Conference Information

OIA’s 2019 Conference and AGM

Book now to ensure you join business leaders from across the outdoor industries.

13th & 14th March 2019 – Shrigley Hall, nr Macclesfield, Cheshire

The OIA’s annual Conference & AGM is a key event in the outdoor industry calendar. Whether you’re from the retail and distribution sector, manufacturing, an education or activity provider, or the charitable and non-profit sector this an event you cannot afford to miss!

During the two day event you will gain insights from influential keynote speakers into key areas that influence the entire industry, while having the opportunity to network with colleagues from a variety of organisations.  You’ll also get the chance to take part in a series of educational workshops and outdoor activities of your choice.

This year’s event will take place on 13th-14th March 2019 at Shrigley Hall Hotel in Cheshire. This fantastic venue nestled on the edge of The Peak District worked extremely well for 2018, with its combined hotel and conference facilities, and close transport links.

Keynote Speakers

Liz McMahon

Liz McMahon – Madison Muir Group

Is your brand YOUR brand?  Brand management in this fake news and social media world

The presentation will explore the effects fake news, social media comments and events you cannot control can have on your brand reputation, purchase intent and brand loyalty and some ideas on how to manage this challenge.

About Liz

Liz McMahon is the Managing Director of the Madison Muir Group – strategic advisors on brand governance, marketing and partnership programmes.  She also is a Non-Executive Director of On-White International, a digital prestige clothing brand, Chair of The Sport Safeguarding Partnership and sits on the Sport Policy Task Force of Pro Bono Economics.  She was a Non-Executive Director on the London 2017 Athletic and Para-Athletic World Championships board, the Olympic Park Legacy Company/London Legacy Development Corporation and the Sport & Recreation Alliance.

Prior to forming the Madison Muir Group in 2009, Liz was Executive Director, Chief Marketing Officer for Treasury & Investor Services at J.P. Morgan, Director Global Consumer Investments at Citigroup and Director of Marketing Services at the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland.  She also headed International Marketing for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games Bid.

Working in the USA with 3M, she managed global Corporate Marketing Communications and activated their 1988 and 1992 worldwide Olympic sponsorships.   Liz also held executive marketing positions in New York with Nabisco and Chase Bank.

A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with an honours degree in Political Science, Liz did advanced degree work in marketing & finance at New York University Stern School of Business.

Daniel Ravel Ellison

Dan Raven-Ellison – National Park City Campaigner & National Geographic Explorer

How to join the National Park City movement

In July 2019 London will become the world’s first National Park City. A place, a vision and a movement, the London National Park City will inspire people to enjoy the city’s great outdoors, make the city greener, healthier and wilder, and create a new identity for Londoners.

With National Park City movements starting in Glasgow, Galway, Adelaide and other cities, Daniel will explain the thinking behind this big idea, why it’s important, how it will engage people with the UK’s great outdoors and ways for your organisation to get involved.

About Daniel

Daniel Raven-Ellison is a guerrilla geographer, National Geographic Explorer and founder of the campaign to make London the world’s first National Park City. Daniel’s work combines creative exploration, geography and communication to inspire new thinking.

Collaborating with Cisco and National Geographic, he’s walked across all of the UK’s national parks and cities while wearing a headset that recorded his emotions. For another project, he completed 125 micro adventures across the UK over six months with his son.

He’s recently made and launched “The UK in 100 Seconds”, a thought-provoking film in which each second equals one per cent of what the UK looks like from the air and one metre of Daniel’s walk to make it.

He is also the co-founder of Mission:Explore, an award-winning series of children’s books that challenge young people to explore outdoors in creative and new ways. His work now focuses on the London National Park City.

Frederic Hufkens
Seonaid Lafferty
Kieran Miles
Scott Nelson

PASS-ON-PLASTIC – Can personal experience drive organisational change?

How do personal ‘lightbulb’ moments become business strategies for triple-bottom-line sustainability?

Hear Frederic Hufkens speak on his personal experience of the plastic campaign and how he used it to evolve sustainability in business. Our panel will focus on how we can create systemic organisational change to support consumer-facing activism or product development to advance sustainability in our industry. Prioritising the people in our business, the planet we rely on for adventure and our profit is the triple bottom line that will sustain our industry.

