The Exhibition Centre, Liverpool

The Exhibition Centre, Liverpool

Britain’s largest trade gathering for the outdoor industries is decamping to Merseyside.

Organisers of the Outdoor Trade Show said next year’s event will take place at the Exhibition Centre, Liverpool.

For the past two years the show was held in Manchester, but the EventCity venue in Trafford is no longer available.

The event attracts major outdoor brands from across the UK and Europe, with an opportunity to display their latest products to retailers, journalists and others in the industry.

This year’s OTS, which was due to take place in July at the Manchester site, was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The show moved from its previous base in Warwickshire to Manchester in 2018. OTS’s home for the past two years will close by 31 March 2021 and plans for the construction of the new facility have been withdrawn due to the economic climate.

Event organiser Marta Williams said: “Once we heard the news of EventCity closing its doors, we were obviously disappointed, as it has been a great venue over the past two years, and we had to move quickly to find a replacement venue that would work for the show.

“We were impressed by Exhibition Centre Liverpool, with facilities that exceed those in Manchester, a very accommodating team, that worked with us to ensure we could keep the same rates for our exhibitors. There was no question that this was the right location to make the 2021 event a success following the difficult times we all have had this year.

“Our main priority now is to work with our exhibitors to allocate suitable space in the halls and release the floor plan to encourage new bookings as soon as possible. Our team of contractors that we have been working with for over 10 years will continue to support the show and offer exhibitors their familiar services.”

The Outdoor Trade Show has been held in Manchester recently. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Outdoor Trade Show has been held in Manchester recently. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

OTS 2020 had a record number of early bookings, with 110 exhibitors signed up before the show was postponed. Plans for next year include a new climbing area. Organisers said the location, on the banks of the Mersey next to Queen’s Dock, will be ideal for watersport brands to become involved.

Bob Prattey, chief executive of The ACC Liverpool Group, operators of Exhibition Centre Liverpool, said: “We were delighted to help the team find a new home for the Outdoor Trade Show, and are looking forward to welcoming them in 2021.

“This has been a challenging year for the events industry as a whole, so it is encouraging that organisers are continuing to choose Liverpool, and we are excited to return to what we do best – hosting top class events.”