The OIA is pleased to announce an industry event ‘The Gathering’ on Wednesday 7th October at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool (subject to Government Guidelines).  The trade event is an opportunity for the outdoor industry to get together, network with colleagues and share experiences and business challenges which the current pandemic has created.  The outline itinerary will cover topics such as ‘The Future of Retail’, ‘Supply Chain Issues’ and an insight from the EOG and the BMC.

Rab and Lowe Alpine are the event sponsors.  Lunch and basic refreshments will be available to purchase and numbers will be restricted to 75.

Commenting, CEO Andrew Denton said, “As we start to emerge from this crisis, we recognise there are many common challenges and opportunities faced by our members.  ‘The Gathering’ will provide a platform and environment to discuss retail, supply chain and consumer issues, threats and the ’new normal’.  We are keen to respond to the appetite which we have recognised from OIA members and are excited at the opportunity to gather together.”

The promotional video for The Gathering was kindly developed by the strategic marketing agency The Foundry. They work with brands across active lifestyle, health and wellbeing, if you’d like any further details please email or get in touch via the website



When: 7th October 2020

Time: 10am – 4pm

Where: Exhibition Centre Liverpool –

Lunch and coffee will be available to purchase

Booking: Open to all OIA members but numbers will be restricted by Government Social Distancing, so to give the maximum amount of businesses the opportunity to attend, please consider  booking no more than two from any one business unless essential.  A waiting list will be available. If you are not an OIA member but would like to attend, please send an e-mail and we will put you in the waiting list.

To book a place send and e-mail to with your name, position & company

Bookings are on a first come first served basis – your e-mail will be acknowledged by one of the OIA team by return – confirmation of spaces will be provided closer to the time when the Government Guidelines are clear on numbers allowed for indoor events. If, for any reason, you cannot longer attend please let us know. As numbers are limited another person in the waiting list can benefit of attending.


10.00 – Andrew Denton, CEO, OIA, opening keynote, summary, position, SWOT
10.30 – Retail future – Rob Brigham, Managing Director, Ellis Brigham 15 mins followed by Q&A and break
11.30 – Supply Lines, China – Matt Gower, CEO, Equip – 15-20 mins – Q&A and break
12.30 – Lunch & network
13.30 – Mark Held / Arne Strate – The European plan. Q&A and break
14.30 – The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) consumer view – Dave Turnbull Q&A and break
15.30 – Summary and overview and final interactive Q&A – Andrew Denton.
16.00 Event soft close
17.00 Venue closes



Our Chief Executive, Andrew Denton will take centre stage to open and close The Gathering.

Andrew 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 ownership of several indoor climbing walls.

He is best known as the modern founder and co-owner of the international technical brand Mountain Equipment where he built the brand over 17 years and then sold in 2003 to The Bollin Group. Andrew has been CEO of the OIA since August 2011.

Robert Brigham has been Managing Director of Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports for several years, having worked in a variety of roles at the company since he was a teenager, starting out in-store.

He moved into accounts and the warehouse department, before working on delivering new stores and improved back office systems as Operations Manager.

Born into the outdoor industry, all Robert wanted to do from an early age was work in his father’s business.

OIA Board Member since May 2018 and Chair since March 2019.