View from the OIA

As the trade organisation for the outdoor sector in the UK, the OIA has a remit that covers an extensive range of priorities and activities. Along with the crucial work that we do to represent the industry to policymakers in Westminster and Brussels (a particularly tricky but important role at the moment), our team delivers a comprehensive programme of events and services for members, while also working hard to promote the benefits of outdoor participation to adjacent sectors, other businesses and the general public at large. We also work hard on many projects with key stakeholders and partners, such as the recent #Adventures4Health initiative with Tom Watson MP. All of this is achieved by a small team, keeping overheads as low as possible, so that we make the very best use of the resources that we have at our disposal.

Looking ahead to the next couple of months and, as always, there are some key dates on the horizon. Once again, the OIA will be at the European Outdoor Summit (EOS), which this year is being held in Interlaken. The summit has become a key event on the trade calendar and each year offers a great line-up of speakers and workshops that address major issues facing everyone in the industry. Just as important is the opportunity that EOS provides for our team to network with our own members who attend, and with colleagues from throughout Europe and beyond. It’s an extremely useful event and we believe that it’s very important for the UK to be strongly represented throughout.

Not long after EOS, we will be hosting an event of our own, the Members Forum on Counterfeiting and IP Theft in London on 24th October. Presentations during the forum by highly qualified experts will cover all aspects of intellectual property rights and infringements, including trademarks, design rights and copyrighting, so counterfeiting of physical products as well as other forms of IP theft will be on the agenda. Due to the range and depth of the topics discussed, the event will appeal not just to manufacturers, retailers and distributors, but also all manner of service providers, as well as charities and non-profit organisations. The event is free to attend for OIA members and £20 per place for non-members, and full details can be found under the events section of the website.

Our Members Forum events have proved to be very popular in recent years, delivering extremely useful insights on important topics for businesses operating in the outdoor industry. They are also great opportunities to meet up and network with colleagues, so we continue to organise them when we can fit them into our schedule. That said, our team is very aware that by being very busy, we rarely have the chance to pause, take a step back and make sure that we are focusing on the right priorities for our members and the wider industry. With this in mind, we recently sent out a survey to our membership, asking for feedback about the OIA and the work that we do. We want to check that we are meeting members’ expectations and are open to suggestions of what we else we could be doing or other improvements that we could make to our work.

The OIA prides itself on being a dynamic, progressive organisation (reflecting the outdoor industry itself) and we are proud of what we have achieved in recent years, but we will not stand still, so the responses to the survey will help us shape future plans. There is still time for members (and individual members of their own teams) to contribute, so if you need more details of how to access the survey, please contact Dave Bowler on david.bowler@theoia.co.uk.

The OIA team.