trust, Plas y Brenin, Rohan, Climbing Centre Group, Paroh, Rosker, Merrell, Jack Wolfskin, European Outdoor Group (EOG), Páramo, aWorkbook, Patagonia, Pertex, Outdoor & Cycle Concepts, Amer Sports, Gaynor Sports, ISPO, Grough, GP Batteries, Global Reach Partners, Target Publishing, In Kind Direct, Outdoornews.biz, Ellis Brigham, DMM, Sports Financial Services, Outdoor & Sports Company, Carrot Banana Peach, Sportpursuit, Alpkit and Brita.

View the full delegate list here


Thank you to our sponsors:

OS Standard Logo Portrait RGB

View Schedule Summary (PDF)

Keynote Speakers


Doug Gurr – Amazon

Doug is Country Manager of Amazon UK. He joined Amazon in December 2011 and was President of Amazon China in from 2014 to 2016.

His previous roles included teaching mathematics and computing at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, a 3 year stint working for the UK Government, 6 years with consultancy firm McKinsey ending as partner, growing (as founder and CEO) an internet start-up from nothing to $250m in 5 years leading it a successful IPO and eventual Trade Sale, and finally 5 years on the Board of Asda-Walmart.

Doug has two degrees in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, and PhD in Computing from the University of Edinburgh.

Outside work, Doug is Chairman of the British Heart Foundation, and a Trustee of the Landmark Trust and was until 2014 Chairman of the Science Museum Group of national museums. He is a former Scottish international triathlete and 12 times Ironman, a keen ski mountaineer with over 20 first ascents including the first winter ascent of Gunnbjornsfeld – the highest mountain north of the arctic circle, and a an enthusiastic mountain runner, recently completing the Bob Graham 24hr Round, and the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc.

Doug was born in the UK but his parents were New Zealanders and he grew up mostly in Africa before returning to the UK to attend high school and college. He is married with two young children.

2017-08-21, Ryan Gellert sq

Ryan Gellert – Patagonia

As General Manager – EMEA for Patagonia, Ryan Gellert oversees all sales, marketing, sustainability and operational initiatives for the brand, throughout the region. 

Based at the European Headquarters in Amsterdam, Ryan leads a team who live and breathe the Patagonia mission statement to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. An avid climber and backcountry snowboarder, Ryan has climbed and ridden throughout Asia, Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East and South Africa. Ryan has extensive experience working with direct action environmental groups, serving on the boards of the Access Fund and Protect Our Winters.

Prior to joining Patagonia, Ryan spent 15 years at Black Diamond Equipment, where he held a number of roles including Brand President, VP of Supply Chain Management and Managing Director of Black Diamond Asia. Ryan holds a J.D. from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah; an M.B.A. from Florida Institute of Technology; and a B.S.B.A. in Finance from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.

Bullock and a beer.

Nick Bullock

Nick Bullock is a nomadic writer and climber with opinion, imagination and an open mind. He enjoys reading Cormac McCarthy, poetry, The Guardian and participating in all aspects of climbing – winter mixed, Alpine, ice, rock and expedition. He generally dislikes things ending with ‘ism’.

Mark Held

Mark Held – European Outdoor Group (EOG)

Mark Held, General Secretary of the European Outdoor Group, has over 25 years of experience in the outdoor industry. During his career, he has held senior positions at major companies, including Lowe Alpine and Berghaus. He was one of the founders of the European Outdoor Group (EOG) in 2003, with the clear objective of uniting the fragmented outdoor industry. The EOG’s agenda covers key areas such as research, events, sustainability, responsibility, outreach and product safety. In 2005, Mark agreed to take on the management of the group and became General Secretary, a role he has fulfilled ever since.

Andrew Denton h&s

Andrew Denton – Outdoor Industries Association (OIA)

Andrew Denton has been working in the outdoors since 1984, starting his career in outdoor education and then moving on to a series of senior management & ownership roles in businesses such as Rohan, Mountain Equipment, Sprayway, the Outdoor Sports Company and now climbing walls. He is best known as the modern founder and co-owner of the international technical brand Mountain Equipment where he worked for 17 years and then sold in 2003. Andrew has been CEO of the OIA since August 2011.



Richard Norris – Open Data Institute

Richard is a Programme Manager at the Open Data Institute. He is responsible for the OpenActive initiative which is opening up data about physical activity sessions. He believes that open data and open innovation can have a lasting impact on the physical activity sector, making it easier for people to get active. He likes to run the odd (albeit slow) marathon having finished London, Paris and Berlin.

Roger Zeng2

Roger Zeng – CORA

Roger has been the president of CORA, formally China Outdoor Retailer Association, since 2005. In addition to his role in the outdoor industry, Roger has had a successful distribution business in partnership with leading outdoor brands, including Patagonia, KEEN, and Gregory. This year, his organization is launching G3, a direct-to-consumer platform for international brands, while greatly reducing the complexity and risks of doing business in China.


Majka Patuzzi – ISPO


Simon Baseley

Former pig farmer, failed stand-up comedian, space salesman and journalist, Simon Baseley has trained at all levels of management concentrating mainly in the area of presentation skills, time management and complaints handling. His involvement in the outdoor industry began in 1994 when he launched the trade magazine, OCC OutDoor.


Matt Bird – Band of Birds

Matt Bird is the founding director of Band of Birds, a Sheffield based creative communications agency who specialise in providing content marketing and PR services to the outdoor industry. The company have built their reputation delivering creative and impactful campaigns that engage and resonate with target audiences for clients within the outdoor industry such as Kendal Mountain Festival, Lowe Alpine and The Climbing Works.

View Schedule Summary (PDF)