Member Survey 2009

Member Survey 2009

The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) has completed a survey of its members, identifying views on a range of topics, along with the key issues facing outdoor businesses in 2009. Responses were received from across the sector and included a strong representation from retailers, suppliers, distributors, activity/holiday providers and clubs/associations, providing a good indication of opinions from the whole industry.

In the survey, members were asked to identify the most relevant and important areas of association work. Market research and the promotion of the outdoors to a wider audience were cited as the most important OIA activities, followed by providing access to information and services on the OIA website, and the provision of workshop events and seminars. Other areas that were highlighted by a significant number of respondents include staff training and retail accreditation, initiatives relating to sustainability, promoting careers in the outdoors, providing a range of benefits and discounts to members, and lobbying and legislative issues.

Members also identified the key issues that are facing them in the current climate. Top of the list are currency related matters, followed by increased overheads/costs, rising prices, tightening credit and customer footfall. The survey also asked a range of other questions, including how members would like to receive future communications from the OIA – on that point, 96% of respondents expressed a preference for email.

Louise Ramsay, OIA director, comments:
“I am delighted with the response to this survey, both in the number of replies we received and the broad cross section of the industry that they represent. The results add weight to the many individual meetings and conversations I have had with members and potential members. Clearly, the strategy that the OIA has established over the last year and a half is the right one and our plans for 2009 and beyond will continue to deliver robust market research, improved promotion of the outdoors to many audiences and enhanced communications across traditional and non traditional platforms.

“There are clearly some very specific issues that organisations operating in the sector are facing at this particular time and I plan to develop some short to medium term actions that can play a role in addressing those. In particular, the OIA is going to collaborate where possible with other organisations in the UK that share aspects of our agenda. However, many of the challenges we need to address are global in nature, so we will also seek to work closely with organisations such as the European Outdoor Group and the USA Outdoor Industry Association.”

To thank members for taking time to complete the survey, the OIA ran a prize draw of a weekend for two at Glenmore Lodge National Outdoor Centre. The happy winner of that is Alec Rycroft of The Walking Shop in Leyburn, North Yorkshire. Congratulations to Alec and thanks to everyone who responded to the survey.