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The Show ends
Sunday November 2, 2014 - Email this article to a friend

The London Ski & Snowboard show claims success with visitors up, increased takings and a spring in the step of UK snowsports. It was the last show at Earl's Court as the venue is being re-developed.

First indications are that it has gone out with a bang rather than a whimper.

There was an 11% increase in people coming despite the Show being cut from 5 days to 4 and pre-sales for the final day on Sunday November 2nd were 20% up.

"It is difficult to judge until all the numbers are in and feedback received but I think the London Ski & Snowboard Show 2014 has been a great success," said the show manager, Lindsey Guy, as the clock struck 6 o'clock on Sunday and the exhibition closed.

"There were more and more people coming to experience and enjoy what we have offered and the vast majority of the public and the exhibitors are happy," she added.

See here for an earlier PlanetSKI story on what was on offer at the Show.

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The teaching slope saw some people taking to snowsports for the first time.

On the rampOn the ramp














And there were a few others who have put on some skis and snowboards before perhaps.

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Outside there was even some skiing on 'real' snow.

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On the snowOn the snow













The vast majority of the exhibitors were also happy.

"It has been a resounding success for us with takings up on last year despite the fact that it was one day shorter," said Mark Brigham, from the retailer Ellis-Brigham.

The tour operators also reported interest and brisk business.

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Here at PlanetSKI we were at the Show each day and we detected an upturn in optimism in an industry that has been hit hard by the economic downturn in recent years.

And so did a few other observors.

"There seem to be more people this year and they have a genuine interest in the new things on offer and a growing passion for snowsports," said the former racer, Konrad Bartelski, who we chatted with at the Show.

The Mountain Talks theatre proved successful with the likes of Warren Smith from the Warren Smith Ski Academy and Rob Stewart from Kicking Horse Powder Tours offering their advice and expertise.

Mountain talksWarren Smith













Mountain talksRob Stewart













There were some downsides.

The slow internet access irritated many people. It was advertised but did not deliver.

WiFiOne statement is definitely true














There were also some genuine grumbles about the cost of food and drink.

£4.40 for a small bottle of beer, £2 for a small bottle of water and £4.25 for a somewhat bland and tasteless egg sandwich.

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Some brought their own food and ate wherever they could find the space.

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Next year the show is moving to Battersea Park and we will have a full report shortly on PlanetSKI about the venue and the changes ahead.  It will be there for the next three years.

The new show will feature an indoor area and an ouside one with a 50ft kicker and a stage for bands and entertainment.

One thing that will change is the food and drink.

"We have to offer the food and beverages according to the concession and deals that Earl's Court has, but next year we are going to have much more choice and will be offering alpine food and a wider selection of drinks at competitive prices," said the head of exhibitions for Telegraph Events, Damian Norman.

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The organisers also had a few problems outside with anti-ESF leaflets being handed out. 

Inside the British Association of Snowsports Instructors, BASI, had its own difficulties at a General Meeting as it expelled one of its members, the maverick ski instructor, Simon Butler.

During the Show the World Snow Awards were held as the best resorts, tour operators, retailers and others were recognised; see here for our story on who won what.

The London Show has been at Earl's Court for many years and this was the last one.

It first started at in London 41 years ago at The Old Horticultural Hall and its main venues have been Earl's Court and Olympia. 

The fondly-remembered glory days with a 10-day show and where it was a must-attend event for anyone interested in skiing are long since gone. 

It does though leave in reasonably good health.

One person who has seen more London ski shows than probably anyone else is Michael Pettifer, who is currently Managing Director of MPI Brokers insurance. 

He was at the first show in the capital 41 years ago at the Old Horticultural Hall and hasn't missed one since.

"I think it is great that the show is moving to Battersea with some new ideas and a new direction. It seems it will be more of a festival of skiing with an emphasis on food, drink, music and skiing," he said.  "I am already looking forward to it."

Pettifer at 2014 showPettifer at 2014 show













We leave the last word to the PlanetSKI content editor, James Cove.

"It's good the show ended on a high with increased interest and a bit of optimism after a few difficult years. Bookings are up for next winter and it seems people are beginning to spend again. Overall I thought it was a good show and lived up to expectations and now all we want is for the snow to fall and winter to get underway. It was interesting to assess the current state of the UK snowsports industry, see the new things for next winter, meet up with old friends and make a few new ones," said James Cove.

Making friendsMaking friends

















For the spirit of the mountains

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