1st Outdoor Leisure Show

By Pete Dollman

Well, we’ve finally packed away the last of the stand, scrubbed the last bit of paint from our hair and had a chance to catch our breath to look back at the Outdoor Leisure Show 2011…

Kicking off on Friday 25th of Feb at the NEC, this was a more significant show for me than the rest of the guys, it being the first time I’ve replaced my ‘Product Designer’ beret with the official ‘Show Guy’ hardhat to take over the mantle of running Alpkit’s live appearances from Jim.

This is a big responsibility; as an online company we don’t often get to meet our customers, so making an impression when we do is a must, and as these shows offer a huge opportunity to meet new people and show them what we do we go the extra mile with our show stands and like to think they’re as good as any at the events we do. Jim’s stands have always been impressive and every show I’ve done we’ve had comments on how good our space looks… so no pressure there then!

We were lucky enough to have a fairly epic space this year, so I had the luxury of being able to design a big open stand with plenty of room to show off bigger products like sleeping mats and sleeping bags which can be tricky to do justice to in a small space and overall I was really happy with the look and feel of the stand, although I’m going to think twice about designing a show stand with a steel and plywood climbing wall in it again, at least until we’ve got ourselves a forklift to load it onto the van!

The extra space also gave us the chance to take along more than just a ‘shop’ setup which was cool, as well as the aforementioned climbing wall where Dave and Johnny’s ‘Alpkids on the Bloc’ intro to bouldering session went down a storm, we were also able to put up the latest prototypes of our mountain ten range to get some feedback from you guys, as well as the AK tipi which became a meeting point / chilling area, with some bits and pieces to entertain the kids while mum and dad admired the shiny things!

Overall we really liked the vibe of the show, really friendly and pretty laid back. Whilst it could have been a bit busier, and it would have been good to see some more brands represented to add a bit more depth of specialist product / knowledge to the mix it’s hard to complain about a show which had such an awesome range of cornish pasties available!

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