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2024 OIA Conference a great success - Press Release

Press Information

28th March 2024






2024 OIA Conference a great success


The 20th and 21st of March saw over 100 OIA members gathering at Drayton Manor Resort for the 2024 OIA Conference & AGM, featuring two days of speakers, networking and activities, and including the presentation of the 2023 UK Outdoor Industry Awards.

Delegates heard from a wide range  of expert and inspirational speakers, from the outdoor industry and beyond, across the two days, including:


  • Mark Essex, Director of Public Policy at KPMG, on the macro-economic impacts of health
  • Kim Leadbeater, Labour MP and Chair of the Sport All-Party Parliamentary Group, on her report "Healthy Britain, a new approach to health and wellbeing"and adventurer Sean Conway delivered a range of inspirational and informative talks across the two days.
  • Sean Conway, endurance adventurer, author and speaker, on his recording breaking "105 triathlons in a row"
  • Dan Trapp, head hunter for EO Executives and Sports+Outdoor Mentors, on the vital role of employee engagement
  • Alex Staniforth, founder of charityMind over Mountains, on restoring mental health through outdoor experiences
  • Anita Kerwin-Nye, charity leader and national access expert, on shaping the policy agenda.

Delegates also enjoyed a range of physical activities, notably Nordic Walking led by British Nordic Walking and sponsored by Leki, 5k and 10k runs sponsored by Pertex, and yoga sessions led by the OIA's CEO Andrew Denton.


At the OIA's Annual General Meeting, held at the start of day 1 of the conference, OIA chairman Nick Giles OBE and Chief Executive Andrew Denton presented the Association's 2024 Annual Report.
The report can be accessed via the OIA website, and it provides a review of the OIA's activities, highlights and achievements during 2023 together with a summary of the results of the Financial Year. 


The close of day 1 saw a reception and dinner, kindly sponsored by The Camping & Caravanning Club, Rab and Keela, prior to which the winners of the 2023 UK Outdoor Industry Awards were announced, and presented with their awards. The awards process started at the 2023 Outdoor Trade Show (OTS) in June, where a judging panel, made up of experts from the outdoor industry as well as key journalists and retailers, selected the finalists in each category. The judges selected the finalists based on a range of criteria, including innovation, functionality, choice of materials, environmental friendliness, safety and commercial viability.

Those finalists were then voted for online by more than 1500 consumers. One winner - the Silva Free 1200 XS headlamp - was chosen as Product of the Year.

This year's winners, with OIA Chairman Nick Giles (far right) and OIA Conference Guest Speaker Sean Conway (fourth from left).

Speaking about the conference, OIA CEO Andrew Denton said, "This year's Conference was a hugely successful event, with fantastic feedback still coming in from our delegates. We're very grateful to everyone who attended, and to all those who spoke at the Conference. It was particularly encouraging to hear the Association's Development Board presenting on the variety of special projects they are working on, on behalf of our members and the outdoor industry as a whole, notably the OIA Women in Leadership Mentoring Programme, the OIA Climate Action Plan Initiative (CAPI) survey and the Sport & Outdoor Leaders Forum."



For further information about the OIA