Frederic Hufkens – A.S. Adventure

With a wealth of experience across a wide spectrum of retail, as well as experience at the helm of the hugely successful A.S. Adventure Group (Bever, A.S. Adventure, Cotswold & Snow & Rock), Frédéric will offer delegates invaluable knowledge, expertise and insight.

Started in 1995 as a small family-owned operation in Belgium, A.S. Adventure now stocks over 50,000 products, including kit for travel and camping, cycling and running, ski and snowboard, beachwear and gadgets.

Frédéric was brought on board in 2007 to overhaul the corporate structure of the business and breathe new life into the company.

Frederic Hufkens was appointed as Executive Chairman of the A.S. Adventure Group in 2007 and in 2008 he was also appointed CEO of the group and has been involved in the retail business for many years. From 1997 Frederic was an advisor to the Halley Family who owned approximately 20% of the Carrefour supermarkets.

He was involved in several retailers from the purchase of G.I.B in 1997, the largest supermarket chain in Belgium to the German fashion brand Jill Sander. Frederic holds a Master of Business and Economics from the Solvay University Brussels and a Post Graduate degree in Statistics. The A.S. Adventure group has a turnover of approx. €600 million and is active in 7 Countries through 268 stores.

Seònaid Lafferty – Organisational Sustainability Consultant

Seònaid is a PhD Researcher at Cumbria University and with Kendal Mountain Festival, where she is building a values-based measure of sustainability with Lancaster University and Global Eco-Innovations (EU ERDF). The aim is to create a blueprint for best practice, development, social responsibility and delivery of an environmentally and economically sustainable event both from an immediate environmental impact perspective and through the creation of sustainable initiatives.

Seònaid is on the board of Cumbria Action for Sustainability and holds an MSc from St Andrews University in Sustainable Development

As a consultant, Seonaid focuses on innovation, strategy and organisational change. Her professional experience encompasses primary tendering to co-facilitating team development days, organisational development tools and models, sustainable businesses research, collaboration with leaders in PIB’s Leadership Diamond model and environmental analysis.


Kieran Miles is the founder and Chief Executive of the rock climbing apparel brand; Duco, which this year was named as the GB Climbing Team Kit provider.

Duco has been built over the past 3 years as a lifestyle focused, environmentally driven, direct to consumer brand, with a clear mission to Climb Higher.

Prior to Duco, Kieran worked in a range of businesses and sectors, from advising global brands on consumer and current trends, to working in digital media and online radio.

Recognised as an Associate Fellow of Her Majesty’s Royal Commonwealth Society, named Startup Entrepreneur of Year EoE by Barclays Plc 2018 and one of the Top 5 Rising Stars in Retailprop in 2017 by Revo, Kieran has a passion for entrepreneurship, changing education and environmental sustainability.

Scott Nelson – European Outdoor Group (EOG)

Scott Nelson manages the single-use plastics project with the European Outdoor Group (EOG). The project will create a roadmap to significantly reduce single-use plastics in the value chain of the outdoor industry. Prior to working with the EOG, Scott worked for Apple for several years, completed an MBA at the University of Cambridge, and has a bachelors degree in Marketing.

Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders – My life at the extremes: How Grangers help him survive and succeed in the toughest places on Earth

Ben Saunders has spent much of his career in the harshest conditions on the planet. For over 17 years, he has led expeditions to the ends of the earth, becoming the third person in history to ski solo to both the North and South poles. His proudest achievement is leading The Scott Expedition, the first completion of the expedition that defeated Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton and a 2,888km journey in Antarctica that broke the record for the longest ever human-powered polar expedition.

Ben has used Grangers products for three decades since he first started hillwalking and climbing in the UK aged 11. He will share stories from his pioneering journeys in the Arctic and Antarctica and will focus on how Grangers products have helped to keep him warm and dry on his adventures.

Ben is a passionate advocate of the importance of living adventurously and spending time in the great outdoors, and, in partnership with Grangers, intends to keep inspiring and equipping people to #GetOutside for many years to come, because #withgrangersyoucan.


Andrew Denton – Outdoor Industries Association

Chief Executive Andrew Denton will take centre stage to deliver the conference and explain what the OIA had been doing over the last 12 months.

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.