The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) has started a sustained drive to increase membership levels. Following its well attended conference and an announcement of the relocation of its head office to the Lake District, the association is seeking to build on the recent momentum that has attracted 27 new members during the last six months
Alongside benefits and services that provide significant savings, the OIA offers access to major networking events throughout the year, and has helped make available over £130,000 of grants to support companies wanting to attend international trade fairs such as ISPO Beijing.
Early in 2012, the OIA teamed up with the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) to meet with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mountaineering at Westminster. The meeting led to a parliamentary question and an ongoing dialogue through which the OIA and BMC hope to put outdoor activities at the heart of the national health agenda. Meanwhile, the OIA is in the early stages of developing a major consumer campaign – ‘Britain on Foot’ – that will be designed to get more of the general public walking in the outdoors. When it launches later in 2012, it is hoped that Britain on Foot will play a major role in raising the profile of outdoor activities, and the many UK companies and individuals who make it possible for people to experience and enjoy them.
The cost of OIA membership is as low as £200 for a small business (with a turnover of less than £500,000), and at an even lower cost of £60 in the Independent Outdoor Professional (IOP) category. Launched early in 2012, with the input and backing of new board member Cameron McNeish, IOP members can access a wide range of OIA benefits and services, including: the free use of meeting rooms at properties owned by OIA member HF Holidays; a legal and HR hotline run by Croner Consulting; member discounts for OIA events such as the annual conference and other networking opportunities; and access to the members’ section on www.theoia.co.uk, which hosts industry related material.